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South Carolina’s senior population comprises 17.2% of the general population, as such, the state has enacted quite a few programs aimed at making the lives of seniors easier. For example, the state retrains and finds employment for seniors through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). South Carolina’s expansive, ever-changing topography includes beaches and mountains, small hamlets and big cities, and major tourist destinations like Hilton Head Island and Myrtle Beach, all of which are sure to appeal to anyone considering retirement.

Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in South Carolina

The decision to choose an Assisted Living Facility whether for oneself or a loved one can be daunting and time-consuming. Our directory of facilities located in South Carolina is comprehensive, convenient and makes the process easier. Use the tools below to locate the right amenities, services, pricing and more.

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How to Pay for Assisted Living in South Carolina

Determining how to finance assisted living often starts with the question, “What’s the cost?” In today’s economy, where inflation plays a significant role, having current data is crucial for senior living financial planning. has gathered cost information from its expansive network of over 75,000 senior living providers. This data offers a glimpse into the average expenses for assisted living in South Carolina and 38 additional cities within South Carolina.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Assisted Living in South Carolina

Inflation has played a part in rising assisted living costs across the U.S. from 2022 to 2023, and South Carolina is no exception. During this period average assisted living costs rose 17% from $3,545 to $4,161 in South Carolina. Costs rose nationally by an average of $389 per month, representing a 10% increase.

The 2024 trend shows South Carolina and nearby states, except North Carolina and Georgia, seeing continued cost changes. South Carolina’s costs are set to rise by 9%, while North Carolina and Georgia will drop by 0.5% and 1.5% respectively. Senior care planning is crucial to outpace inflation.

Location 2022 Cost (Historical) 2023 Cost (Current) 2024 Cost (Estimated)
South Carolina $3,545 $4,161 $4,526
U.S. Average $4,070 $4,459 $4,802
North Carolina $4,088 $4,828 $4,803
Georgia $3,730 $3,952 $3,895
Tennessee $3,383 $4,201 $4,543
Kentucky $3,288 $3,748 $4,397

Assisted Living Costs in South Carolina's Top Cities

Assisted living costs in South Carolina vary by city, with those in large cities remaining near or below the national average. Seniors can expect to pay $4,133 for assisted living in Charleston, just under the state average of $4,161. Columbia offers a slightly more affordable option with costs averaging $3,927. Smaller communities and suburban localities can come with higher costs. The average cost of assisted living in North Augusta is $5,304 and $6,512 in Elgin.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

The cost of different types of senior living depends on community amenities, accommodation type, and the degree of health care services. Memory care, valued at $4,234 in South Carolina, includes specialized programming from caregivers trained in dementia. Independent living costs $3,023 and is suited for seniors who are comfortable on their own. At $4,161, assisted living allows seniors to enjoy their independence while having trained staff on standby for health monitoring and other services.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in South Carolina

Optional State Supplementation Program

The Optional State Supplementation program (OSS) is available to seniors that reside in an assisted living facility and have been determined to have a monetary need. OSS pays for room and board as well as meals, while also providing a monthly stipend that residents may use to purchase whatever other small items they wish. Individuals enrolled in OSS are also automatically enrolled in Healthy Connections, the state’s Medicaid program.

Who Is Eligible?

The program is for adults aged 65 and older who meet all the criteria for Social Security Insurance except for income. Participants will need to have an income of less than $1,435 per month and have no resources in excess of $2000 to be eligible to participate in OSS.

How to Apply

Those wishing to apply may do so on the state’s Healthy Connections website, or by calling (888) 549-0820 to find their nearest county Department of Health and Human Services office and applying in person.


Healthy Connections, South Carolina’s Medicaid program, does not pay for room and board at assisted living facilities but will pay for eligible medical expenses as well as personal care services and transportation to and from appointments. The state has a monthly income cap of $1,012 for those aged 65 and older.

The most convenient way to apply for Medicaid is through the South Carolina Healthy Choices website. There you can check eligibility and find local resources such as a local department of health services office where an application may be submitted in person. Applications and help with applications may also be found through South Carolina Thrive, a state run health and wellness initiative. To get help from Thrive, please call (800) 726-8774 or visit the website.

All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

The Program of All-Inclusive Health for the Elderly (PACE), will cover medical care and activities and services that are intended to enhance the day to day lives of seniors through personal care tasks such as bathing, eating and dressing. Applicants will need to live in one of the 6 counties where the program is available.

Like Medicaid, PACE will not cover the cost of meals or rent for an assisted living facility. In South Carolina PACE is available in the counties of, Anderson, Columbia, Greenville, Orangeburg, Pickens, and Richland.

In Columbia, PACE is available only through Palmetto Senior Care and their facilities, please call (803) 931-8175 to find the PACE facility near you in Columbia. PACE is available only through The Oaks, a system of retirement communities, in Orangeburg. Although available countywide in Greenville and Richland counties, some Pickens and Anderson County residents will find that their zip codes are excluded. To ascertain if your zip is eligible, please visit the website or call (864) 522-1950.

Who Is Eligible?

PACE is open to adults 55 years and older that live in one of its 6 county service areas. Financial eligibility requirements mirror those of the state’s Medicaid requirements.

How to Apply

For more information on PACE in your county or to get help with applying, you can visit the National Pace Association website.

More Ways to Finance Assisted Living

Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:

  • Veterans Benefits: Veterans can take advantage of several different pension programs to help cover the cost of assisted living. For more information, see the article on
  • Life Insurance Policies: Even if a spouse or loved one hasn’t died, certain types of life insurance policies can be used to pay for assisted living. More information is available at
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance policy that pays for long-term care when it becomes necessary, including the cost of assisted living. For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of this financing method, visit
  • Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow seniors to access the equity from a home that they own, and these funds can be used to pay for assisted living. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a federally insured reverse mortgage program.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in South Carolina

There are many resources in South Carolina that assist seniors in their retirement. has compiled information on local organizations, programs and agencies and categorized them into care types for easy reference.


Area Agency on Aging

Retirees can find support and advice on various senior-related issues from their local Area Agency on Aging. The agency provides advice on topics such as financial assistance programs, in-home care and long-term care planning. It also connects seniors and caregivers with community-based resources.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina Area Agencies on Aging The 10 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) under the ) offer seniors Information about available programs and services, including the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Medicare, the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, senior centers and the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). AAA location info is accessible via the website.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in South Carolina provide financial support to help low-income retirees remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Seniors and caregivers can apply for tax rebates and reductions, discounts on vital services and help covering the cost of heating and cooling their home.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina Lifeline Program 800-234-9473 The LifeLine Program offers a discount on landline or mobile telephone service, ensuring that participants can stay in contact with loved ones.


Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Whether living in their own home or in a senior living community, South Carolina seniors can find financial assistance from numerous local resources. These organizations help residents cover some of the costs associated with in-home or long-term care and connect them with other helpful community-based resources.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina Community Long-Term Care 888-549-0820 Community Long-Term Care offers a variety of programs and services to older adults who need personal care assistance to help them delay entry into nursing home care. This includes the Community Choices Waiver that helps individuals aged 18 and older with a disability or seniors aged 65 and older receive services like bathing, dressing and toileting. Other services offered include companionship, home-delivered meals, adult day health care, skilled nursing, respite care and personal emergency response systems.


Food Assistance Programs

Local organizations help ensure elderly citizens have a balanced diet and receive essential vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Through nutrition programs, congregate meals, home-delivered meals and food pantries, these programs help South Carolina seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina Meals on Wheels South Carolina Meals on Wheels works with South Carolina food pantries, senior centers and churches to provide weekday deliveries of hot, nutritious lunches to homebound seniors. Delivery times and options vary by specific MOW partner. There’s no charge for the delivery service, though donations are accepted. Many Meals on Wheels partners also offer congregate meal sites that provide a social experience for otherwise isolated seniors.
South Carolina Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) 888-227-3487 The Southern California Seniors Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program is a seasonal grant program that provides seniors with fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmer’s markets. The program runs from June 1 to October 31. Each eligible senior receives $50 worth of checks to spend at participating markets. Seniors must be over 60 years of age, reside in one of 46 participating counties and meet certain income requirements to be eligible for the program.
South Carolina Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 888-227-3487 The South Carolina Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps qualifying seniors over age 60 obtain nutritious food. Those who are eligible receive their benefits on an electronic benefits transfer card, which functions like a debit card and is accepted at supermarkets, convenience stores and farmers’ markets statewide and at participating online retailers. Only food and beverages can be purchased with the card, excluding prepared food items, alcohol and tobacco. Expedited benefits are available within 7 days of application for qualifying seniors.


Home Repair and Modifications

Seniors and those with disabilities can access a variety of local resources to help them pay for home repairs and modifications. Programs in South Carolina have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) 803-734-0662 WAP helps seniors with limited budgets reduce their energy bills by making their property more energy-efficient. This includes installing insulation and replacing windows, doors and older appliances. Replacing HVAC units, hot water heaters and refrigerators.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to South Carolina seniors. Older adults can access advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills and power of attorney. Some firms also act as long-term care ombudsmen, advocating for the rights of seniors in senior living communities.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina Long Term Care Ombudsman 800-868-9095 The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program was created to ensure residents of memory care communities and other long term care facilities receive high quality care. The program’s volunteers investigate complaints about facilities and seek a resolution that supports the best interests of the facility’s residents. Before moving into a facility, an ombudsman can help find facilities’ inspection records and past citations so families can choose the best facility for their loved one’s needs.
South Carolina Legal Services 803-799-9668 South Carolina Legal Services is a statewide nonprofit with offices in Columbia and other major cities. It’s dedicated to ensuring that all residents have equal access to legal services, regardless of their ability to pay. Seniors can contact this organization for help with all types of civil matters, including health care, family law, housing, deceptive sales practices, debt collection and consumer rights.


Senior Centers

Senior centers in South Carolina bring together residents through recreational activities and events. Many also offer advice and support on senior issues, run wellness and nutrition programs, and connect older adults with other resources in the local area.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina Multipurpose Senior Centers 800-868-9095 South Carolina’s Multipurpose Senior Centers offer residents a place to gather, share meals in a congenial setting, participate in wellness classes and generally remain active in their communities. These centers also act as a first stop for many seniors seeking benefits assistance. Public benefits counseling and transportation services are just a small sample of the help that may be available at a local senior center.


Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in South Carolina help seniors and disabled people access the benefits they’re entitled to. Older adults can contact their local office for information about receiving retirement benefits, disability allowance and Supplemental Security Income.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina Social Security Social Security is a source of income available to retirees and people who can no longer work because of a disability. The money for Social Security comes from a payroll tax levied on employers, employees and self-employed individuals. When you retire, you’ll receive monthly payments based on how much you earned when you were working.


Tax Assistance

Seniors can apply for tax assistance from several South Carolina resources. Elderly residents and those with disabilities could be eligible for tax exemptions on medical expenses, reductions on property tax and other tax assistance programs.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina Homestead Exemption ​803-898-5700 The South Carolina Homestead Exemption provides an exemption of the first $50,000 of the Fair Market Value of your property in order to reduce tax liability.


Transportation Assistance

Assistance is available for seniors unable to access or use private transportation. These community resources help elderly and disabled residents make journeys in and around South Carolina, allowing them to run errands and attend appointments in the local area.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina Neighbor to Neighbor 843-839-0702 Neighbor to Neighbor provides free transportation to seniors in Horry and Georgetown counties in South Carolina and Brunswick County in North Carolina. The program is open to adults age 60+ who require rides for appointments, shopping and errands and helps seniors stay connected to their communities. Individuals with disabilities who are 21+ may also be eligible. Participants must be able to walk independently or with a cane or walker as volunteer drivers can’t assist with or transport wheelchairs.


Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Low-income seniors who are struggling to meet the costs of maintaining their homes can find support from organizations that offer assistance with utility and energy bills. South Carolina retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they’re in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) 803-734-0662 LIHWAP is a federally funded program that assists residents of South Carolina with water bills and waste management fees. This assistance applies to seniors and individuals who use public water systems or treatment works.
South Carolina Low-Income Home Energy Improvement Plan (LIHEIP) 803-734-0662 LIHEAP helps seniors pay for high energy bills, especially during winter. The program provides utility bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance and weatherization and home repair assistance. The program is offered by local county Community Action Agencies.


Veteran’s Services

South Carolina retirees who have served in the U.S. military can find support from local veteran services. These offices and organizations help vets access the benefits they’re eligible for and provide advice and information on a variety of issues.

Program Name Phone Number Description
South Carolina VA Benefits and Health Care Veterans in South Carolina can access VA health care services, which vary and offer coverage for preventive care, inpatient hospitalizations and emergency care. Disability compensation is available for veterans who became ill, injured or disabled while on active duty. Other VA benefits available to some South Carolina veterans include pension benefits, assistance securing employment, life insurance and access to VA home loans. Eligibility requirements can vary and can be reviewed at a local VA office.


Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in South Carolina

Facilities in South Carolina are licensed by the Bureau of Health Facility Licensing which falls under the purview of the Board of Health and Environmental Control. In order to gain and retain licensure, the state has set forth a number of rules and regulations that facilities that wish to operate in South Carolina must adhere to.

Assisted Living Service Plans

At the time of admission, residents should be provided with a schedule of fees and services, the refund policy, the resident bill of rights and facility grievance policy, contact information for the local ombudsman office, and the monthly schedule of their personal allowance payment and the amount.

A written resident agreement between the facility and the incoming resident outlining the scope of expected care, personal care services, dietary needs of the resident, discharge procedures and what services cannot be provided should be signed by both parties and kept with the resident’s records.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

Facilities may not admit residents that have been proven to be a danger to themselves or others, residents that will need 24-hour supervision, the daily need of a nurse, or anyone with a complex medical condition or medications that need to be continuously monitored. Individuals with the need for ventilators or special medical equipment that would rise to a nursing home level of care may also not be admitted.

Residents may only be discharged for medical reasons if the medical condition represents a potential harm to staff or other residents, or if discharge is in the best interest of the ill resident. A resident may also be discharged for nonpayment with written notice to be presented 30 days before the date of discharge.

Assisted Living Assessments

A resident assessment is required to be completed no more than 72 hours after admission and must include a determination by the facility of whether they will be able to cater to the specific needs of the resident. A thorough evaluation of a residents social, educational, behavioral, spiritual, nutritional and vocational levels should be included and used to create a plan of care.

Within 7 days of admission, an individual care plan must be created in conjunction with the resident that addresses their particular needs while taking into account their physical capabilities.

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Along with room and board and meals, facilities must provide some level of personal care such as help with eating, bathing, dressing, and walking. If needed, transport to medical appointments and help with arranging appointments should also be provided.

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

Medicaid will not pay for rent or meals but will pay for some personal care services that are deemed a medical necessity. In order to qualify for these services, residents must be participating in the Optional State Supplemental Program or already be receiving Medicaid.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

Single occupancy units are required to have at least 100 square feet of clear space not to include closets, bathrooms or walkways. Units with multiple residents must have at least 80 square feet of clear space per resident, with no more than three residents to a unit.

Community spaces must have 20 square feet of clear space per bed in the facility, with dining spaces having 15 square feet per bed in the facility. One bathroom with at least one hand washing station adjacent for every six beds, and one tub or shower per eight facility beds.

Medication Management Regulations

Medication administration is only allowed by staff trained specifically for that task. Injectibles may be administered by staff, but only in the event of an anaphylactic response or with diabetes medications. A licensed nurse may administer other types of injectables.

Some facilities may opt to allow residents to self-administer their non-injectible medications if written orders on the manner of administration are received from a physician, and staff can document instances of the resident self-administering in the proper manner.

Staffing Requirements

An administrator is responsible for all activities and daily management of the facility and should always be available at a reasonable distance and time frame. Between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm there must be at least one staff member to every eight residents, and at least one awake staff during night hours per every 30 residents.

In multi-level facilities with 10 or more beds, there should be one staff member on each floor on which residents are present. All facilities must have a dedicated staff member than plans and executes physical activities for residents.

Staff Training Requirements

Facility administrators are required to be licensed by the Board of Long-Term Care Administrators (BLTCA) and have at least a year of experience and an associates degree. Thirty-two hours of annual continuing education are required, pertaining to the position and curriculum set by the BLTCA.

Non-administrative staff must receive two hours of orientation on relevant topics that is to be completed within ten days of hire, and before the first day of working alone in the facility. Personal care assistants must have ten hours of training in their specific tasks within the first thirty days of being hired.

All staff members are to be trained in residents rights, basic first aid, infectious disease, communicable disease, and blood-borne pathogen safety standards, use of restraints and emergency procedures are to be completed within 24 hours of the first day of hire. Designated staff should be trained in CPR and medication administration.

Background Checks for Assisted Living

All staff, volunteers and contracted third parties with direct access to residents must undergo a criminal background check and be found free of any convictions, plea deals and must have pled no contest to charges of abuse against a child or vulnerable adult.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

In an assisted living facility, all staff, regardless of the level of contact with residents, are considered mandated reporters. Additionally, contracted employees such as visiting, nurses, physicians, pharmacists or home health aide staff are designated as mandated reporters.

However, anyone that suspects that a resident is being abused can also file a complaint with the Vulnerable Adult Investigations Unit at (866-200-6066) or with the office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman at (803) 734-9900 or 911 if the resident is in immediate danger. Residents of an assisted living facility or their families may also use these numbers to report abuse of themselves or other residents. The abuse may be physical or psychological in nature and can include, but is not limited to:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial exploitation
  • Intentionally inflicting harm on an individual
  • Failure to provide care when needed
  • Withholding of food. medicines or other necessities
  • Failure to report or treat injuries

Mandated reporters are required to report abuse within 24 hours of observing the abuse. Failure to report may result in a fine of up to $25,000, one year in jail, a misdemeanor charge and loss of professional license if applicable.

Facilities may also be reported for unsafe conditions or practices that fall outside of what they have been contracted to do. Failing to adhere to disclosure items, and inability to accommodate the needs of residents as outlined in service agreements, improper medication management, grounds and building areas that are in disrepair, extreme fluctuations in temperature or repeated power and water outages are just some of the things that a facility may be reported for.

Staff, residents, or the families of residents may report any of these conditions to the state’s Health Facilities Licensing Bureau via the online complaint form, or by calling (803) 545-4370.

South Carolina COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/13/22. Since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, be sure to contact your assisted living facility or local Area Agency on Aging for the most up-to-date information.

COVID-19 Rules in South Carolina
Are loved ones allowed to visit residents in their assisted living community? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are residents required to quarantine after their loved ones visit? No
Are loved ones required to wear masks when visiting residents? Yes
Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors allowed in assisted living communities? Yes
Are visitors screened for elevated temperatures before entering the assisted living community? Yes
Are residents allowed to leave the assisted living community for non-medical reasons? Yes
Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they get back to the assisted living community? No (Conditions Apply)
Are assisted living communities required to cancel all group outings? No
Are assisted living communities allowed to host group activities within the community? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members regularly checked for elevated temperatures? Yes
Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms? Yes
Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures? Yes
Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19? Yes (Conditions Apply)



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