About Assisted LivingAssisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.Complete guide to assisted livingBest of 2024 Assisted Living Winners
About Memory CareMemory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering. Complete guide to memory careBest of 2024 Memory Care Winners
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About Senior LivingSenior living is a term used to describe various housing and care options for older adults from maintenance-free, 55+ facilities for active seniors, to secure, fully staffed facilities for seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia. Complete guide to senior livingFind senior living facilities near you
About Nursing HomesNursing homes provide short-and long-term care for seniors who have physical or mental health conditions that require 24-hour nursing and personal care.Complete guide to Nursing Homes
About Senior ApartmentsSenior apartments offer accessible, no-frills living for seniors who are generally active, healthy, and able to live on their own.Complete guide to Senior Apartments
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Veteran ResourcesVA benefits for long-term care, such as Aid and Attendance benefits, can help eligible veterans and their surviving spouses pay for senior care.Guide to VA benefits for long-term care
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10 Best Assisted Living Facilities in Charleston, SC

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With grand architecture and a scenic coastline, assisted living in the Charleston area offers an array of living options that never skimp on charm or Southern hospitality. In this guide, we’ll look at what it’s like to live in an assisted living community in Charleston. We explain costs, the methods seniors in Charleston use to pay for assisted living, and South Carolina’s assisted living laws and regulations. You will also find information about transportation around the city, health care options, and the array of local, senior-friendly activities in this historic city with year-round temperatures that never seem to get too hot or cold.

Charleston assisted living facilities | 405 reviews

Showing 27 communities
Last Updated: 5/23/24
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The top senior living communities stand out for their exceptional care and support of seniors in independent living, assisted living, memory care, and in-home care. Our Best of Senior Living Award winners represent the top 1-2% of senior care providers nationwide based on reviews from those who matter most: residents and families.

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Photo of Ashley Gardens Transitional Assisted Living and Memory Care
99 Photos available
11 Floor plan available
9.9
Review score
25 reviews
9.9
Review score
25 reviews
5 star
80%
4 star
20%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
Ashley Gardens Transitional Assisted Living and Memory Care community were wonderful. Our family felt like they really understood her, loved her and cared for her. We would recommend them a thousand times to...
Provides: Memory Care
Care types provided by this community
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
Here at Ashley Gardens, we are more than a memory care facility, we are a memory care community. Located close to Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, we offer a warm and welcoming senior community for those in need of all-inclusive assisted living, transitional assisted living, or memory care in...
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Photo of Oaks at Charleston
1919 Photos available
66 Floor plans available
9.3
Review score
39 reviews
9.3
Review score
39 reviews
5 star
53%
4 star
26%
3 star
8%
2 star
5%
1 star
8%
See all reviews
The Oaks at Charleston facility is a nice one, but sometimes the repairs are a little slower. We did run into an issue but they were very accommodating. Based on the experience we have had with the Oaks, we...
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
Choice of companion or private studio, one-and two- bedroom accommodations Weekly housekeeping and laundry All utilities except for telephone Delicious, well balanced meals, three times per day Snacks available around the clock Care staff on duty 24 hours per day Emergency Call System Assistance...
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Photo of Harmony at West Ashley
1111 Photos available
2222 Floor plans available
8.7
Review score
31 reviews
8.7
Review score
31 reviews
5 star
42%
4 star
32%
3 star
10%
2 star
6%
1 star
10%
See all reviews
We chose Harmony at West Ashely because it is a larger and newer facility. I thought that would lead to more opportunities for mom There's been more turn-over in staff than I would have liked.
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care, Independent Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
Independent Living: Independent living facilities offer convenient, hassle-free living in a social environment for seniors who are active, healthy, and able to live on their own.
Welcome to Harmony at West AshleyIndependent Living | Assisted Living | Memory CareIn our continued effort to meet the demand of seniors in Charleston, South Carolina, we are offering Virtual Tours, an enhanced screening procedure for new residents, along with the security, support, services...
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Photo of Brookdale West Ashley
1515 Photos available
22 Floor plans available
Pricing promotion expiring soon
8.5
Review score
80 reviews
8.5
Review score
80 reviews
5 star
47%
4 star
25%
3 star
14%
2 star
8%
1 star
6%
See all reviews
We chose Brookdale West Ashley because of the cost for what we were getting. But also the smaller size was helpful due to the proximity of other rooms like dining, PT, library. Nothing was very far to get...
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
Brookdale Charleston is an assisted living and memory care community in the historical and thriving city of Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston is an elegant city with warm and welcoming people that exude Southern charm and hospitality, offering its residents a unique combination of historical...
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Photo of Benton House of West Ashley
1010 Photos available
44 Floor plans available
8.2
Review score
17 reviews
8.2
Review score
17 reviews
5 star
53%
4 star
29%
3 star
12%
2 star
6%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
My loved one is currently a resident at Benton House of West Ashley and the overall experience has been great. The staff is great and so is the value for cost. I would recommend Benton House of West Ashley...
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
We. Are. Family. Award Winning Senior Living! National Winner-Top 50 in Aging Services by Fortune magazine. A Great Place to Work certified 3 consecutive years. Multiple Pinnacle Customer Service Awards. Call or drop by to see what makes Benton House of West Ashley the most desired in the...
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Photo of The Palms of Mt. Pleasant
1414 Photos available
55 Floor plans available
9.4
Review score
45 reviews
9.4
Review score
45 reviews
5 star
56%
4 star
38%
3 star
4%
2 star
0%
1 star
2%
See all reviews
I am currently a resident at The Palms of Mt. Pleasant and it has been a good experience overall. I'm here because of the indoor pool aerobics. This is an older facility and it hasn't been kept up very well....
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care, Independent Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
Independent Living: Independent living facilities offer convenient, hassle-free living in a social environment for seniors who are active, healthy, and able to live on their own.
The Palms of Mount Pleasant The Palms of Mount Pleasant is an assisted living community located in the heart of Mt. Pleasant, Charleston County, South Carolina. Our community is just minutes away from dozens of notable locations, including numerous public parks and beaches, local festivals, East...
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Photo of Atria Mount Pleasant
2222 Photos available
3030 Floor plans available
9.1
Review score
36 reviews
9.1
Review score
36 reviews
5 star
58%
4 star
22%
3 star
11%
2 star
3%
1 star
6%
See all reviews
Atria Mount Pleasant is a beautiful and well maintained facility. The staff are all super duper nice and so are the residents. There are a ton of activities all day and great parties and events. The majority...
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care, Independent Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
Independent Living: Independent living facilities offer convenient, hassle-free living in a social environment for seniors who are active, healthy, and able to live on their own.
Set among the natural coastal beauty of the Lowcountry, Atria Mount Pleasant is a vibrant community designed to help older people enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle ‚Äď and experience greater well-being.This inviting residence features spacious apartments and villas, each with a flexible...
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Photo of Oaks at Mt. Pleasant
1111 Photos available
33 Floor plans available
8.5
Review score
15 reviews
8.5
Review score
15 reviews
5 star
53%
4 star
20%
3 star
7%
2 star
0%
1 star
20%
See all reviews
Speak frequently with staff. They only want what's best. Really share about your loved one. Remember that they need the knowledge to be the best for your LO. And like any facility-visiting frequently lets...
Provides: Memory Care
Care types provided by this community
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
Welcome Home to Sweetgrass Court! We are dedicated to providing activity focused care in a supportive environment by well trained associates. We strive to focus on what our residents can achieve as opposed to what they can no longer achieve on their own. We offer assistance with all activities of...
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Photo of Mount Pleasant Gardens Alzheimer's Special Care Center
1111 Photos available
33 Floor plans available
8.4
Review score
13 reviews
8.4
Review score
13 reviews
5 star
84%
4 star
8%
3 star
0%
2 star
8%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
When it comes to the meals, the food should be a lot better and the quality of the staffing has been an issues. However, the nurses and management team at Mount Pleasant Gardens are great.
Provides: Memory Care
Care types provided by this community
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
At Mount Pleasant Gardens Alzheimer‚Äôs Special Care Center, you will find our distinctive "Meaningful Moments¬ģ" brand of memory care, where we take memories and routines from your loved ones life prior to Alzheimer's and weave them into customized daily routines allowing us to create a supportive...
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Photo of Shem Creek Health Center at South Bay
33 Photos available
8.0
Review score
2 reviews
8.0
Review score
2 reviews
5 star
50%
4 star
50%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
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My father was previously a resident at Shem Creek Health Center at South Bay and everything about his experience at this facility was great. They took excellent care of my daddy for the few months that he...
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care, Independent Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
Independent Living: Independent living facilities offer convenient, hassle-free living in a social environment for seniors who are active, healthy, and able to live on their own.
Shem Creek Health Center, located on the twenty-four-acre campus of South Bay at Mt. Pleasant, offers a full range of health care services to meet the needs of the individual. Offering in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing care, the staff of...
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Photo of Oaks at Daniel Island
1818 Photos available
55 Floor plans available
6.8
Review score
12 reviews
6.8
Review score
12 reviews
5 star
41%
4 star
25%
3 star
17%
2 star
17%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
If we could give the overall value for cost a 10 we would! What we really like the most about the community is the location. The location of Oaks at Daniel Island is highly accessible. Most everything is...
Provides: Assisted Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Welcome to the warm, inviting atmosphere of the Oaks of Daniel Island, a place for senior adults to call home. Just moments from historic downtown Charleston, SC on beautiful Daniel Island, you can enjoy all the simple pleasures you deserve. As you learn more about our community, services,...
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Photo of The Palmettos of Charleston
2020 Photos available
5 star
62%
4 star
15%
3 star
15%
2 star
8%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
The staff is amazing they are so kind and caring and take wonderful care of my 97-year-old aunt. Through out the pandemic they have done everything they can to keep the residences safe, healthy and happy. I...
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
The Palmettos of Charleston is owned and operated by NHC (National HealthCare Corporation). Since 1972, NHC has been committed to excellence by providing quality care that exceeds the standards of other assisted living communities. The Palmettos offers its residents an unrivaled amount of...
Photo of Sweetgrass Village
55 Photos available
5 star
50%
4 star
20%
3 star
20%
2 star
10%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
Sweetgrass has been wonderful home for my father! The size is what first attracted me to Sweetgrass and it has met all my expectations! Being small your loved one will get the individual attention they...
Provides: Assisted Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Welcome Home to Sweetgrass Village of Mt. Pleasant! We offer luxurious studio and one bedroom apartments with kitchenettes in en elegant hotel-like environment. Our friendly, service oriented 24 hour staff will provide you with all the care and comfort of home, while promoting a sense of...
Photo of Revela at Mt. Pleasant Assisted Living
1010 Photos available
11 Floor plan available
Pricing promotion
5 star
0%
4 star
100%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
I thought overall they did a good job here, but they weren't quite up to the level of care that my loved one needed. It was a nice facility, everything was well kept and clean, and the staff were all...
Provides: Assisted Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Welcome to Revela at Mt. Pleasant Assisted LivingEngage in a lifestyle you’ll love at Revela at Mt. Pleasant in Mt Pleasant, SC.Living along the coast at Revela at Mt. Pleasant in Mt Pleasant, SC, provides our Residents not only with a beautiful location but with many opportunities to enjoy a...
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Photo of Ashley Landing Assisted Living
1313 Photos available
5 star
56%
4 star
22%
3 star
11%
2 star
0%
1 star
11%
See all reviews
Mom has been a resident of this community for awhile now. I just want to say Ashley Landing is great. All of the staff is friendly and welcoming. The food is excellent and there is always something going...
Provides: Assisted Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
GET TO KNOW ASHLEY LANDING ASSISTED LIVINGFROM THE MOMENT YOU WALK IN THE DOOR, IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT SOMETHING IS DIFFERENT AT ASHLEY LANDING, WHERE WE OFFER AFFORDABLE ASSISTED LIVING FOR OUR RESIDENTS. ASHLEY LANDING FEELS LIKE HOME. THE GREETINGS ARE WARM AND FRIENDLY AND THE MEALS TASTE...
Photo of TerraBella James Island
77 Photos available
6.8
Review score
52 reviews
6.8
Review score
52 reviews
5 star
48%
4 star
29%
3 star
17%
2 star
4%
1 star
2%
See all reviews
It's a delightful place with southern beach charm !The room was great spacious being able to look out the windows and see the hummingbird feeders in the birdhouse feeders in the garden beds was spectacular...
Provides: Assisted Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
TerraBella James Island is an assisted living community located in the beautiful community of James Island, South Carolina. Clark Sound is only a mile away and is a popular afternoon destination for our residents. If you have a history buff in your family we are only two miles from both the...
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Photo of Wellmore of Daniel Island
1818 Photos available
5 star
84%
4 star
12%
3 star
4%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
All of the interactions we had with the staff were very positive, they know all the residents by name and they were very caring towards our loved one. Even though our loved one did not participate in the...
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
Adjacent to the Daniel Island Club, nestled amongst the trees and overlooking Beresford Creek, Wellmore of Daniel Island is the premier retirement community in Charleston’s vibrant island town. Members enjoy luxurious accommodations, restaurant-style fine dining, an award-winning wellness...
8.0
Review score
2 reviews
8.0
Review score
2 reviews
5 star
50%
4 star
50%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
We love Kempton of Charleston. The facility is great especially if you have access to driving. The location is isolated and there is not enough activities and things going on away from the facility so my...
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
Photo of Carter-May Home
5 star
100%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
I am so very thankful for the loving care Mom (age 86 - COPD and dementia) receives at Carter-May Home. She was in Pinewood in Goose Creek, SC for about a year and a half until they raised her level of care...
Provides: Assisted Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Photo of Cabading Homes #3
Provides: Assisted Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Photo of Mathis Ferry Plantation
5 star
0%
4 star
100%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
I chose this facility for my mom from the various experiences that I have had with assisted living facilities for the last 10 years. The transitions went smoothly at first and due to my mom's needs and her...
Provides: Assisted Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Near the heart of historic Charleston, our building stands testament to a long standing tradition of Southern hospitality. Our friendly, dedicated and trained staff are here to assist you or loved ones with a warmth that conveys the trust and confidence you are seeking and deserve. We are...
Photo of Bell's Professional Residential Home Care
Provides: Assisted Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Photo of Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Community
Provides: Assisted Living, Independent Living, Nursing Homes
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Independent Living: Independent living facilities offer convenient, hassle-free living in a social environment for seniors who are active, healthy, and able to live on their own.
Nursing Homes: Nursing homes provide short-and long-term care for seniors who have physical or mental health conditions that require 24-hour nursing and personal care.
Provides: Memory Care
Care types provided by this community
Memory Care: Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.
Alterra Clare Bridge provides a comfortable, home-like setting with programs and services designed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments. Alterra Clare Bridge offers private and companion suites in a comfortable neighborhood environment. Unique building...
Photo of Langit's Assisted Living Facility
Provides: Assisted Living
Care types provided by this community
Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.

What families are saying about assisted living in Charleston

Recent reviews for assisted living in Charleston

Dayspring Assisted Living in Hollywood, SC

4.4
The caregivers at Dayspring were one of the reasons we chose this community. They are wonderful and very good with the residents. This is a smaller community so the ratio of caregivers to residents is higher. They could use a few more activities. The food is good and they keep the community ...
Read more

Daysprings of Johns Island

4.9
Nice place where the owners are on site and know every residents names.

Atria Mount Pleasant

4.0
Staff very friendly. Wish they would do a better job of ensuring she bathed and her clothes are changed/washed. Would also like at least bi-weekly updates on behavior (any problems or changes)

Charleston review score based on 142 family reviews

8.4
Review score27 facilities142 ReviewsWrite a review
This proprietary review score is based on 142 reviews of 27 Charleston assisted living communities. All reviews were submitted in the past two years by verified community residents and family members.
The Charleston review score informs your search by letting you see at a glance how assisted living residents and family members rate assisted living in your area. Compare review scores in multiple locations to understand how overall satisfaction rates differ from city to city. Based on recent reviews, the maximum possible score is 10.Methodology: How we calculate our city review scores

Charleston review score compared against nearby cities

8.4
Charleston, SC27 facilities
8.4
James Island, SC22 facilities
8.3

Review subcategories for Charleston assisted living

When assisted living residents and family members submit a review on our site, they rate each community on categories such as cleanliness, activities, meals, and more. The chart below is based on 142 reviews of 27 Charleston assisted living communities. This chart helps you compare Charleston resident and family assisted living satisfaction rates against national averages. Use it to assess your needs and develop criteria for your own search. If you know that one of these categories is important to you or your loved one, our Senior Living Advisors can help you find communities to match your needs.
Charleston, SC averageNational average
Cleanliness
4.4
4.5
Friendliness
4.6
4.6
Care services
3.9
4.2
Staff
4.4
4.5
Meals & dining
4.0
4.1
Activities
4.2
4.0
Value for cost*
4.1
4.1
0.01.02.03.04.05.0
*Learn more about cost details

Costs of assisted living in the Charleston area

In Charleston, the average cost of an assisted living community is $4,397 per month, which includes the cost of rent, fees, and add-ons.[01] This is lower than the national median of $4,807 according to data from A Place for Mom’s Cost of Long-Term Care and Senior Living Report.

The prices below represent average starting rent costs for assisted living, in the surrounding area, before add-on fees, which could be helpful for comparing pricing across the area. 

Average monthly cost of Assisted Living in Charleston, SC vs. nearby cities

Charleston, SC
$4,508/mo

Average monthly cost of Assisted Living in Charleston, SC vs. the state and national average

Charleston, SC
$4,508/mo
U.S. national average
$4,554/mo

Average monthly cost of Assisted Living in Charleston vs. other types of senior living

Assisted Living
$4,508/mo
$4,508/mo

Median monthly costs of Assisted Living in Charleston, SC by room type

Semi-Private
$4,525/mo
Studio
$5,202/mo
1 Bedroom
$4,702/mo
2 Bedroom
$5,933/mo
Detached Cottage/Bungalow
$4,900/mo

Average cost of Assisted Living in Charleston over time

Charleston, SCSC stateNational

How people pay for assisted living in Charleston

Many families combine several payment types to cover the costs of assisted living. For example, room and board is rarely covered by health insurance, leaving families to pay for this expense from private funds like a personal or retirement savings account. Insurance such as Medicare or Medicaid and veterans benefits can cover many of the care services provided at assisted living communities. We explore various payment options in the following section to help determine the financial approach that’s right for you or your loved one.

Private pay methods

Personal savings accounts, returns from investment portfolios, pensions, or Social Security benefits are some of the more common examples of private funds. Using long-term care insurance or drawing funds from a health savings account are also ways families pay for assisted living costs. Depending on your family’s long-term care planning, assets, and resources, other common ways seniors pay for assisted living include the following:

Caregiver Resources
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By Merritt Whitley, senior living writer and editor
VA benefits
8667

Number of veterans who live in Charleston, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

About 48% of Charleston veterans are 65 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

Using VA benefits to pay for assisted living in Charleston

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a key resource for veterans and their surviving spouses in need of long-term care. There are several VA benefits programs that provide financial assistance for senior care and living costs in assisted living facilities.

The Ralph H. Johnson Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in central Charleston offers health services for Charleston’s veterans. For support with nonmedical services, such as benefits and applications, the Charleston Vet Center is another VA facility that supports veterans in the Charleston area.

Support finding and applying for VA benefits

Benefits counseling through the VA or veterans service organizations (VSOs) can help veterans and their spouses find and apply for VA benefits. Veterans are encouraged to take advantage of these services because the application process can be complicated. Often mistakes or missed deadlines can lead to delays and sometimes a denial of benefits.

What are VSOs?

VSOs assist veterans with benefits counseling and other veteran-centered programs. VSOs offer the expertise of veteran service officers who receive VA training and accreditation to provide assistance and veteran-focused information.

Operating at the local, state, and national levels, examples of common VSOs include:

  • Vietnam Veterans of America
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
  • American Legion

Many of Charleston’s VSO’s operate out of the Charleston County Veterans Affairs Office. There are also several VSO’s that have offices around the Charleston metropolitan area, and you can find contact information listed in the resources section below.

Resources for Charleston veterans

Local VA offices

Ralph H. Johnson Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
109 Bee St.
Charleston, SC 29401-5799
Phone: 843-577-5011

Charleston Vet Center
3625 W. Montague Ave.
North Charleston, SC 29418
Phone: 843-789-7000

Charleston County Veterans Affairs Office
4045 Bridge View Drive
North Charleston, SC 29405
Phone: 843-874-6360

The South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs
1800 St. Julian Place, Suite 305
Charleston, SC 29204
Phone: 803-734-4014

VSOs

American Legion Post 179
1748 Ashley Hall Road
Charleston, SC 29414
Phone: 843-991-6308

VFW Post 445
1639 Camp Road
Charleston, SC 29412
Phone: 843-795-9419

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 780
520 Folly Road
Charleston, SC 29412
Phone: 843-762-7546

Medicaid

Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income individuals. The program is run by individual states with oversight by the federal government. Healthy Connections is the name of South Carolina’s Medicaid program, which provides health care coverage for seniors 65 and over whose monthly income is below $1,255.[03]

Healthy Connections covers a variety of care and services for seniors including the following:[04]

  • Doctor office visits
  • Home health care
  • Hospital inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room services
  • Lab and x-ray services
  • Medical equipment
  • Nursing facility care
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Prescription medications
  • Speech-language therapy
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Vision care

South Carolina Medicaid plans that help pay for assisted living

Healthy Connections doesn’t cover the cost of room and board for assisted living in South Carolina. However, there are three programs that can help seniors in the Charleston area pay for care costs wherever they call home, including assisted living facilities.

  1. The Home Again program provides support for seniors living in a nursing facility or hospital to transition back to their community home. Seniors enrolled in the program can receive assistance through a transition coordinator and case manager. Once settled in their community, seniors can access care supports that may include the following services:[05]
    • Home delivered meals
    • Adult day care
    • Personal care
    • Companion care
    • Limited assistance with utility deposits, and groceries
  1. Seniors who require a nursing home level of care but prefer to remain in their home community may qualify for the Community Choice waiver. This program provides coverage for assistive services that seniors can receive where they live, including an assisted living facility.[06]
  2. Healthy Connections Prime is for seniors who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. This program provides a streamlined approach that keeps services and care consolidated under one unified plan.

Assistance applying for Medicaid

There are several resources in the Charleston area to help seniors apply for Medicaid and understand the services they are eligible for. Individuals can seek information and apply for Medicaid on the Healthy Connections website. For seniors seeking information on eligibility and support completing an application, the following organizations can provide assistance:

  • South Carolina Department on Aging
  • Trident Area Agency on Aging

Charleston resident Medicaid resources

Medicaid office

Charleston County Healthy Connections Office
3685 Rivers Ave. Suite 102
North Charleston, SC 29405
Phone: 888-549-0820

Eligibility and application assistance

Trident Area Agency on Aging
5895 Core Road., Suite 419
North Charleston, SC 29406
Phone: 843-554-2275

South Carolina Department on Aging
1301 Gervais St. Suite 350
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 800-868-9095

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
5895 Core Road Suite 419
North Charleston, SC 29406
Phone: 843-554-2275

Medicare

A federal health insurance program for those 65 and older, Medicare doesn’t cover living costs at assisted living facilities. However, regardless of where a senior lives, they can use Medicare to help offset medical care costs. Medicare breaks its coverage into three different parts:[07]

  • Part A,¬†hospital insurance,¬†pays for skilled nursing facility care, inpatient hospital care, and home health care.
  • Part B¬†or¬†medical insurance, covers doctor‚Äôs visits, lab work, x-rays, and other outpatient services performed in a clinic.
  • Part D¬†is also called¬†drug insurance¬†and pays for prescriptions, vaccines, and other medications.

Additional information about Medicare-covered services can be found on the Medicare website.

Eligibility and applying for Medicare in Charleston

Seniors become eligible for Medicare when they turn 65. Individuals with a disability, End-Stage Renal Disease, or ALS may qualify for Medicare earlier. Medicare enrollment is usually automatic for seniors already receiving Social Security benefits. For seniors who need to complete an application, the Medicare application can be found on the Social Security website.

There are also several state and local resources for seniors who are seeking help understanding benefits or require guidance with the Medicare application process.

The South Carolina State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers no-cost counseling for anyone in need of help understanding and applying for Medicare.

The Healthy Connections Prime program offers coordinated care for dually eligible seniors. Eligible seniors may also qualify to receive assistance paying for Medicare premiums, copayments, and deductibles. For assistance understanding eligibility requirements and navigating the application process, connect with the Health Connections Prime ombudsman.

Charleston resident Medicare resources

Apply for Medicare

Social Security Administration Office
1463 Tobias Gadson Blvd.
Charleston, SC 29407
Phone: 800-772-1213
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

South Carolina Department on Aging
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
1301 Gervais St., Suite 350
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 800-868-9095

Dual program assistance

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
5895 Core Road Suite 419
North Charleston, SC 29406
Phone: 843-554-2275

Charleston laws and regulations for assisted living facilities

Assisted living facilities in South Carolina are licensed as Community Residential Care Facilities by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Facilities must adhere to licensing regulations for assisted living facilities, which govern several categories:

Resident care and services. The following examples highlight the regulations that address the care and services assisted living facilities are required to provide for residents:

  • A resident‚Äôs needs must be assessed within 72 hours of their admittance.
  • An individualized care plan must be created within the first week.
  • The facility must provide care as directed by a physician, which may include specialty diets, emergency medical care, dental care, counseling, and medications.
  • The facility must provide assistance and items necessary for residents to maintain their personal cleanliness.
  • The facility shall provide opportunities for residents to participate in religious services.

In addition to licensing regulations, residents of assisted living in South Carolina are protected by the Bill of Rights for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities.

Staff and training. The assisted living facility must have a licensed administrator and staff must receive the training necessary to perform their duties. Other staff and training regulations include:

  • There must be at least one staff member for every eight residents during peak hours.
  • Staff members cannot have a prior conviction for abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
  • Staff must maintain current CPR and first aid training certificates.

Inspections

The DHEC performs unannounced annual inspections of long-term care facilities in Charleston, which are required as part of South Carolina’s licensing requirements. Inspection reports can be found using the online Survey and Certification search tool.

Additional information about South Carolina’s assisted living laws and regulations can be found on our overview of assisted living in South Carolina page.

South Carolina Department of Health contact information

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
2600 Bull St.
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 855-472-3432

COVID-19 regulations for Charleston assisted living communities

Charleston does not currently have COVID-19 mandates for assisted living facilities. The city offers general guidelines around staying safe:

  • Vaccinations.¬†Per¬†CDC guidelines, vaccinations are recommended.
  • Masking.¬†Masks are advised in public settings.
  • Facility cleanliness.¬†High-traffic areas should be disinfected frequently.
  • Social distancing.¬†It‚Äôs recommended that contact be avoided with those who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • CDC guidelines.¬†The Charleston guidelines match the recommendations from the CDC.
An illustration of a syringe

Vaccinations. Per CDC guidelines, vaccinations are recommended.

An illustration of a protective breathing mask

Masking. Masks are advised in public settings.

An illustration of a broom

Facility cleanliness. High-traffic areas should be disinfected frequently.

An illustration of two people with a double-sided arrow beneath them indicating distance

Social distancing. It is recommended that contact with those who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 be avoided.

An illustration of a list with a check mark

CDC guidelines. The Charleston guidelines match the recommendations from the CDC.

What assisted living is like in Charleston

Charleston stands out for its iconic colonial architecture and waving palms along the cobblestone streets, all of which are set against the backdrop of stunning sunsets. The historical skyline pairs nicely with comfortable weather and beautiful natural settings from relaxing beaches to wild coastal estuaries teeming with wildlife.

A Place for Mom partners with two stand-alone assisted living communities in Charleston and eight that combine assisted living with other care types like memory care and independent living.

Activities and amenities 

Charleston assisted living facilities have plenty of extras to help residents enjoy the comforts of home while staying active. Nearly all of our partner communities employ an activity director offering residents a full schedule of activities that match their interests. Art classes, happy hours, live musical performances, and day trips to Charleston’s historic and coastal sights are just a few examples. In many communities, common areas are available to all residents for getting cozy with a book or joining a group trivia game. Or gather with friends in an on-site movie theater to watch an old favorite or a newer release.

Southern hospitality and care

Assisted living in Charleston makes resident needs a top priority. From assistance with activities of daily living to concierge services, our partner communities take pride in the hospitality they provide. With 24/7 staff at all communities, residents can feel at ease knowing assistance is available any time of the day. Specialized care services are available on-site at most communities, including visiting podiatrists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech therapists. And more than half of our partners have a doctor on call.

Prepared meals and dining for easy living 

Our partner assisted living communities in Charleston offer restaurant-style dining with three delicious meals each day. From Southern favorites to international cuisine, chef-prepared meals are very much a part of the daily culture in Charleston’s assisted living communities. Some facilities also have on-site cafés or bistros for those times when residents just want to grab a snack with friends or feel like doing something a little different. Private dining rooms are available for those special occasions with family. For seniors with special preferences or specific dietary needs, more than half of our partner communities offer vegetarian or low/no sodium meal options.

Seniors’ guide to the city of Charleston

24,375

Number of seniors over the age of 65 currently living in Charleston[08]

16%
Percentage of seniors 65 and older within the Charleston population[08]
$63,020
Median annual income for Charleston seniors 65 and older[09]

Best hospitals for seniors in Charleston

A graphic of a capital letter H in a circle

Medical University of South Carolina Health (MUSC)

The top-rated hospital in Charleston, MUSC is recognized in 22 types of care including cardiology and cancer care.

Find a doctor

A graphic of a capital letter H in a circle

Roper St. Francis Healthcare

Roper is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report for its rehabilitation program. It’s also rated as high performing in 12 other procedures and conditions.

Find a doctor

A graphic of a capital letter H in a circle

East Cooper Medical Center

Listed as one of the top hospitals in the area for adult specialties such as orthopedics, East Cooper Medical Center is located just across the Cooper River in Mount Pleasant.

Find a doctor

Transportation for seniors in Charleston

Most Charlestonians get around by car, and 90% of our partner communities provide parking for seniors who still drive. Additionally, complimentary transportation is offered at 90% of our partner communities and others have pay-per-ride options. The assisted living communities we partner with make getting around easy for seniors who no longer drive or those who prefer to leave the driving to someone else.

Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is an option for showing visitors around the city. There are several routes available and seniors can ride at a discounted rate. For touring around historic downtown Charleston, the Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) makes getting around without a car easy.

CARTA OnDemand is a program that operates in cooperation with ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. The service is limited to a specific service area but offers a safe, low-cost transportation option for seniors. Tel-A-Ride paratransit services are available to qualified mobility-impaired seniors.

Downtown Charleston is quite pedestrian friendly with safe streets and bike lanes. Charleston’s walkability, bikeability, and public transportation options are rated on a scale of 0-100 by Walk Score, with 100 being the best. Charleston received the following scores:

Transportation card image
94

Walk Score

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34

Transit Score

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80

Bike Score

Senior activities in Charleston

Stretching along the coast, Charleston was established more than three centuries ago. Notes of the past are captured in the city’s architecture, culture, and activities. While there are plenty of modern things to do, history is at the heart of this Southern city.

Step into the past

Rainbow Row was once the heart of Charleston’s commerce and trade. These days it’s a designated historic landmark and a great place for walking or taking a horse-drawn carriage tour. The Nathaniel Russell House Museum is located in the center of Rainbow Row and provides a view into colonial life with tours, educational classes, and historical events.

You can learn about Charleston’s roots at one of the many museums and historical sites around Charleston including the following:

  • The Charleston Museum, also known as ‚ÄúAmerica‚Äôs first museum‚Ä̬†was originally home to Thomas Heyward Jr., one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Visitors can view everything from colonial art to a robust timeline of the area‚Äôs natural history.
  • On the darker side of Charleston‚Äôs history, the¬†Old Slave Mart Museum¬†provides insight into one of America‚Äôs busiest slave trade locations.
  • Take a ferry to¬†Fort Sumter¬†where the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when the Confederates fired the first shot on the federal garrison. The ferry and many of the sites have¬†accessibility options.
  • Established in 1807, the¬†Charleston City Market¬†is another must-see. Open daily, visitors can find collections of Southern art and crafts, like the sought-after hand-woven¬†sweetgrass baskets.

The natural South 

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens encompasses more than 400 acres of exotic gardens and one of the South’s oldest plantations. Visitors can take a garden tour or a hop on a train to explore the surrounding nature. The train and the boat offer accessibility options but due to its historical building status, the guided house tour does not.

Charleston’s Waterfront Park offers eight acres of nature and waterfront views. Walking paths wind through the park and there are plenty of benches and other areas to rest and take in the views. The park also has intimate garden rooms for relaxing in the shade.

Folly Beach is set on a barrier island with six miles of beaches, shops, and restaurants. Make sure to check out the Porgy House, where Charles Gershwin wrote his famous folk opera Porgy and Bess.

Local wildlife and art

The South Carolina Aquarium is a great place to take the grandkids where they can learn about sea turtles or even pet a stingray. Accessibility is central to the experience: Wheelchairs can be checked out for free, special sensory resources are available, and service animals are allowed.

Charleston is fantastic for fans of the arts. There are several museums that showcase visual art and a variety of performing arts venues including the following:

Frequently Asked Questions

Ashley Gardens Transitional Assisted Living and Memory Care, Somerby of Mount Pleasant and The Palms of Mt. Pleasant are the top-rated Assisted Living facilities near Charleston, SC. These Assisted Living facilities received the highest rankings based on verified family reviews. See full list of communities.

The average cost of Assisted Living in Charleston is $4,508 per month. This cost may vary based on location, amenities, floorplan, level of care and other factors.

References

  1. A Place for Mom. (2024). A Place for Mom proprietary data. 

  2. United States Census Bureau. (2021). Veteran status (S2101): Charleston city [Data set]. American Community Survey.

  3. South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (2024). Program eligibility and income limits.

  4. South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (2019, November 19). Healthy Connections Medicaid brochure.

  5. South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (2024). Home again.

  6. South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (2024). Community choices waiver.

  7. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Parts of Medicare.

  8. United States Census Bureau. (2021). Population 65 and Over in the United States (S0103): Charleston city. [Data set]. American Community Survey.

  9. United States Census Bureau. (2022). Median Income in the past 12 Months (S1903): Charleston city. [Data set]. American Community Survey.

  10. U.S. News & World Report. (2023). Best hospitals in Charleston, SC.

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The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal or financial advice or create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom and the reader. Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter, and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site. Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not endorse the contents of the third-party sites.
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1.

A Place for Mom. (2024). A Place for Mom proprietary data. 

2.

United States Census Bureau. (2021). Veteran status (S2101): Charleston city [Data set]. American Community Survey.

3.

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (2024). Program eligibility and income limits.

4.

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (2019, November 19). Healthy Connections Medicaid brochure.

5.

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (2024). Home again.

6.

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (2024). Community choices waiver.

7.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Parts of Medicare.

8.

United States Census Bureau. (2021). Population 65 and Over in the United States (S0103): Charleston city. [Data set]. American Community Survey.

9.

United States Census Bureau. (2022). Median Income in the past 12 Months (S1903): Charleston city. [Data set]. American Community Survey.

10.

U.S. News & World Report. (2023). Best hospitals in Charleston, SC.