How to Choose a Knoxville TN Assisted Living Facility for a Loved One

Knoxville, TN Assisted Living Facilities

Knoxville, TN Assisted Living Facilities

Since my ultimate goal is to one day open a great assisted living facility, I do a lot of research on what it takes to BE a really great assisted living facility. For example, I’ve found lots of great resources about assisted living in Knoxville on this website. So, here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about.

When choosing a facility, evaluate psychological requirements as well as physiological needs. Is a community important at this stage of your family member’s life? Do they need planned activities and group dinners to help ease loneliness and aid in the transition? How about amenities? What sorts of amenities does your family member need to feel like they are being well taken-care of?

When you decide what degree of treatment your family member needs, look for a facility that will match the requirements you and your family member decide on for assisted-living amenities. Elderly adults are in the position of having more and more choices than ever before in picking out a location that will fulfill  their long term requirements. For all people that are aging, communities with private housing that are maintained by the staff really are a wise decision. Some apartments are often ground floor models, and also have guardrails and bathroom chairs. These features permit (as long as feasible), elderly people to  keep their freedom. 24-hour protection is a major feature, as is on-call availability from housekeeping providers, healthcare employees, and transport. A great service may customize a living arrangement and schedule that fits with your relative’s needs.

How to Start Looking

Start arranging appointments after choosing amenity-appropriate assisted living facilities. Ask questions while you look around. Make sure to inquire about how often laundry and housekeeping services are provided. Make sure the facility is clean. It’s additionally advisable to schedule your visit instead of just dropping by. Observe the residents and put specific focus on how they interact with each other. If it seems like everyone gets along, and if the residents are friendly to you as you pass through, it is a good sign. It’s also wise to inquire about possibilities for day trips and other activities. If you, can, take the opportunity to sample the food. You can talk to residents about their experience, to find out how they like it. Take your relative with you on the second visit, and let them experience all the same things.

Outdoor Activities for Senior Citizens in Knoxville

senior outdoor activities

Seniors enjoying outdoor activities in Knoxville, TN

What’s the best thing about being retired? Being able to do what you want – when you want!

My friends, it’s time to get up & out, to take advantage of this beautiful, warm weather we’re having. Don’t miss the lovely season and all of its gifts.

Here are some of my favorite activities, right in the Knoxville, TN area. Share some of yours in the comments!

Classic Games

Whether you are athletic or more mellow about exercise, there is something for everyone when it comes to classic games.

Golf – You can play 9 or 18 holes of golf and enjoy the day at a golf course. Or consider simply going to a putting green, to work on your golf swing. Or working with a golf pro, to work on your golf game, get a few points off the next time you play with friends.

Tennis – This is not only great exercise but a terrific way to get together with friends. Playing doubles tennis you’ll need 4 players or against one person there are 2 players total. But seniors – be cautious: tennis is a game that can be tough on your knees to check with your doctor if you are uncertain.


Gardening is one of the best outdoor activities to enjoy great weather. Not only are you right up close with the season, seeing all of the fantastic things Mother Nature can create but it does your body and soul good to connect with the earth in that way. So get out there and work in your garden or plant something on your porch in planters. Here are a few favorite public gardens to explore too, to help you get ideas for your home gardening.

World’s Fair Park
525 Henley St, Knoxville, TN 37902
(865) 215-1158

Don’t miss this large, well-known park in Knoxville if you enjoy gardening. It may give you inspiration for what to do in your home garden or simply let you admire the beauty of nature. The Dogwood trees are especially popular and you’ll find native species to the area here.

Gardens at Ramsey House Plantation
2614 Thorngrove Pike, Knoxville, TN 37914
(865) 546-0745

I doubt you’ll have time to explore all 100 acres at once, but know you will certainly enjoy seeing this historic home in Knoxville and the beautiful garden that surrounds it. The Smoky Mountains are in the background. If you visit in the spring and summer you’ll see a lot more of the vegetable and flower gardens, but I think every season here is so beautiful.

Univ of Tennessee Gardens
2518 Jacob Drive
(865) 974-8265

Now this garden will appeal to you a) if you love gardening and b) especially if you are interested in the science behind what makes a garden great. Because basically this garden is a lab, filled with plants, trees and shrubs to help determine how to make them perform at optimal best. Don’t miss this garden if you are looking for tips on how to improve your garden or if you’ve moved to a new place and are trying to figure out what to do with the garden, it will give you a ton of ideas!


I don’t know how you’ll feel about saying “Om” all the time or if you’ll attain true inner peace. But yoga has been shown to improve deep relaxation, sleep, flexibility and has many health benefits. Even a new beginner can experience improvements. Remember with yoga to begin where you are – don’t twist yourself into a “pretzel shape” when you aren’t yet that flexible – it simply takes practice to get there!

West Side
400 N. Winston Road
(865) 690-9622

Here you’ll find Senior Yoga classes and other Senior exercise classes!

Bob Temple North Side
7609 Maynardville Highway

This Y facility has Senior Yoga and other Senior exercise including Silver Sneakers!

Davis Family
12133 S. Northshore Drive
(865) 777-9622

They have Silver Stretch (Senior Yoga classes) as well as Silver Splash (swimming for seniors) and Silver Sneakers too!

Jump Start Health & Fitness Program
Associated Therapeutics, Inc.
2704 Mineral Springs Avenue
(865) 687-4537

You’ll find lots of great exercise classes and yoga here as well.

Fort Sanders Health & Fitness Center
270 Fort Sanders West Boulevard
(865) 531-5063

Many exercise classes including yoga.


It’s easy to get up and walk around the block. But try going out and exploring a place that is new to you. That keeps your heart a-pumpin’ and the sneakers a-movin’ too!

Knoxville Zoo

They’ve got more than 800 animals for you to discover. Everything from elephants, giraffes, gorillas and so much more. Don’t miss their well-known Red Pandas, which are bred right there at the zoo.

3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive
(865) 637-5331

Ijams Nature Center

This stunning nature center offers you more than a place to walk. You can truly see nature change the seasons, right before your eyes. There are more active sports opportunities such as hiking and climbing. See wildlife and birds.

2915 Island Home Avenue
(865) 577-4717

Adair Park

Enjoy your regular walk through the peace and beauty of natural Knoxville. This park is 1.1 miles and includes access to a creek and pond, so there are many scenic views to make you smile. Remember to leave only footprints and to take only photographs. This is a city park run by the government.

1807 Adair Drive


Knoxville Museum of Art
1050 Worlds Fair Park Drive
(865) 525-6101

This museum features artists from Eastern Tennessee. See both classic and modern art at this fine museum.

Pets and Assisted Living Communities

Amazing Benefits Pets Bring to Seniors

Amazing Benefits Pets Bring to Seniors

A heart-warming story and its accompanying video recently made the rounds on national news outlets and blogs. It told the tale of a senior who had been hospitalized and whose health was mysteriously deteriorating until he whispered to an aide that he missed his dog. The health care worker did some sleuthing and found that the gentleman’s dog had been temporarily placed in a shelter and was also in failing health. Rules were bent and the two were reunited in the hospital bed, and both are now on the road to recovery. The story is instructive, as it brings home the inestimable depth of the human/pet bond. Many people resist assisted living specifically because they do not want to give up their pet. The good news is that more and more assisted living facilities are opening their doors to companion animals.

Recognizing the Value of Pets

Recent statistics indicate that 54% of assisted living communities now allow residents to bring their dogs, cats or birds along with them when they transition into their new environment, with more recognizing the value of doing so each year. There is good reason for that. Research has shown that owning and caring for pets has a significant positive impact on people of all ages, including diminishing pain, lowering blood pressure, and increasing motivation and mood. Stress levels are lower in pet owners, and so are heart rates and cholesterol levels. Continuing to care for a pet gives additional meaning and purpose, and for seniors that is vitally important.

In addition to providing a benefit for their owners, pets add to the overall mood and well-being of the entire community. Most residents enjoy the presence of companion animals, and there are many reports of new friendships being formed as a result of a connection facilitated by an animal. Residents who might be hesitant about striking up a conversation feel much more confident approaching a stranger to ask about their pet, and the presence of animals has even been shown to diminish the incidence or extent of sundowning, a syndrome in which people with dementia become more confused at night.

Explore Your Options

If you are looking for an assisted living facility that will allow your parent to bring their pet, you will be pleasantly surprised to find how open to the idea many of them are. Most will want to ensure that your parent is able to provide all appropriate care for their animal, but some even offer pet amenities such as dog walking, litter box cleanup, and trips to the groomer and veterinarian. In all cases you will find that the assisted living facility will want to ensure that the animals are appropriate and well-mannered enough for their community.

Community Pets

If your parents don’t currently have an animal but you are contemplating the benefits that owning one might hold, you can speak with the assisted living facility personnel to explore your options. Residential care professionals understand that the transition from the familiarity of home into an assisted living community can be stressful, and they have found that the love and attention received from and bestowed on an animal can ease loneliness and disorientation. Some assisted living facilities already have community pets that have been adopted from local shelters based on their sweet, calm temperaments. This provides the advantage of contact with an animal without the responsibility of providing care. Others go so far as to encourage residents to adopt senior pets for companionship and have formed partnerships with rescue organizations to facilitate the process.

Man In Care Facility Reunited With His Dog

In Whitley County, KY, James Wathern wasn’t doing so well. He had been in the hospital for many weeks at Baptist Health Corbin. A social worker who was working with Mr. Wathern realized that he was getting sicker because he missed his dog, Bubba, so much.

It turns out that when Mr. Wathern was taken to the hospital, his one-eyed chihuahua got out and was picked up by the local animal control facility.

The Chief Nursing Officer at Baptist Health Corbin, a wonderful lady named Kimberly Probus, enlisted the help of the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter to find Bubba. They found him, and a few days ago man and dog were reunited.

The people at the dog shelter reported that Bubba had been grieving too. He hadn’t been eating and was whining and pacing. Both Mr. Wathern and Bubba improved greatly after seeing each other again. Because of this miraculous moment, the hospital changed its policy and will now allow pet visitation.

Why? Because interacting with animals helps all of us. And, as evidenced by Bubba’s reaction, we help them too.

We already know that pet ownership can lower our blood pressure, help us relieve stress, make us feel less lonely and offer security to people living alone. There are also studies that say that the happiness levels in the brain raise considerably when a human looks into a dog’s eyes.

More and more studies are coming out saying that seniors, in particular, benefit from interaction with their pets. Why, one of my closest friends has a little dog that she talks to all day long. She spends most of her time by herself, but she says she never feels alone because she has little Honey there to keep her company.

Another friend of mine who I go visit in one of the assisted living facilities here in Knoxville says that when I bring Lucky, my little poodle mix, to visit, it’s the best day of the week.

Never underestimate the power of the human and animal connection. We need them and they need us.