As one of the largest cities in the Appalachian area, Knoxville stands out as one of the oldest with a majestic view of the Great Smoky Mountains. Those residents wanting to remain in the area to appreciate the scenery and historical significance of the city can find nursing homes at affordable prices lower than the national median rate.
There are 27,504 residents in nursing facilities in the state.
Tennessee law requires that nursing home administrators are to be licensed by the Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators.
12,200 of Tennessee nursing home residents are age 85 and over.
14,600 of Tennessee nursing home residents are between the ages of 65 and 84.
Daily rates vary across the state, but Knoxville averages lower rates than the national average. A semi-private room in the city runs about $204 per day while the U.S. daily average is $220.
If you value privacy, the daily median rate for a private room is $250 in the U.S. In Knoxville, you can grab that same room for only $222 per day on average and still enjoy the Great Smoky Mountain landscape. This equates to a yearly savings of over $10,000. Prices will vary between locations and facilities.
Nursing services available will vary between homes. However, there are a few regulations each home must maintain. Interview the home administrators and speak with a few of the residents or their families to make sure these rules are being followed. An assessment and plan of care should be conducted upon the initial check-in. Services like hearing and vision should be available. The home should provide devices like hearing aids, eyeglasses, walkers, and wheelchairs to maintain you or your loved ones ability and avoid deterioration.
Nursing homes accepting Medicare and Medicaid, like NHC Healthcare, Ft. Sanders and Holston Health and Rehabilitation Center, must follow these regulations as well as following any tougher state laws.
Other services offered may include devotional services, onsite activities both indoor and outdoor, and indoor common areas such as the ones Hillcrest Medical Nursing Institute provides. Rehabilitative services, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are offered on-site at many facilities. If hospice will be needed, confirm with the nursing home that this care is available. Most nursing homes work in conjunction with your doctors, nurses, dietician, medical specialists, and social workers for collaborative care. This means better care for you or your loved one during your stay.
Medicare will not cover certain long-term care. It will cover skilled nursing care as long as the service is received in a skilled nursing facility and is covered under Medicare Part A. Part A will cover up to 100 days of care and this includes:
A semi-private room with meals.
Nursing and rehabilitation services, if needed.
Over-the-counter medications and certain medical supplies.
Activity programs, laundry, personal care products, and haircuts are also covered.
About 65 percent of Tennessee’s nursing home residents receive Medicaid to pay for care. To qualify, you must meet the medical and financial eligibility requirements. Tennessee’s Medicaid program, also known as TennCare, will take your income and assets under consideration. It is advised to apply for benefits at least two months before your insurance ends. Contact the Tennessee Department of Human Services that serves Knox County to learn more about eligibility and nursing home care.
Veterans and their spouses can take advantage of the VA Aid and Attendance pension that covers nursing home care. The program is available for veterans that served in any of the military branches during wartime including 90 days of active duty and/or one day during a period of war. The veteran’s spouse is eligible regardless of whether the veteran is still living or deceased. To qualify, your assets must total less than $80,000, but does not include your home or vehicles.
When it comes to using the equity in your home to pay for nursing home care, consult with a financial advisor and real estate planner. Reverse mortgages are available to help seniors afford care, but there are many rules to follow to avoid foreclosure. Selling your home and moving into a smaller and more manageable home is an option. If you or loved one does not want to sell the property, consider renting the home out if you think you may need nursing care for a long period of time. The additional monthly payment can help offset costs.
Discuss any financial decisions with a qualified advisor before liquidating assets or cashing out life insurance policies to cover nursing home care.
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