Adult day care comes to northwest Knox

Sandra ClarkFountain City, Inside 640, On the Grow, West Knox

Vicki Worley had a job – a good job as a physical therapist in an area nursing home. But something she saw there set her on a path to opening a new business.

“We were seeing patients who just didn’t need to be there. Maybe they needed PT treatment, but they were kept in the nursing home because they lacked a caregiver during the day.”

Vicki Worley

Vicki and husband Mike Worley, also a physical therapist, did some research and discovered a real need for adult day care in Knoxville.

“Our goal is to keep people in their home, in their community, not in an institution.”

Hope Springs Adult Day Care Center was launched. Vicki Worley works there fulltime as director. She and Mike bought and remodeled a facility at 4036 Gap Road in northwest Knoxville.

There’s not much drive-by traffic, but it’s central to Powell, Halls, Fountain City, Norwood, Karns and Bearden. There’s even an exit called Gap Road off Interstate 640 eastbound.

Hope Springs is licensed by the state Department of Human Services for up to 15 participants. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for adults ages 18 and older.

“Our goal is to help families manage the challenges and responsibilities of caring for the disabled or elderly loved ones while enhancing the quality of life of each participant.”

Vicki Worley, with 30 years of experience in health care, has two full-time employees.

The facility is clean and spacious. The centerpiece is a dayroom where an Andy Griffith rerun was playing on a large-screen television. “We don’t just watch TV,” Vicki said with a smile. Hope Springs provides:

  • Social activities such as review of current events and reminiscence sessions
  • Noon meal and two snacks with attention to those with special dietary needs
  • Personal care such as help with toileting, grooming and eating
  • Therapeutic activities like exercise and mental interaction through puzzles, music, art and games.

Goals and activities to meet those goals are established for each person. The goals will be reviewed and updated quarterly. Worley said some individuals come two days a week, while others come for all five days.

Recently a full-time caregiver brought her husband to Hope Springs while the woman spent the day with her granddaughter. Stories like this keep Worley going.

Hope Springs is the only privately funded adult day-care facility in Knox County, she said. Others are church-affiliated or county-funded like the senior centers.

The center has been open for just three months, and Worley is eager to get the word out. She’s got big plans, including quarterly community workshops on local health and social-service providers. Don Lindsey, AARP volunteer leader, spoke June 27 at a free workshop about driver safety for the older adult.

And about that name. “Sounds like ‘hope springs eternal,’” said this writer.

Vicki Worley just smiled. “The word ‘hope’ means a great deal to me.”

Learn more on Facebook, the website or by calling 865-377-3924.

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