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Debra Maynard Participates in ICAA Forum

5 Trends for senior living in 2021 emerge during ICAA Forum

Debra Maynard, Prime Independent Living’s Director of Operations, joined industry thought leaders to develop a future-proofed model for a new, sustainable senior living community.

The extraordinary efforts made by the staff and leadership in senior living communities were successful in keeping many older adult residents safe and healthy. While the fundamental services offered in independent living, assisted living and memory care continued to be provided, by the end of 2020, leaders in senior living were imagining the optimal community that offers the lifestyle and services current residents desire, and the quality-of-life future residents will seek.

Debra was one of the 85 thought leaders at the International Council on Active Aging Forum in November 2020 who gathered to construct a philosophy and infrastructure that would enable senior living organizations to withstand future stresses that could impact operations. The mutual goal was constructing a resilient community.

Debra joined this forum to ensure that Prime Independent Living remains at the forefront of innovation and responsible business.

Five future-proof trends recap the major themes that will direct the next normal of senior living.

  1. Redefine the meaning of “community.” Repositioning the senior living community as an accessible neighborhood within the larger community provides sustainability by making it easier to expand services to older adults residing off the property, and to open on-property services and amenities to nonresidents. Providing affordable housing for staff and their families is an option that helps solve staffing challenges for the community and economic challenges for staff.
  2. Expand the built and unbuilt environment. The outdoor features of sidewalks, gardens, paths and nearby parks and recreation become equal in importance to the indoor spaces, redesigned to allow for quick resets depending on purpose. Large and small spaces with moveable walls and “tiny house” features like flip-up table tops build in flexibility. Purpose-built virtual health care locations are designed for technology and privacy. Patios and balconies are accessible places for active and passive pursuits.
  3. Integrate technology through all operations. Future demand means internet connections, software and hardware are available in all areas of a building, as well as outdoors. Tech-enabled spaces will be used by upskilled staff and residents who have easy access to training and troubleshooting. Personal technologies, such as activity trackers and heart rate monitors, will be widely used, and rooms equipped with smart utilities, remote monitoring, voice-activated systems and in-house channels will be embedded in living and service areas.
  4. Strengthen workforce quality, growth and retention. Along with updated recognition of the importance of frontline staff to the existence of senior living comes compensation-building benefits that might include access to on-site health care, dining and other amenities. Well-defined career paths from frontline to other roles, and serious professional development opportunities beyond those required by regulations, build the quality workforce. Flexible work schedules and options for affordable housing near or on the property relieve staff turnover while providing safety for residents by reducing travel time and need for second jobs.
  5. Emphasize wellness culture and lifestyle. Wellness is the philosophy that guides the actions of everyone in all areas of a community. Woven into all areas of the residents’ lives, wellness in all the dimensions is the sales pitch that invites new residents and the lifestyle that retains them (remember that health care is a component of the physical dimension of wellness). A hybrid model combining virtual with in-person opportunities uses the technologies pervasive throughout the community.

Full details of these trends are found in the ICAA Forum report, “Future-proof your senior living community.

Baseline strategies and tactics are captured in “Creating a path towards the ‘next normal’ in senior living,” the results of the ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Task Force held in May 2020.

The ICAA Forum brings together thought leaders from many organizations—both private and public—to form a think tank that develops strategies to turn the challenges facing senior living providers into opportunities. Launched in 2005, the meetings forge connections among industry leaders while promoting understanding and cohesive action around the ultimate goal: health and quality of life as people age.

Organizer: Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging,

About International Council on Active Aging

ICAA is a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry and supports professionals who aspire to develop wellness cultures for adults over 50. This support includes creating wellness environments, programs and services. The association is focused on active aging—an approach that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness—and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies.

Knoxville’s Newest Senior Living Community Opens for Tours as Construction Takes Shape

The walls are up and the leasing office is open at West Knoxville’s newest independent senior living community. Fun-loving seniors are touring Prime West Knoxville and falling in love with the possibilities of all-inclusive (and affordable) retirement living. 

Many have started placing deposits to secure their ideal apartments in our retirement community. With a focus on friendships and fun, residents will find all they need at their doorstep and beyond.

Breathtaking Interior Design for Senior Living

As the main building takes shape, Prime has been busy scheduling tours for seniors who want to pick the apartment that they’ll call home. While each apartment comes equipped with amenities like a full-sized gourmet kitchen, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances, there are some options that are only available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We have beautiful views available of the Smoky Mountains and the river,” says Teresa Ingram, Executive Director of Prime West Knoxville. “Everybody has unique wants and needs. Some people want the views from the third floor and some want a short walk to the dining room. I just enjoy watching them go through and pick.”

Never a Dull Moment at Prime

Outside of their apartments, seniors are encouraged to stroll the courtyard, hit the 24-hour fitness studio, or get a new look at the hair and nail salon. Pickleball and an 18-hole putting green are perfect for some friendly competition, while the Bark Park is the ideal place to connect with other seniors and their fur babies. 

Even with so much to do right on campus, our residents still have lots of options for exploration beyond our grounds. Take a day trip to the mountains or go on a local shopping excursion. The opportunities for fun and recreation are truly endless.

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Become a Charter Member

For a limited time, early-bird future residents who put down a deposit will receive Charter Memberships with exclusive perks such as a reserved parking space and their first pick of apartment locations and views.

“We already have people putting their deposits down and picking out views,” adds Ingram. “I just find it wonderful when I see that smile on their faces as they say, ‘This is exactly what I want right here and I’m putting my money on it right now.’”

Pick Your Perfect Senior Living Apartment at Prime West Knoxville

We are booking tours and accepting deposits prior to our mid-2020 launch. Contact us today to learn about our modern apartments for older adults and our community amenities and activities.

5 Fun Exercise Ideas for Active Seniors in West Knoxville

If you’re already an active senior, you know that regular physical activity is one of the foundations for aging well, thanks to both the health benefits, and the social benefits if it’s a group activity. Here are five ways for active seniors to get the exercise they need while living at Prime West Knoxville.

1. Golf Time

Head out to Prime’s 18-hole putting green to enhance your health and socialize with friends. A 2016 study from the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh revealed that playing golf can help prevent chronic illness, boost mental health and extend life expectancy.

2. Hike it!

The stunning mountain views from Prime’s apartments are an instant motivation to get out and hike, but did you know walking is great for your health too? Numerous studies show the link between a regular walking regime and good heart health. Try Visit Knoxville’s hiking guide for inspiration.  

3. Pickleball Pursuits

Have you heard about Pickleball? It’s a fun sport best described as a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Check it out at Prime, where we have our own court for you to meet up for a game with friends. MUSC Health recommends Pickleball as a great light aerobic workout that can prevent hypertension, strokes, and heart attacks. It’s also a fun way to get to know your neighbors!

4. Green Thumbs

A number of studies have shown that getting physical with a spot of gardening can help to lower blood pressure and being outdoors in the sunshine will give you a dose of vitamin D, which is great for bone health. Head to Prime’s hydroponic garden for some light exercise, twisting and bending as you connect with nature. 

5. Happy Pooch, Healthy Owner

It is recommended that seniors take 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a day, which is a great reason to head to Prime’s on-site bark park with your four-legged friend. 

Discover Why Active Seniors Love Living in Knoxville

At Prime West Knoxville, we have built our community with wellness and social health in mind. Schedule a tour today to visit our community for active seniors.

Why You Should Retire to West Knoxville

It’s never too early to plan where you’ll spend your retirement years. If you’re an older adult looking for an independent living community in a desirable location, with a budget-friendly price, and ample amenities, Prime West Knoxville checks off all of these boxes and more. Here are some reasons why the Knoxville area might be the perfect place for you to retire.

Ranked Best Place to Retire

U.S. News & World Report ranked Knoxville No. 13 among its list of the 125 best places to retire in 2020. By spending your retirement years in Knoxville you gain access to a better quality of life and can save money in the long-term. Who doesn’t love that? Knoxville also ranks high with seniors for its desirability, low cost of living, low taxes, and access to quality healthcare.

Enjoy Budget-Friendly Living

Knoxville is included in the list of  5 best places to retire on $35,000 a year. Imagine spending your retirement years more worry-free, knowing that your money will stretch far into your golden years. Knoxville seniors have an 18% lower cost of living than the rest of the country, enjoy no state or local income tax, have below-average health care costs, and have access to 12 hospitals, including the prestigious University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Abundant Amenities 

Knoxville boasts stunning outdoor scenery with year-round community events, courtesy of its moderate climate. West Knoxville is home to great shopping and restaurants within minutes of your doorstep. Be sure to take advantage of Prime’s complimentary local transportation.

Experience West Knoxville Independent Living

With affordable, all-inclusive living options like Prime West Knoxville, seniors can truly live the good life with a carefree retirement. Prime hosts social events like cooking classes, quilting groups, movie nights, and book clubs. Residents also enjoy the 18-hole putting green, pickleball court, fitness classes, and exercising with their canine companions at the Bark Park. Discover the good life when you contact us to schedule a tour today.

6 Ways to Make Holiday Memories with Your Grandkids

Are you looking for fun things to do with your grandkids this season? Holidays are the perfect opportunity to introduce new traditions and to make deeper connections with the little ones. Prime West Knoxville wishes you and your family a happy holiday! Here are six suggestions to make the season more festive with unforgettable holiday memories.

1. Create a Family Cookbook Featuring Holiday Memories

Preserve your holiday recipes in a keepsake cookbook that can be passed down to your grandkids — and their grandkids. Collect recipes from family members and enlist your grandchildren to help make the special dishes.

2. Visit a Tree Farm

Kick-off the holiday season with this old-fashioned tradition. Enjoy the great outdoors while taking in the scent of fresh pine cones and the brisk winter air. Top it all off by drinking apple cider or hot chocolate to warm up those cold hands and noses.

3. Bring Back Caroling

This vintage holiday ritual is making a comeback. Travel around your neighborhood and share your holiday cheer. It’s a great opportunity to bond while also warming the spirits of your community.

4. Volunteer Your Time

Find a volunteer opportunity that allows all ages to participate, so your grandkids can be involved. Donate new toys to a charitable organization, serve meals at a homeless shelter, or deliver a basket of food to a family in need.

5. Make Holiday Crafts

Kids of all ages can join the fun of creating a holiday gift or decoration. Find inspiration, photos, and instructions from Pinterest, Personal Creations, and Crazy Little Projects. Many of them are inexpensive and easy to assemble.

6. Attend a Local Winter Event

Knoxville is a perfect home base to spend the holidays with your grandkids. Take a day trip to Gatlinburg or Dollywood for holiday festivals, lights, and yuletide activities. In downtown Knoxville, enjoy an Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt, Peppermint Trail, and the city’s Holidays on an ice skating rink.

Making New Holiday Memories at Prime West Knoxville

You don’t have to go out into the cold to have a good time with the grandkids! Fun can be made right at home when you live at Prime West Knoxville. Stop by our holiday parties for some fun and then head back to your apartment where your full-sized kitchen and stainless steel appliances make the perfect pair for whipping up your favorite seasonal cookies and cakes with the ones you love most.

Meet Teresa Ingram, Executive Director of Prime West Knoxville

High-quality senior living and a focus on friendship and connections are at the core of West Knoxville’s newest community. Prime’s executive director, Teresa Ingram, reveals how independent living in Knoxville, TN, just got fun and affordable.

Changing the Independent Living Industry for Middle-Income Seniors

After working in the senior living market for over a decade, Teresa Ingram is well aware that residing in an all-inclusive community can be a stretch financially for many people. Her determination to make outstanding and budget-friendly independent living possible for every day seniors has been a driving force as she brings Prime West Knoxville to fruition.

The charming independent living community will officially open mid-2020, offering seniors the chance to take up residence in a vibrant, active community at a budget-friendly price. 

“We are the value pricing,” says Teresa. “When people see they can actually afford to live here, I think they will be very happy. We are able to reach the people who thought this kind of senior living was impossible for them because some independent living communities cost up to $5000 a month.”

In contrast, monthly prices at Prime West Knoxville start at $2395 for a one-bedroom apartment with utilities and basic cable included. Residents will be treated to complimentary garden-fresh meals in the all-day dining area and can stop by the courtyard café for unlimited coffee or soft-serve ice cream. The fee also covers a vast array of activities and amenities such as fun, fitness classes, hydroponic garden, pickleball court, an 18-hole putting green, and a Bark Park for four-legged residents.

“Prime West Knoxville is an awesome opportunity for independent people to enjoy life,” adds Teresa. “Residents can visit the billiards room, play cards, have fun at the shuffleboard table, or pour a glass of wine and visit with friends. We will also have Zumba, pilates, and other great exercise classes. Prime is like a one-stop-shop because it’s all here for them. They can have socialization any hour of the day if they choose and not have to get out in the weather to go do it.”

Prime’s emphasis on friendship and things to do is a vital component for Teresa who believes everyone needs social interaction.

“The old-fashioned way — and I don’t mean that bad — is to live in your home until the day you pass,” she explains. “But that can be lonely. Seniors live longer if they have socialization. Prime West Knoxville is a great opportunity to continue their lives, grow in their lives, make friends, and mainly just enjoy their years as a senior.”

Discover Your New Home at Prime West Knoxville

Prime West Knoxville is now open for tours! Contact us today to learn about our modern apartments and fun community amenities.

Top Holiday Gifts for Grandkids in 2019

The holidays can be a stressful time, especially when you’re shopping for Christmas or Hanukkah gifts for the grandkids. With thousands of toys and electronics to choose between, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. At Prime Independent Living, we love the holiday season, so we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to make your gift-giving a little easier.

Gift Ideas for Little Ones

My Very Own Name Book
This personalized keepsake introduces the most important letters in the alphabet: the ones in your grandchild’s first and last name! This gift will be a favorite with parents, too. 

Mega Bloks First Builders Bag
From tall towers to houses, these colorful bricks will excite kids’ imaginations. And, don’t forget the fun of knocking them down!

Fisher-Price Little People Big Helpers Home
Little ones will love exploring this interactive dollhouse. Songs, sounds, and phrases encourage children to help with chores and care for pets. Even better: it folds up for easy storage!

Gift Ideas for Preschoolers 

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus
Your future rock star will love jamming to the 15-instrument “rocktopus”. This hybrid toy has three different modes of play: music, math, and game. 

Little Tikes STEM Jr. Wonder Lab
This science lab introduces science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts and provides hours of hands-on playtime for curious kids.

Grandparent and Grandchild Letter Book Set
Create lasting memories with this unique set. Mail letters back and forth with your grandchild to build a permanent keepsake. Once completed, the letters can be stored in pockets of the book.

Gift Ideas for School-Age Kids

Playz Explosive Kitchen Lab
Your future Einstein can conduct more than 26 science experiments with this STEM educational lab. Follow the easy-to-read instructions for hours of fun!

Bit Coding Robot
Ozobot is a personalized, programmable robot that follows commands and acts as a Coding 101 for kids in the process. 

Kiwi Crates
These subscription-based activity boxes are intended for a range of ages and interests and get delivered to the recipient’s doorstep every month. It’s like 12 months of giving in one.

Gift Ideas for Tweens/Teens

JBL FLIP 5 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
For music lovers, this portable speaker connects to two smart devices for hours of listening. You can bring it to the pool parties without any worries about water damage.

Create Your Own Reel Viewer
One of childhood’s most nostalgic toys, the View-Master, has returned with a customizable twist. Share snapshots to create a ‘reel’ of your favorite family memories.

Experience Gifts

Consider tickets to a sporting event, concert, or amusement park to bond with your young adult grandchildren. Find discounts on websites like  Costco, Sam’s Club, or Groupon.

Finding the Best Gifts for Grandkids is Easy with Prime West Knoxville

Get a head start on your holiday shopping with these gift ideas and get the satisfaction of happy grandkids on Christmas morning or Hanukkah nights. At Prime West Knoxville, we wish you and your family a happy holiday!

5 Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner Recipe Ideas

‘Tis the season for lots of treats, so you may be interested in healthy Thanksgiving recipe ideas that still taste delicious! With your fully equipped kitchen at Prime West Knoxville, you’ll have no trouble tackling everything from turkey and stuffing to pumpkin pie. Still on the hunt for the perfect recipe to impress your loved ones? Check out this list for some seasonal inspiration.

1. Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipe: Healthy Pumpkin Soup

This pumpkin soup recipe only takes a few ingredients to whip up but is packed with loads of flavor and nutrition, making it the perfect kick-off to a great holiday meal. For those with special dietary needs, the coconut milk and pureed cauliflower give the soup a creamy richness without using dairy. 

2. Thanksgiving Main Course Recipe: Apple- and Shallot-stuffed Turkey
By default, turkey is a lean protein, although deep-frying the bird will definitely reduce its nutritional qualities. Opt for an herb-based recipe, or this apple- and shallot-stuffed turkey for a healthy, yet satisfying dish.

3. Thanksgiving Side Recipe #1: Brown and Wild Rice Pecan Stuffing
This wild rice stuffing with fresh sage and rosemary, dried fruits and nuts is a fresh take on the traditional bread stuffing and the perfect complement to a festive Thanksgiving. This is a great make-ahead option as well and reheats nicely the next day (or that same night, let’s be honest).

4. Thanksgiving Side Recipe #2: Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
The earthy roasted flavor and satisfying crunch of these brussels sprouts pair well with the salty pancetta. Also, this recipe calls for sundried tomatoes, which offer an acidic complement to the richness of the pancetta. Brussels sprouts reheat easily and are packed with nutrients, making this recipe a win-win.  

5. Thanksgiving Dessert Recipe: Apple Coconut Crumble Pie
You might be stuffed at this point, but no one is ever too full for dessert! You can make some subtle adjustments to popular Thanksgiving dessert recipes to ensure they’re just a bit healthier. This apple coconut crumble pie uses nuts, whole wheat flour and coconut oil in the crust for a hearty pie that still offers nutritional value. 

Plenty of Space to Cook Your Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Prime West Knoxville’s cozy living spaces and well-appointed kitchens are ideal for spending holidays with the family. Stainless steel appliances in each apartment and our onsite hydroponic greenhouse give you access to everything you need to cook all of your favorite dishes (and try a new thing or two!) Contact us today to schedule a tour of our new independent living community in West Knoxville.

Lessons in Tech: Interview with Jennifer Dancu, CEO of Social Media 4 Seniors

Prime West Knoxville understands technology has the power to enhance our residents’ lives. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Social Media 4 Seniors CEO Jennifer Dancu on an upcoming community event for seniors in West Knoxville. Learn how she got her start in this niche market, as well as the FAQs she covers in her classes.

The Inspiration Behind the Class

When Jennifer Dancu, a former Knoxville school principal, started teaching social media classes for seniors in 2014, her business plan was inspired by a special person: her 71-year-old mom, JoAnn.

Dancu recalls, “I learned a lot about technology through my job, and I was mom’s go-to person to learn how to use her smartphone and grasp social media. After talking to her and other friends, I realized there was very little help out there [for seniors to become tech-savvy]. Many older adults wanted to learn about technology but felt their children were too busy or grandchildren quickly fixed the problem without teaching them. What seniors really needed was a service to empower them to learn for themselves.”

In response to these observations, Dancu created Social Media 4 Seniors, making it her mission to give older adults the skills necessary to improve their digital experiences. Dancu now employs five additional coaches to assist clients in both Knoxville and Nashville.

In response to these observations, Dancu created Social Media 4 Seniors, making it her mission to give older adults the skills necessary to improve their digital experiences. Dancu now employs five additional coaches to assist clients in both Knoxville and Nashville.

What Seniors Learn with Social Media 4 Seniors

On November 21, Dancu will team up with Prime West Knoxville to host an event called Lunch & Learn: Technology for Active Aging, to be held from 11 am to 1 pm at the local Staybridge Suites. During the class, Dancu will troubleshoot common issues such as how to stop notifications, hide advertisements, and save articles via social media.

“We are teachers, so it is our goal to give seniors the independent confidence to embrace the latest technology,” she says. “We give instruction, but clients do everything themselves. Seniors often ask how to handle changes from frequent updates or [they] want tips for remembering passwords and enlarging fonts that are difficult to read.” 

Dancu continues, “The number one question I am asked is, ‘Why does my screen go dark so quickly,’ which is easy to fix by going into settings and changing the screen time-out preference.” She adds, “We also love to share useful apps such as Tile, which assists [you if] you lose your phone. Then there are Siri and Google [which let you] do everything via voice command.” 

With many clients staying in touch via social media, Dancu loves the sense of community her business brings. She says, “I have made good friends, and I have clients in their 80s and 90s who love to master all the latest technology. My work is very rewarding.”

Stay Connected at Prime West Knoxville

Prime West Knoxville takes pride in hosting fun and interesting events for seniors in Tennessee. Lunch & Learn: Technology For Active Aging will be held on November 21 from 11 am to 1 pm at the Staybridge Suites in Knoxville. We can’t wait to see you there!

Reserve your spot by calling 865-219-2910.

The Value of an All-inclusive Retirement Community

Are you looking to the future and trying to decide on the best independent living community for you? If you’re an older adult who wants to lead an active and worry-free lifestyle, there are many advantages to an all-inclusive retirement community like Prime West Knoxville.  

Enjoy Maintenance-Free Independent Living

Living your best life is simple when chores become a thing of the past. It’s much easier to spend quality time with the people you love when you don’t have to worry about home and yard upkeep. At Prime, one monthly fee covers not only your rent but all other home expenses such as utilities, TV, internet, telephone and housekeeping services.  

Treat Yourself to Garden-Fresh Meals and Sweet Splurges

Just because your Prime West Knoxville apartment features a full-sized kitchen doesn’t mean you’ll always be in the mood to cook. Instead, an all-inclusive retirement community like Prime allows residents to swing by the dining room for breakfast, lunch, or dinner with their neighbors. The kitchen staff prepares flavorful, healthy meals using fresh produce from the on-site hydroponic garden. If you feel more like sharing ice cream with your grandkids, there’s a more casual cafe, too. Ditto on unlimited coffee, which is the perfect excuse to meet up with a friend.

Participate in On-Site Events and Activities

Prime West Knoxville is designed for active seniors who partake in various sports and hobbies. Does your idea of leisure time involve playing around on the pickleball court or joining a golf tournament on the 18-hole putting green? Are you more excited by nightly movies, quilting groups, and book clubs? There’s always something to keep you engaged. Seasonal parties and holiday celebrations also help create lasting memories with friends and family.

There’s Plenty to Do Nearby

When you feel like a little adventure, take a trip into town or venture further afield on a road trip with peers who share your interests. Though some residents have their own cars, many enjoy the freedom to run errands or do a little shopping in town without getting behind the wheel. Around-the-clock concierge service can take care of travel arrangements and deliveries.

Bring Fido or Fifi Along!

Prime West Knoxville is a pet-friendly senior community. Both cats and dogs are welcome, and sociable dogs, in particular, will love the Bark Park on the grounds. It’s also a great way to meet other animal lovers for playdates.

Your Dream Retirement is a Reality at Prime West Knoxville 

Is an all-inclusive independent living community the ideal retirement option for you? Contact us at Prime West Knoxville today to discover how you can enjoy our modern apartments and fun community amenities for a monthly rate that won’t break the bank.

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