Author: The Prime Living Team

Best Dog Breeds for Seniors

We love dogs at Prime West Knoxville! Our independent living residents enjoy pet-friendly apartments and playing at our dog park, which gives them quality time with their furry friends. Pets not only offer love and companionship, but they also provide several benefits for older adults, including increased exercise, stress reduction, and mental stimulation. When it comes to picking out the next addition to your family, not all dog breeds are seniors-friendly. To help in your search for the perfect dog to adopt in West Knoxville, we have listed several factors to help you decide on your new best friend.

Size Matters: Walking, Sitting, Carrying 

Smaller dog breeds are better suited for seniors primarily because of their weight. Having a lightweight dog makes walking and transporting them much easier, meaning you can take your best friend more places. They’re also better suited for lap-lounging and cuddling, which is why many people refer to them as “lapdogs” Examples of small breed dogs include Malteses and Miniature Pinschers, which typically weigh less than 10 pounds. Mid-sized dogs, like Corgis and Cocker Spaniels, are also good options and weigh closer to 30 pounds. 

Looking Fetching: Grooming Considerations

All dogs require a degree of grooming, but some need more maintenance than others, including daily brushing and regular trips to the groomers. If you’re allergic to certain dogs or sensitive to shedding, think about hypoallergenic dogs like certain types of poodles and terriers. Even if you’re not allergic, you still may want to pick a dog breed that doesn’t require constant upkeep. Dogs like Chihuahuas and Greyhounds aren’t hypoallergenic, but their short fur allows for minimal grooming and maintenance. 

Age Isn’t Just a Number: Maturity Matters

Age is also an important consideration when picking out your companion. While puppies are certainly cute, they are full of energy and can be difficult to train, especially if you have mobility issues. Fortunately, a lot of animal shelters are full of older dogs in need of a good home. These gentle creatures are past their endless energy stage and just want a loving, easygoing companion. Age mellows out most dogs even if they were higher-energy when they were younger, making older dogs perfect for seniors.

Good Dog, Best Dog: Top Dogs for Families and Friends

Besides picking a dog who’s well-suited for your needs, it’s also important to factor in how your potential pets will behave around guests, especially your grandkids. If you’re expecting regular visits from your grandchildren, you’ll need a dog that’s good with little ones. Boston Terriers and Pugs are both patient and playful, making them entertaining dogs for your grandkids. Shih Tzus and French Bulldogs have a reputation for a relaxed nature, so they would be perfect companions for life in our West Knoxville independent living community.

Pets and Their People Lead the Good Life at Prime

Your four-legged friends will find a cozy, comfortable home at Prime West Knoxville. Contact us for more information about our pet-friendly amenities and how we can welcome both you and your furry or feline friends into our independent living community.

Top Tablets & Smartphones for Seniors

When it comes to tablets and smartphones for seniors, there are plenty of options to keep entertainment at your fingertips and to help you stay connected with loved ones. Whether or not you consider yourself computer-savvy, there are many devices designed for ease-of-use, so you can continue to embrace the evolving digital world. 

At Prime West Knoxville, we encourage our residents to use technology to stay connected to their families and communities, which is why we put together this list of the top options based on your needs.

Best Smartphones for Seniors

Jitterbug Smart2 
The Jitterbug Smart2 is specially designed with seniors in mind and is considered one of the most user-friendly smartphones on the market. Fans praise its simplicity with options for texting, photos, emailing, or the internet all listed on the home screen in large letters. A front-facing speaker has clear audio, while convenient ‘voice typing’ allows you to dictate commands. 

Motorola Moto G6 Play 
The Moto G6 is appealing for its large screen, good resolution, and decent battery life and speaker sound. Users praise the phone’s practical, functional features and the ability to run multiple apps at the same time. 

Best Tablets for Seniors

Amazon Fire HD 10 
Whether you already have a smartphone or you’re interested in a device with a bigger screen, a tablet may be best for you. The Amazon Fire performs well when playing widescreen movies and has generous internal storage for downloading and watching your favorite videos of the grandkids. Lessen the need for typing with the virtual assistant Alexa, who responds to questions or commands.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 
The lightweight design of the Tab A is perfect for traveling seniors who want to document their journey and adjustable text size makes it easy to catch up on their reading list on-the-go. Reliable battery life means you won’t have to rush back to a charger anytime soon. It also has great viewing angles, picture quality, and brightness. 

Apple iPad 
Do your loved-ones champion the convenience of FaceTime? Then you may prefer an Apple device. The 9.7-inch retina iPad display offers great vividness and clarity for older adults, enhanced by assistive features such as color altering for visibility and the content read-out-loud option.

Technology Takes New Heights at Prime

Prime West Knoxville offers many amenities for our tech-savvy community members, including computer classes and online gaming challenges. Once you’ve selected the perfect device for you, you’ll be able to log into free Wi-Fi wherever you are in the community, including your apartment and throughout Prime’s lush campus grounds. Discover all Prime has to offer when you reach out to our team today.

Try This 30-Minute Scavenger Hunt in Downtown Knoxville With the Grandkids

Nestled in the Northshore neighborhood near the Tennessee River, Prime West Knoxville is near the region’s top things to do. Downtown Knoxville is a great spot to take the grandkids on an urban adventure. This 30-minute scavenger hunt combines vibrant murals, historical sights, and architectural landmarks, all within less than a mile’s worth of walking that’s well-suited to older adults and their grandkids.

Stop #1: Strong Alley

Strong Alley is a free public graffiti gallery where street artists are frequently adding new mural work to building exteriors. You can find it off Wall Avenue near Gay Street. 

Activity: Can you spot the two dragonflies?

Stop #2: Market Square

This historic city square is located a  couple of steps to the southwest of Strong Alley. During the summer, kids love to cool down by splashing around in the fountains. There are also plenty of places to sit, shop, eat, and dine if you need a break. 

Activity: Locate the sign that says “Knoxville’s Market House.” Hint: it’s usually in the shade.

Stop #3: Woman Suffrage Memorial

Within eyesight of Market Square, this statue honors a trio of Tennessee women leaders in the suffrage movement. Take the opportunity to teach the kids how women courageously fought for the right to vote.

Activity: What are the names of the three women immortalized in bronze?

Stop #4: Krutch Park

The women of the suffrage statue face the fourth stop. Named for a famed Tennessee painter, Charles Krutch Park is an urban oasis, perfect for family picnics.

Activity: Walk along the winding path. What color is the sculpture beside the pond?

Stop #5: Sunsphere

Continue a few feet to the corner of Clinch Avenue and Market Street, then gaze southwest down Clinch. You should be able to see the golden top of the 266-foot-tall Sunsphere, built for the 1982 World’s Fair.

Activity: How many elevators are at the bottom of the iconic tower?

Stop #6: East Tennessee Veterans Memorial

Walk northwest from the Sunsphere to discover this tribute to fallen servicemen and women from the region. It’s another opportunity to teach children about our nation’s history. On the less somber side, the green space next to the plaza has a playground.

Activity: What shape appears on the memorial wall?

Final Destination: Home

Once the scavenger hunt is complete,  make the 30-minute drive back to Prime West Knoxville. Here, you can finish the day with a game of pickleball, plant flowers in our hydroponic greenhouse, or stop by the cafe for unlimited soft-serve ice cream. Contact us today to start your adventure at Prime West Knoxville.

Best Nutrients for Senior Bone Health

Are you doing everything you can to keep your bones healthy? Your bone health can be the difference between a strong frame, free of aches and injuries, or a frail frame, prone to osteoporosis and fractures. The National Institutes of Health recommends 30 minutes of daily physical activity and a diet rich in bone-building vitamins. 

To help you reach these daily goals, Prime West Knoxville offers recreational opportunities like a pickleball court and an 18-hole putting green, as well as thoughtfully prepared meals made with produce from the on-site hydroponic garden. Not sure how to enhance your diet? Read on to learn more.

Are You Getting Enough Calcium and Vitamin D? 

When you’re young, you constantly hear how important calcium is for bone development. But, calcium is just as essential as you age. Not only does this nutrient help ward off osteoporosis, but calcium helps maintain bone strength throughout your life. But what most people don’t realize is that your body cannot reap the full benefits of calcium unless the body has a sufficient amount of vitamin D. 

The recommended daily amounts of calcium and vitamin D for seniors are:

Senior women (ages 50-70): 1,200 mg of calcium, 600 IU of vitamin D
Senior men (ages 50-70): 1,000 mg of calcium, 600 IU of vitamin D
Seniors (age 70+): 1,200 mg of calcium, 800 IU of vitamin D

To help you maximize your bone health, we have researched the best foods that contain high levels of these nutrients. 

Top Calcium Sources

  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Greens (collards, kale, turnip greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) 
  • Nuts, beans, and legumes
  • Fish with bones (canned salmon, tinned sardines — the bones are edible)
  • Calcium-fortified juice
  • Plant-based milk (soy, almond)
  • Tofu
  • Oranges
  • Almonds

Vitamin D-Rich Foods

  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel)
  • Herring and sardines
  • Shellfish (shrimp, oysters)
  • Vitamin D-fortified foods (milk, orange juice, cereals, and soy milk)
  • Beef liver
  • Mushrooms
  • Egg yolk

Other Vitamins for Bone Health

Don’t forget to include these bone-building vitamins in your daily rotation:

  • Vitamin C is essential for the formation of collagen, which is the foundation that bone mineralization is built. Eating foods such as broccoli, kale, strawberries, and oranges are a good way to increase your intake of vitamin C.  
  • Vitamin K is responsible for binding calcium to your bones. Incorporating leafy greens into your diet is an easy way to increase your vitamin K levels. However, it is important to consult with your physician before increasing your intake of vitamin K because it can interfere with blood thinning medication.  
  • B-12 helps maintain the health of nerve and blood cells, as well as preventing types of anemia. Studies have also shown that higher levels of B-12 help lower the risk of osteoporosis. Dairy products, fish and meat are good ways to boost your B-12 levels. 
  • Magnesium works together with calcium to maintain strong bones. This mineral is naturally found in dark-green vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.

Bad-for-Your-Bones Foods

It is important to keep in mind that certain foods can also be harmful to bone health. To avoid undoing all the benefits of nutrients that support healthy bones, try to avoid these foods:  

  • Salty foods can cause your body to lose calcium, which can lead to bone loss. So it is recommended that you limit your sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day. 
  • High consumption of alcohol can also lead to bone loss. It is recommended to limit alcohol to no more than 2-3 drinks per day (plus your liver will thank you!)
  • Caffeine may also decrease calcium absorption and contribute to bone loss. Try limiting your intake of coffee, tea, and soft drinks and opt for a caffeine-free option. 

Eating Your Way to a Healthier Lifestyle

By implementing these valuable nutrients into your diet, aging doesn’t have to take a toll on your bones. At Prime West Knoxville, we provide residents with nutrient-packed meals and a variety of healthy dining options designed to help them live a good (and long!) life. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Signs It’s the Right Time to Move to Senior Living

When your home is the source of many happy family memories, it’s never easy to move on. However, as our lives change, so do our needs. Is your home still serving your best interests, or could a move to senior living be your next adventure? 

Homelife Is More Difficult Now

It may be daunting to think about transitioning to a new residence but consider the advantages. Do you struggle with housekeeping or do you have rooms you never use? Is your backyard maintenance overwhelming? Are there too many steps and stairs in your home? If you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, this is a key sign that you could benefit from the convenience of a senior living community. 

Spend Time On Experiences You Enjoy

When you don’t have to stress about household chores or unexpected repairs, you have more time (and money) to spend on the things you love. Since utilities, housekeeping, maintenance, and meals are covered in the monthly Prime fee, you can relax and prioritize the activities that bring you joy. Plan your day around mingling with friends over lunch, trying out a fitness class, or enjoying a game of pickleball. Prime West Knoxville also offers residents fun day trips and a shuttle to local shops.  

Life Is Better With Friends

Retirement brings hours of free time, but it can also feel isolating. If you crave company and it takes an increasing effort to get out of the house, then moving to senior living might be a better option. Residents who have made the transition rave about their rejuvenated social lives in friendly older adult communities. 

Your ‘Future You’ Will Thank You for the Move to Senior Living

Planning for your future is the best way to feel empowered and in control of your life. Your community will have your back if you need help along the way. At Prime West Knoxville, you gain a village, allowing you to relax and enjoy your life to the fullest.

Construction Update: New Senior Living Apartments Coming to a Knoxville Neighborhood Near You

Opening mid-2020, Prime West Knoxville is the premier senior living community in Knoxville, Tennessee. In anticipation of the grand opening, construction is already well underway at Prime West Knoxville, where beautifully designed apartments and helpful amenities and services are included at affordable prices.

Since our groundbreaking in late March, our construction partner NorSouth has been hard at work building our new independent living community from the ground up. The foundation has been poured, the elevators raised, and we’re thrilled to see deliverables arriving on time, like our aquatic treadmill and beautiful outdoor signage. We’re so excited to share what Prime West Knoxville has in store for seniors in our care!

Aerial View of Prime West Knoxville

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Next-level Interior Design for Senior Living

Spend your days binging HGTV? Thinking of upgrading your old home design to something fresh and new? At Prime West Knoxville, must-have interior design features come standard in our spacious one- and two-bedroom senior living apartments. 

Plush carpeting, rich hardwoods, and elegant crown molding make our apartments feel upscale, despite the budget-friendly monthly price. Forget your plans for a kitchen reno. Each apartment boasts a full-sized gourmet kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Spend the morning whipping up your own breakfast favorites, then step out onto your private patio or balcony overlooking the courtyard or the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

Thoughtful Amenities & Services

In addition to apartments, Prime features amenities that bring the community together. Gather in the dining area for a delicious meal prepared with fresh produce from the on-site hydroponic greenhouse.

For those wanting to maintain their active lifestyle, our 18-hole putting green, pickleball court, and Bark Park are perfect ways to spend the afternoon. If you are in the mood for something more relaxing, be sure to check out our state-of-the-art theater or billiard rooms. Our on-site boutique hair and nail salon makes scheduling appointments easy so you are always looking your best. Lastly, we understand the importance of health and wellbeing, so refresh your mind, body, and spirit with our fitness classes, therapy pool, and group activities.

Tour the Senior Living Apartments of Prime West Knoxville

Come visit our vibrant community for active, older adults. The Prime West Knoxville team will begin scheduling tours around October 2019, so be sure to mark your calendar. See you soon!

4 Benefits of Using Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

There’s nothing like sinking your teeth into a fresh peach with its cascade of juice dribbling down your chin, or enjoying a cool tomato salad on a hot day. Fresh ingredients can’t be beat for their health benefits and taste. With a hydroponic garden on-site at Prime West Knoxville, you’ll never lack for fresh fruits and vegetables. But using these fresh ingredients isn’t just about taste. Here are four reasons why we think they’re an important part of our approach to nutrition.

  • More flavorful ingredients

Fresh parsley, succulent carrots, ripe summer squash, the list is extensive. Handpicked fresh fruits and vegetables pack a flavor punch often missing in their frozen, canned or dried counterparts. Homegrown options that taste better may also help motivate you to choose healthier meals and snacks.

  • Pure and simple produce

Fresh fruits and vegetables are free of additives like salt and other preservatives. While canned produce and frozen meals are convenient, they can be loaded with sodium and processed preservatives. We think you’ll love the tasty and nutritious meals served in Prime West Knoxville’s dining area, which showcase fresh ingredients from our on-site garden.

  • Experimentation

Prime’s residents are welcome to pick herbs and produce from our hydroponic garden for use in their own kitchens. In your fully equipped kitchen, try changing up your favorite recipes by showcasing in-season produce or simply jazz up your salads with fresh herbs.

  • Community

Join the community of fellow enthusiasts at the hydroponic garden, where you can swap recipes and gardening tips with other residents. You and your new friends can venture out together to explore nearby farmer’s markets for more locally sourced fruits and vegetables. Or perhaps you’ll score an invitation to a tasty dinner?

Garden-fresh Meals at Prime West Knoxville

At Prime West Knoxville Senior Living Community, we’re proud of our hydroponic garden, and we hope you’ll enjoy its bounty as much as we do. We think it’s important for people of all ages to eat fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet, which is why we use our hydroponic garden to prepare meals.

Top 3 Benefits of Aquatic Therapy for Older Adults

Did you know that falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for older Americans? Even the most healthy seniors are at a high risk of falling, which is why Prime provides our residents with unique and innovative ways to stay fit and have fun. In addition to our pickleball court and fitness classes, residents have access to our state-of-the-art aquatic treadmill for aquatic therapy.

construction site at prime west knoxville, with hydroworks aquatic treadmill delivered
New Aquatic Treadmill Delivery at Prime West Knoxville Construction Site

Ready to take the first step towards maintaining your health? Here are the top benefits of aquatic therapy and exercise for seniors.

1. Resistance Training

Water is an ideal environment for resistance training. Even without jets or a current, it takes effort to move through the water. A significant benefit of resistance training for older adults is that your muscles will be strengthened and conditioned, without the risk of falls that can accompany land-based exercises.

2. Improved Coordination

As we age, coordination must be mindfully maintained. With sessions on our aquatic treadmill, our residents can safely perform lunges, squats, weightlifting and walking, to improve their coordination. The best part is, the warm water will help prevent injuries by keeping your muscles relaxed as you exercise.

3. Balance Practice

To improve your balancing skills, practice standing on one leg in the water! You can accomplish single-leg activities in a low-impact manner utilizing the water’s buoyancy as support. We can also turn on the jets to provide a combination of balance exercises and resistance training to meet your needs.

Come on In, The Water’s Just Fine at Prime Independent Living

Aquatic therapy is a great trend in senior health as the water naturally challenges your balance, endurance, and strength — all of which positively impact your health. Prime West Knoxville is harnessing the power of water with our aquatic treadmill so you can continue to live your best life right now. Contact us today to learn more about how our community focuses on physical health and fun!

Find Your Happy Place: A Dollywood Guide for Seniors

Hit the road at Prime West Knoxville and take in the magic of Dollywood, located just an hour away in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Founded by country music legend Dolly Parton, Dollywood attracts 2.5 million visitors every year with thrill rides and family-friendly entertainment. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, there are plenty of attractions for you to enjoy. Check out our guide to plan your itinerary for your Dollywood day trip.

Music, Music, Music!

You can spend an entire day taking in Dollywood’s wide range of musical performances — from Baby Boomer childhood favorites and Southern gospel to new country and beloved bluegrass. Popular performance troupes include the Smoky Mountain String Band, Kingdom Heirs Gospel Quartet, and the My People Show, featuring Parton’s family. Dollywood also hosts music festivals throughout the year, so you might want to plan a trip around one of these. 

Must-See Attractions

Seniors visiting Dollywood won’t want to miss these top attractions during their trip:

  • Dollywood Express: Tour the park on a coal-fired steam engine train and enjoy sweeping views of the Smoky Mountains. 
  • Chasing Rainbows: This interactive museum highlights Dolly’s life through memorabilia, stories, and costume collections.
  • Eagle Mountain Sanctuary: View the largest U.S. exhibit of non-releasable bald eagles in this 30,000-square-foot rescue and breeding area.
  • Craftsman Valley: Watch Appalachian-inspired blacksmiths, glassblowers, leather smiths, candlemakers, and potters create handmade gifts for purchase. 

Award-winning Eats

When it comes to Southern cooking, Dollywood is a regional favorite! The park has 27 different eateries for a quick bite or a full meal. Start with Dollywood’s famous cinnamon bread, served with apple butter or icing, made daily at The Grist Mill. Enjoy lunch or dinner at Aunt Granny’s all-you-can-eat Southern buffet, a park staple, or Miss Lillian’s Smokehouse, known for its BBQ. No visit to the park is complete without sharing a piece of the famous 25-pound apple pie from Spotlight Bakery. 

Before You Go

Take a look at  Dollywood’s calendar for special events, festivals, and park hours to make the most of your visit. Many ticket options offer discounts for seniors, including season passes. If you visit Dollywood after 3 pm, you can return at no additional cost the next day. It’s a nice way to break up your trip and pace yourself through the park. 

Hitting the Open Road with Prime Day Trips

At Prime Independent Living, our residents love staying active and planning visits with their families. Ask us about our scheduled trips to ‘hit the highway.’

Things to Do in West Knoxville with the Grandkids

At Prime Independent Living, we know there’s nothing better than having loved ones come for a visit — especially your grandchildren! Prime West Knoxville has many recreational options on-site and is just minutes away from other fun activities. Searching for things to do with the grandkids? Look no further than our list of family-friendly local attractions.

World’s Fair Park

If you and your family enjoy being out in the fresh air, you’ll love World’s Fair Park, located just down the road from Prime West Knoxville. Today, seniors and children alike have an array of options for making a day at the Fair one to remember. The most popular attraction is the 26-story Sunsphere tower, which has an observation deck with views of the mountains, downtown, the University of Tennessee, and the Tennessee River. Bonus: There’s free admission, making it a wallet-friendly option. 

Heights aren’t for everyone, so the World’s Fair Park also has performances in its amphitheater, fountains for the grandchildren to splash in, and playgrounds.

Tennessee Theater

When the Tennessee Theatre first opened in 1928, it was considered one of the most stunning movie palaces in the south and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, seniors and their grandkids can watch classic kid-friendly movies like The Wizard of Oz, as well as Broadway shows such as Cats.

Three Rivers Rambler

The Three Rivers Rambler (3RR) train depot is the home of steam train rides along an 11-mile scenic route and highlights historic sites throughout the city of West Knoxville. You’ll pass by beautiful bridges, riverboat docks, and downtown along the journey. But really, the highlight at 3RR is the old-fashioned trains, themselves!

Join Our Active Community Where All Ages Love to Play

Prime Independent Living’s amenities like our Bark Park, pickleball court, and unlimited ice cream at our café are just the start of a fun vacation with your grandkids. We think you’ll also have a ball visiting these other West Knoxville attractions. Contact us today to learn more about our active senior living community.

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