Since 1994, Rick Dover and his company, Family Pride Corporation, have been focusing on creating living accommodations for senior citizens in Loudon County, Tennessee. Today, Rick Dover explains why seniors have a different set of needs and what amenities they are looking for.
Information Nation: Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to join us today.
Rick Dover: It is absolutely my pleasure.
Information Nation: We understand that for the last two decades you have focused most of your energies on building senior housing. Before we begin, can you tell us why that is?
Rick Dover: When my family and I were looking for an affordable living arrangement for my aging grandfather, we came up short. So, since I had a background in real estate development, I decided it was my duty to fulfill this very real need.
Information Nation: But, why Loudon County?
Rick Dover: I’m from Knoxville so I have known about and visited Loudon County all of my life. The town’s historic charm was beginning to deteriorate so I thought why not?
Information Nation: Finding senior housing is definitely stressful. What do you suggest for seniors just beginning their search?
Rick Dover: Do not do it alone. Make sure to have as much support as possible and look for a facility that has amenities for comfort, convenience, and practical living.
Information Nation: What sort of housing do seniors usually need?
Rick Dover: For independent living, I would say that seniors need a single level home. Many report to me that a small kitchen suits them just fine and an even smaller yard with just enough room for a bit of landscaping here and there is ideal.
Information Nation: What is the benefit of having a smaller house?
Rick Dover: Aside from possibly limited mobility, seniors are typically on a fixed income and a smaller home can equate to less money in utilities each month.
Information Nation: What about flooring?
Rick Dover: That’s a tricky one. Seniors definitely want flooring that looks good but also that isn’t slippery and is easy to clean.
Information Nation: And the lighting, we understand you tend to take special care with lightning?
Rick Dover: I do, that’s true. This is because, as seniors age, their eyesight may not be as it once was. Therefore, nice, consistent, bright light is an asset.
Information Nation: Do seniors have any specific requirements for counter space and storage?
Rick Dover: Seniors typically need more storage and plenty of counter space to spread out. Ample storage means there is less chance for clutter which not only reduces stress but untidiness is a safety issue as well.
Information Nation: What about laundry facilities?
Rick Dover: In my experience, seniors typically want a separate laundry room that is easily accessible from the kitchen.
Information Nation: Can you explain to us a little about the concept of aging in place?
Rick Dover: Essentially, aging in place means that seniors can remain in one general location and have access to ample services as they are needed. This may mean living in the same location from the early post-retirement years up to hospice and end-of-life care.
Information Nation: Many seniors choose to live in an organized facility. Can you explain a little about these arrangements?
Rick Dover: There are many different assisted and independent living facilities available. Independent living means that the senior essentially cares for themselves in all aspects but with a bit of oversight from nonmedical personnel. For seniors needing a bit more assistance, there are facilities that resemble apartment homes and may provide services such as housekeeping and transportation assistance. There are also skilled nursing and memory care accommodations available.
Information Nation: Is there any certain level of care that all seniors need?
Rick Dover: Senior needs are as varied as they are. Each individual will require a different level of care.
Information Nation: What about the social aspect of retirement. Do assisted living facilities help that?
Rick Dover: Absolutely. Many seniors elect to enter a retirement community for the social aspect alone. Many communities offer amenities such as game rooms and scheduled activities for older seniors who want to remain active.
Information Nation: Do you have anything to add about senior living arrangements?
Rick Dover: I would like to add that Family Pride Corporation takes great care to create facilities that are not only affordable but also memorable. We specialize in renovating historic buildings for the purpose of senior assisted living. We do this in memory of my grandfather and hope that our love of family shows in each renovation that we perform.
Rick Dover and Family Pride Corporation have been in existence since 1994. Along with his mother, Lucy, Rick Dover founded the company by refurbishing existing structures to create comfortable living space for the active and growing senior community of Loudon County.
Rick Dover lives in East Tennessee with his wife, Laurie.