Assisted Living in Tennessee

Get the insights you need to find the right city.

Families looking for assisted living in Tennessee (TN) have a wide array of communities to choose from, since estimated that there are more than 30,000 assisted living communities serving seniors across the U.S., and over 343 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 16.0 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Tennessee will pay $3,595 per month on average.

Average Monthly Costs

States near Tennessee

$4,863.00 Virginia
$4,283.00 Tennessee
$4,000.00 US
$3,846.00 Kentucky
$3,816.00 Mississippi
$3,574.00 Alabama
$3,387.00 Georgia
$3,318.00 Arkansas
$3,107.00 Missouri
Genworth lists the average cost of a private, one bedroom unit in an assisted living community in Tennessee as $4,283. This places Tennessee on the higher end of the scale at about $300 over the national average, and about $500 higher than the median cost of assisted living in nearby states.

Compare Monthly Care Costs

When it comes to care options, assisted living is just one of several choices available to seniors. Some care options, like part-time in-home care or independent living, may cost less, while others like memory care or skilled nursing are likely to cost significantly more. Seniors can speak with their medical practitioners to receive guidance on what level of care will best suit their needs and abilities.

Nursing Home Care


Assisted Living


In-Home Care

Average Monthly Costs

Cities in Tennessee

$4,917.00 Nashville, Davidson, Murfreesboro, Franklin
$4,566.00 Kingsport, Bristol, Bristol
$4,406.00 Knoxville
$4,396.00 Rest Of State
$4,393.00 Cleveland
$4,234.00 Johnson City
$3,917.00 Memphis
$3,819.00 Clarksville
$3,790.00 Jackson
$3,551.00 Morristown
$3,297.00 Chattanooga
When estimating the cost of assisted living, it's important to know that average prices can differ significantly between various parts of Tennessee. For example, assisted living rates in areas such as Nashville, Davidson, Murfreesboro, Franklin are at least $600 more than the state average of $4,283, but in areas like Jackson, you're saving on average $500. The most affordable region in Tennessee for assisted living is Chattanooga at $3,297.

What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Tennessee

Assisted living communities in Tennessee fall into one of two classifications:

  • Assisted care living communities
  • Residential homes for the aged
While they’re somewhat similar, assisted care living facilities (ACLF) typically offer a higher level of services, including medical care.Tennessee requires both assisted care and residential home communities to meet provisions for residents with early- to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease; however, assisted living homes are not licensed to care for those in later stages of Alzheimer’s or other dementia conditions.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Tennessee

Tennessee does not provide a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit, but the state does assist lower-income adults through its TennCare CHOICES long-term care program. TennCare is the state’s Medicaid provider.


Tennessee’s CHOICES program limits the amount that assisted living communities can charge CHOICES members based on a personal needs allowance (PNA). The PNA is calculated at 300 percent of the current federal SSI benefit. Assisted living communities cannot charge CHOICES members more than 80 percent of the resulting number for room and board services.

As of 2018, the maximum federal SSI benefit is $750 for an individual. Based on this number, enrolled CHOICES members would be required to pay $1,800 per month for room and board.

Who Is Eligible?

For assisted living benefits, applicants must be eligible for the CHOICES Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program. To qualify for HCBS applicants must:

  • Be an adult age 65 or over
  • Be an adult age 21 or over with a physical disability
  • Make less than $2,250 per month
  • Have less than $2,000 in assets (excluding the home you live in)

More information on the CHOICES program qualifications can be found here.

How to Apply

For those with TennCare coverage, contact your health-plan managed care organization (MCO). You can locate the number on your TennCare card.

If you’re not enrolled in TennCare, but would like to apply for CHOICES, call your local Area Agency on Aging and Disability (AAAD) at 1-866-836-6678. Not everyone qualifies for Medicaid and CHOICES, but the AAAD may have other suggestions depending on your specific circumstances.Please note: Not all assisted living communities accept residents through the CHOICES program. Be sure to contact individual locations for their CHOICES status and to find information on lower-income programs they may offer.

More Ways to Finance Assisted Living

While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay for assisted living, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs. Visit our 9 Ways to Pay for Assisted Living page for more information.

Free Assisted Living Resources in Tennessee

There are resources throughout Tennessee that can help seniors with information and benefits to assist with long-term care. Government and private nonprofit organizations can provide seniors, disabled individuals and retired veterans and their families with support and assistance before, during and after entering an assisted living community.

Tennessee Area Agencies on Aging and Disability (AAAD)

There are nine Area Agencies on Aging and Disability offices located in Tennessee. These agencies plan and implement programs and provide assistance for seniors and those with disabilities including:

  • Nutrition counseling and home-delivered meals
  • Caregiver support
  • Assistance program information
  • Administartor referrals
  • Facility information and complaint investigation
  • Insurance counseling
  • Transportation assistance
  • Application Assistance

First Tennessee AAAD

3211 North Roan Street, Johnson City, TN 37601

East Tennessee AAAD

9111 Cross Park Drive, Suite D-100, Knoxville, TN 37923

Southeast Tennessee AAAD

1000 Riverfront Parkway, Chattanooga, TN 37405

Upper Cumberland AAAD

1225 South Willow Avenue, Cookeville, TN 38506

Greater Nashville AAAD

501 Union Street, 6th Floor, Nashville, TN 37219

South Central Tennessee AAAD

101 Sam Watkins Blvd., Mount Pleasant, TN 38474

Northwest AAAD

124 Weldon Drive, Martin, TN 38237

Southwest AAAD

102 East College Street, Jackson, TN 38301

Aging Commission of the mid-south AAAD

2670 Union Avenue Extended, Suite 1000, Memphis, TN 38112

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Tennessee

Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements

Tennessee requires assisted living communities to assess new residents within three days of admission. This assessment is often done by a direct care staff member. Communities must then complete a written plan of care within five days of admission.

An assessment is essentially an evaluation of a resident’s current abilities and needs. Providers measure how well a resident can walk and talk. They evaluate their ability to bathe, dress and feed themselves. Assessments also include identifying personal habits and interests.With this information, assisted living staff then writes a plan of care that defines the services provided as well as their associated costs. Tennessee requires that a plan of care describes:
  • The amount and type of personal care assistance needed
  • Who provides that assistance
  • When and how often the assistance is provided
  • Arrangements for health care provider visits
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Provisions of an advance care directive
  • Individuals with power-of-attorney over health care decisions
  • Dietary requirements
A completed plan of care should be reviewed as needed, but, per Tennessee law, at a minimum of once every six months. In addition to an assessment and plan of care, Tennessee mandates that a written agreement must be presented at admission which outlines the protocol for transfers and discharges.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

To ensure that the needs of residents are met effectively, assisted care communities are restricted from admitting or retaining residents with certain conditions or those who require specific medical treatments. For example, those with:

  • Stage III or IV decubitus ulcers
  • A need for physical or chemical restraints
  • Infectious and reportable disease requiring isolation
  • Continuous care requirements
  • Aggressive behavior that presents a threat to themselves or others
  • Late-stage Alzheimer's disease

In addition, residential homes for the aged cannot admit or retain anyone incapable of self-administering medications, that requires medical observation or is unable to safely evacuate the home within 13 minutes.

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Both residential homes and assisted living communities must provide personal services including protective care, resident safety and crisis intervention. Staff must assist with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as laundry services, dressing, bathing and eating.

Unlike residential homes, assisted living communities may also offer services including:

  • Medical
  • Medication administration
  • Part-time nursing
  • Speech and physical therapy
  • Social or hospice services

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

Covering the costs of assisted living can be challenging. In fact, about 65 percent of Tennessee’s assisted-living population receives Medicaid assistance to help with expenses. Tennessee offers Medicaid benefits to qualifying residents through TennCare, its state Medicaid organization.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

Tennessee’s facility requirements for assisted living communities, including residential homes, include:

  • Doors that can always be unlocked by the resident
  • No more than two residents per bedroom
  • Privacy screens or curtains for shared bedrooms
  • At least one bathroom available per six residents
Private apartment units are frequently offered, but they aren’t required by the state.

Medication Management Regulations

Both communities and residential homes can assist with self-administering medication. Staff can help by reading labels, opening packages, providing reminders and monitoring residents while they take their medications.

Administering medication is allowed in assisted living communities when done by a licensed medical professional, such as a registered nurse.

Staffing Requirements

Assisted care living facilities in Tennessee don’t have a staff-to-resident ratio requirement but must have enough staff to care for residents properly. Both types of properties are required to have a certified administrator or licensed nursing-home administrator in addition to an awake, designated attendant to provide personal services for residents. Assisted living communities are also required to have a licensed nurse available as needed.

Staff Training Requirements

Keeping up with the latest regulations and industry advancements is a critical part of long-term care administration. Tennessee requires that administrators be certified, and they must maintain that certification every two years. Certification involves 24 hours of classroom instruction over each 2-year span.

Instruction topics include:

  • State rules and regulations
  • Health care management
  • Dietary service
  • Financial management
  • Healthy lifestyle
In addition to administrator certification, community and residential home employees must be trained in emergency procedures, fire safety and disaster preparedness annually.

Background Checks for Assisted Living Staff

Assisted living administrators, in both communities and residences, can’t have any convictions for criminal offenses that involve the abuse or intentional neglect of elderly or vulnerable individuals. Neither type of property may employ anyone that’s listed on Tennessee’s abuse registry.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

The Adult Protective Services unit of the Tennessee Department of Human Services partners with the Department of Commerce and Insurance and the Tennessee Vulnerable Adult Coalition (TVAC) to promote awareness and prevention of elder abuse.

To report elder abuse in Tennessee, call toll free at 1-888-APS-TENN (1-888-277-8366). You can also report suspected abuse online.

Assisted Living Facilities in Tennessee



Top-Rated Caring Stars Winners in Tennessee’s Caring Stars award program recognizes the best assisted living facilities across the U.S. based on reviews from family caregivers and older adults. This award is meant to help older adults and their loved ones find the best assisted living or in-home care option in their area. The list below shows up to 10 listings that have won the most Caring Stars annual awards in their state, sorted by their current overall average rating. For a complete list of Caring Stars winners for each year, please visit our Caring Stars info center.


Brookdale Dogwood Creek

Germantown, TN $$$$

14 reviews


The Pointe at Kirby Gate

Memphis, TN Cost Levels

19 reviews


Belmont Village Memphis

Memphis, TN $$$

19 reviews


Elmcroft of West Knoxville

Knoxville, TN $$

29 reviews


Manorhouse Assisted Living

Knoxville, TN $$

18 reviews


Brookdale Germantown

Germantown, TN $$

24 reviews


Brookdale Hixson

Hixson, TN $$$

20 reviews


Morning Pointe of Lenoir City

Lenoir City, TN Cost Levels

12 reviews

The Groves at Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge, TN $

17 reviews


Fieldstone Place

Clarksville, TN Cost Levels

11 reviews