Assisted living facility to open


Construction work continues on May 20 at The Gardens of Nashville in Nashville.


Staff Writer

Monday, May 27, 2019

NASHVILLE — A future assisted living facility is anticipating opening in autumn in a renovated former adult care building in the 1000 block of Eastern Avenue on the east side of Nashville.

Plans are for The Gardens of Nashville to have 62 beds and be operated by Affinity Living Group. Affinity is based in Hickory in the western part of the state and is the largest senior housing provider in the Southeast.

"It's going to be absolutely lovely," said Robin Waller, Affinity's director of new business sales.

As for progress on getting the building ready, Waller said, "It all depends upon the weather a lot of times, but we're hoping to have a certificate of occupancy by late fall of this year."

She said the plan is for private rooms.

Generally, an assisted living facility provides a combination of housing, personal services and health care to people who need help with their routines.

Waller said her information is The Gardens of Nashville is going to have a separate, secured assisted living section for residents with Alzheimer's Disease or dementia.

As for what The Gardens of Nashville is going to look like inside, Waller said, "One of the things that we do is we do local photography. So all of the pictures that are in the building that are going to be placed are going to be pictures of the state and of the area."

Waller said the facility is going to have an activity room, a large and spacious dining room, a hair salon, a large and spacious hallway and a physical therapy area.

Additionally, Waller said there is going to be a room doubling as a chapel and a theater, with comfortable seats and large screens.

She also said the residents’ rooms are going to have individual air conditioning and heating so their respective room temperature can be set to what they like. She also said the residents can bring in their own furniture and linens.

She said The Gardens of Nashville is going to provide a physician, but she said residents can continue to be cared for by his or her doctor. She said the facility is going to provide daily pharmacy deliveries, but she said residents can keep doing business with his or her pharmacist.

Of the clientele being sought for The Gardens of Nashville, Waller said, historically, people usually like to go within 15-20 miles of their home.

"It's their neighborhood. That's where their families usually are. They can come visit them easier," she said.

As for the number of employees, Waller said, "We usually have a staff of about 45-50 total — and that's the floor care staff."

Waller said securing employees at The Gardens of Nashville is a work in progress.

"We usually start hiring about two months out from our opening date — and then we spend those two months training our staff," she said.

State Health and Human Services spokeswoman Kelly Haight Connor said the property along Eastern Avenue was licensed as an adult care home in July 2015 and owned by Universal Health Care.

Connor said Universal in July 2016 issued discharge notices to all residents, with all residents discharged the next month so the company could make mechanical repairs. She said Affinity in April 2018 purchased the facility from Universal.

Affinity already has a presence in the area, with Somerset Court of Rocky Mount in the 900 block of Westwood Drive and with Wilson House along Martin Luther King Parkway in Wilson.

And Affinity is in quite an expansion mode.

A press release provided by the company said plans are to open five more new assisted living communities this year and break ground on 10 more in the future.

In the press release, Affinity CEO Charles Trefzger said with all the developments the company has coming online in the future, the number of communities is going to exceed 140.

The expansion is coming as America is becoming an increasingly gray nation.

U.S. Census information points out that beginning in 2030, baby boomers — born between 1946 and 1964 — are going to be older than 65.

The Census Bureau said this is going to expand the size of the older population to the point in which one in every five Americans is projected to be of retirement age.

And the Census Bureau predicts by 2035, the number of older adults is going to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history.

The Gardens of Nashville is going to be at 1022 Eastern Ave. Anyone interested in learning more about the facility may phone 252-459-2524 or Waller at 865-221-4072.