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More senior assisted living available in Knox Co.

11:26 PM, Mar 28, 2013   |    comments
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New construction in East Tennessee is targeting a fast growing group of citizens.

Thanks to the aging 'Baby Boomer' population, the number of people above the age of 60 has jumped by more than 16,000 in the past decade in Knox County, according to the Census. This means an increased need for senior assisted living centers.

"People are friendly, everyone is laid back," Ethel Cochran, a resident at Wellspring Senior Center said Thursday. The West Knox County location is one of the newest in the area.

"We're the first assistant living in this area that's been built in the last decade. So we're excited to be in this new frontier for assisted living and providing service to the community," said Wellspring director Jody Daugherty.

At least four other senior assisted centers are currently in construction in Knox County, from Lovell Road to Powell.

"We're seeing a significant crunch because at the same time, we're getting increased numbers of people living longer, people needing the support to live safely," said Barbara Kelly with the Knox County Community Action Committee.

That also means more assistants and managers to staff these centers, bringing in dozens more jobs.

"We've already seen some shifts towards the private sector recognizing that seniors are big part of their market," Kelly added.

As this construction, still in its infancy, gives seniors like Cochran, a well-deserved place to stay.

"People used to stay at home with them. But now, everyone is working and can't leave their parents at home, so we start looking," Cochran smiled.

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