I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Knoxville, TN

Although Knoxville is a vibrant college town, it’s also a fantastic location for older adults. Tennessee’s third-largest city has a competitive cost of living that’s 15% lower than the U.S. median, and the state’s lack of income tax helps you stretch each retirement dollar further. Knoxville is home to several high-performing hospitals, and it has more than 350 physicians per 100,000 residents, which is 1.7 times higher than the U.S. average.

As an area senior, you benefit from a pleasant climate with warm, rainy summers and chilly winters. Its BestPlaces Comfort Index of 7.4 means that it’s more comfortable than most communities in Tennessee. Residents are a short drive from the Great Smoky Mountains and abundant in-town attractions, such as the Knoxville Zoo, the Sunsphere and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Since Knoxville is a large city with 187,603 residents, including 25,500 senior citizens, you have access to a wide range of supportive services designed to benefit you and your family. Home health care agencies, senior centers, Meals on Wheels programs and volunteer initiatives can become part of a support system that helps you remain in the community.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Knoxville, TN

Home care in Knoxville costs $3,813 per month on average according to provider responses from the Genworth Cost of Care Survey. Home health care, which includes additional medical services, costs $4,004. This breaks down to $20-$21 per hour for 44 hours of weekly care compared to $23.50-$24 per hour nationally. Unlike other forms of long-term care, you have the freedom to customize your service schedule and request as much or as little assistance as you need.

The Cost of Home Care & Home Health Care in Nearby Cities

Home health care offers numerous advantages for seniors, including the ability to age in place, and if you live in Knoxville, you benefit from below-average costs. Home health care, which includes a variety of medical services, costs $4,004 per month, which is even with the state median and $472 lower than the U.S. average. Homemaker services cost just $3,813, which is $96 lower than the state median and $668 lower than the rest of the nation. These numbers also compare favorably to other communities in East Tennessee. Home care rates are $380 lower than Chattanooga at $4,195, and home health care costs $597 less than Cleveland at $4,601.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Averaging between $3,800-$4,000 per month for full-time weekday care, services provided by homemakers and home health aides are more affordable than other forms of long-term care. Assisted living in Knoxville costs approximately $3,900 per month. This includes room and board plus a limited amount of one-on-one assistance as needed. Adult day health care costs just $1,538 per month, but it requires you to travel to a community center where you receive support in a group setting. Nursing homes cost $7,148 — almost twice as much as home care — and are most appropriate if you require advanced medical support 24 hours a day.

III. How to Find Home Care in Knoxville, TN

Finding a home care provider for yourself or a loved one can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, we explain the process of how to find a home care provider in 5 simple steps. Use the infographic below to help guide your search for in-home care in Knoxville, TN.

An infographic giving steps to finding a home care provider

Remember that there’s not necessarily a right or wrong choice – it comes down to choosing a provider that you feel comfortable with and who’s capable of meeting your specific needs. No matter which provider you choose, you should always have a formal arrangement with your expectations and the payment rate in writing. Doing so will prevent confusion or potential disagreements down the line so that the focus remains on helping the person receiving care.

IV. Home Care Resources for Seniors in Knoxville, TN

City of Knoxville Senior Centers

What You Should Know
Knoxville is home to four city-operated community centers that offer programs for adults 55 and older. There’s no cost to join although some programs may require a participation fee. The center offers fitness classes, dances, crafts and games, including billiards, cards and horseshoes, as well as wellness screenings and blood pressure checks. You can also join a hiking club through your local senior center or go on an organized day trip with friends. The calendar of events includes everything from pickleball to horseshoes.

Who Is Eligible?
You must be 55 or older and live within the city to join these centers.

How to Get Started
You can call the Department of Parks & Recreation at (865) 215-4311 or learn more about the senior centers’ programs online.

Knoxville Office on Aging

What You Should Know
Part of the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee, the Office on Aging sponsors many programs that benefit older adults and help local seniors age in place. You can contact the office for information about accessible transportation, volunteer ridesharing, wellness calls, home repairs, weatherization assistance, companionship visits and other supportive services that can address your physical and medical needs while enhancing your emotional well-being. The Office on Aging is also home to Mobile Meals, Knox County’s Meals on Wheels program, which can help you and your family if you have trouble cooking or getting to the store.

Who Is Eligible?
The Office on Aging manages 20 programs that benefit disabled adults, veterans and seniors aged 60 or older. Eligibility requirements vary. Services are also available if you’re a caregiver and family member looking for answers about long-term care or information about respite care grants or training.

How to Get Started
You can get started or learn more about these programs by calling 211 or by contacting the Office on Aging directly at (865) 524-2786.

Knox County Senior Services

What You Should Know
Knox County operates several programs that benefit veterans and older adults. If you’re 55 or older, you can visit one of the county’s six senior centers for recreational activities and wellness programs. The calendar of events features trivia, guitar jams, line dancing, cooking demonstrations, and games. Senior centers host outreach events in partnership with the Veteran Services Office and the Office on Aging, which can help you apply for benefits that cover in-home care. You may also be entitled to a property tax freeze or exemption offered by Knox County.

Who Is Eligible?
Knox Center senior centers are open to residents age 55 and older and their spouses. Staff members can help determine your eligibility for other programs and services, including home-delivered meals and VA Aid & Attendance. Tax relief is available if your household income is $30,700 or less. Property owners with income up to $41,240 may qualify for a tax freeze.

How to Get Started
For more information about the programs offered by Knox County Senior Services, call (865) 288-3761. Dial (865) 215-5645 to reach the Veterans department or (865) 215-2305 to reach the county trustee.

East Tennessee Human Resource Agency

What You Should Know
The East Tennessee Human Resource Agency is the federally designated Area Agency on Aging for Knoxville and surrounding counties. It connects seniors, caregivers and disabled adults to supportive services in their community. This one-stop-shop can help you sign up for home-delivered meals, accessible transportation and in-home care. Counselors can also assist with Medicare questions and plan comparisons or applications for TennCare CHOICEs, a self-directed Medicaid waiver that covers the cost of home health aides and related supports.

Who Is Eligible?
Services are available to family caregivers, disabled adults, veterans and seniors aged 60 or older. Individual programs may have income limits and medical eligibility criteria. Counselors are trained to assess applicants on a case-by-case basis, and benefits are given to individuals with the greatest need.

How to Get Started
You can call the agency’s main office at (865) 691-2551 or the information and referrals hotline at (865) 251-4897 to learn more about any of these programs.

Rebuilding Together Knoxville

What You Should Know
This nonprofit organization has performed critical home repairs and home modifications for countless families in the Knoxville area. Federal grants allow the organization to help low-income families, disabled adults, veterans, and senior citizens who own their own homes that need repairs. The organization performs critical repairs, including roofing, HVAC, plumbing and electrical work, especially when conditions endanger your health or safety.

Who Is Eligible?
Applicants must live in a targeted Knox County service area and submit proof of income consistent with HUD standards. Your income must be considered very low to qualify for free repairs. However, assistance may also be available through other programs and partners, such as Operation Backyard, even if you don’t qualify.

How to Get Started
If you need help with a home repair or accessibility modification, call Rebuilding Together at (865) 226-9091, or read about the application process online.