If the Carolinas are on your mind when you dream of retirement, you could be among the savvy seniors who decide to make the area their home. Both North and South Carolina are ranked high on lists of places seniors want to retire. In fact, South Carolina typically ranks in the top five retirement destinations nationwide.

Why are so many people moving to South Carolina during their retirement? Retirees love the moderate four-seasons climate, beautiful scenery, low tax rates, and ample senior living options. No matter what brings you to South Carolina, knowing more about the senior living options available to you, especially assisted living, can help you make the best decisions possible as you begin your South Carolina lifestyle.

What facilities are available for assisted living in South Carolina?

South Carolina, like other states, offers a variety of senior living options to retirees. Having so many options is empowering, especially because only a few decades ago older adults who wanted a community living setting were only offered clinical options. Today’s older adults enjoy getting to choose a senior living community that suits their budget, preferences, and lifestyle.

There are four general types of senior living communities: independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. Each community is unique, of course, but knowing generally what type of community will be best for your current and future needs can be helpful as you begin your research.

Independent living communities are ideal for active seniors who are looking for more socialization with neighbors and fewer household responsibilities. These communities feature spacious apartments, villas, or townhomes as well as on-site amenities such as swimming pools, putting greens, and restaurants. Residents of independent living also enjoy maintenance-free living with housekeeping visits and concierge services included in the monthly fee.

Assisted living residents enjoy many of the same luxury amenities and services as independent living residents, but with the added peace of mind that comes from knowing trained and helpful caregivers are available around the clock. Residents receive personalized assistance with what they need help with, whether it is personal care tasks, escorts to the dining room, or in case of emergencies. Assisted living residents also enjoy transportation services; chef-prepared meals three times per day in a social dining room setting; and activities, trips, and events with their neighbors.

Memory care communities are tailored to address the challenges that come with living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. Every environmental detail, from the apartment floor plans to the lighting, is designed to create a setting ideal for safety and wellness. Caregivers are specially trained in dementia best practices and provide personalized care and interventions for every resident.

Skilled nursing facilities (the only type of senior living that continues to use the word facility) offer residents short- or long-term clinical care. Nurses and caregivers provide clinical interventions around the clock. Residents who have complex medical conditions or who are recovering from a hospital stay or surgery enjoy inpatient therapy services, healthy meals, and social activities.

You can get the most out of your senior living experience if you know which type might be best for you. If you aren’t sure, talk to your physician. They can provide some guidance as you begin to schedule tours of communities in your desired location.

Where are assisted living communities located in South Carolina?

No matter where you are in South Carolina, you can almost certainly find a senior living community that suits your needs and lifestyle preferences. Larger cities and suburban areas are likely to have more options for you to choose from, but you can certainly find senior living communities even in the most rural of locations throughout the state.

What do people expect from assisted living in South Carolina, and what is the reality?

Assisted living is a wonderful option for many seniors, making it a popular choice in South Carolina. Thanks to luxury amenities, friendly neighbors, and personalized assistance, it is no wonder why many older adults look into assisted living as a part of their retirement plan. However, going in with realistic expectations can help you have an even better experience.


There are many lingering negative stereotypes about senior living, and perhaps the biggest misconception is that food served in senior living communities is bland and similar to hospital food. Fortunately, this could not be further from the truth!

Today’s assisted living communities take the dining experience very seriously. Residents enjoy nutritious and delicious food prepared by chefs who focus on taste and servers who focus on hospitality. Dining is just as much social as it is nutritional, which means the dining room is a hub of activity where neighbors get to know one another as they enjoy their meals.


If you think that assisted living is simply too expensive for your budget right now, you aren’t alone. Many older adults believe that the monthly fee associated with assisted living is not affordable, and most are pleasantly surprised to discover they are wrong.

Assisted living can be quite affordable, especially when you consider that all features, amenities, and services are included in the monthly fee. There are also ways to offset the cost of assisted living, such as Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits and long-term care insurance.


Another negative stereotype from the past about senior living is the idea that all residents sit in wheelchairs all day with a crocheted blanket on their lap. This is certainly not true! Assisted living residents are active and live vibrant lifestyles.

Thanks to a robust events calendar, assisted living residents always have options to learn a new hobby, catch a live concert, or sign up for an upcoming trip to the museum. Communities also have plenty of spaces for residents to catch up with one another over a cup of coffee, relax while reading the newspaper, or water plants in the garden.


When you choose assisted living, you gain the opportunity to meet new friends and form meaningful relationships with your neighbors and the team members who work there. Connection with others is the foundation of wellness as we age, and assisted living makes socialization much easier than living at home alone.

You can expect to meet new friends and neighbors in the hallways, in the dining room, and during activities. It is common for residents to gather for events as well as to meet up in one another’s apartments or in other spaces throughout the community.

What is my next step?

If assisted living in South Carolina sounds like it could be your best retirement decision, you can get started by researching communities in your desired location. Learn how to make the most of your research and personalized tour by downloading our free guide, “Finding a Safe & Comfortable Senior Living Community.” The more information you have before you begin your decision process, the more empowered and confident you will feel.

Good luck as you search for the assisted living community you’ll love for years to come. 

Safe & Comfortable Guide

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