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
About Independent LivingIndependent living facilities offer convenient, hassle-free living in a social environment for seniors who are active, healthy, and able to live on their own.Complete guide to independent livingBest of 2024 Independent Living Winners
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
About Care HomesResidential care homes are shared neighborhood homes for seniors who need a live-in caregiver to assist with activities of daily living, like dressing and bathing.Complete guide to care homes
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 Independent Living Communities in Charleston, SC

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Independent living for seniors in Charleston, South Carolina, can feel like being on vacation every day. With resort-style accommodations, access to all kinds of activities, and social opportunities galore, there’s no shortage of fun and relaxation to be had. That’s before you even head out the door! With easy access to the Charleston Harbor and the city’s antebellum architecture, the city of Charleston boasts a plethora of wonderful things to see and do.

You’ll have plenty of time to take it all in because you don’t have to worry about day-to-day chores like housekeeping, lawn care, or maintenance at A Place for Mom’s seven partner independent living facilities in Charleston.

In this guide, we’ll show you our independent living partners within a 10-mile radius of the heart of Charleston and help you determine ways to pay for them. We’ll also provide information about laws and regulations you can expect independent living facilities to follow. Finally, we’ll go over health care options and transportation in Charleston, as well as dive into all the fantastic things the city has to offer.

Charleston independent living facilities | 473 reviews

Showing 30 communities
Last Updated: 7/11/24
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Best of Senior Living

The highest-rated senior living communities stand out for their exceptional care and support of seniors in independent living, assisted living, memory care and home care. Our Best of Senior Living Award winners represent the top reviewed senior care providers nationwide based on reviews submitted by residents and families.

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Photo of Daniel Pointe Retirement CommunityCommunity card badge
2020 Photos available
1212 Floor plans available
9.9
Review score
45 reviews
9.9
Review score
45 reviews
5 star
96%
4 star
4%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
Daniel Pointe is a great place and our loved one likes the food the best. Based on the experience we have had so far, I would recommend this community to other families who may need a place for their loved...
Provides: Independent Living
Care types provided by this community
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.
Daniel Pointe, the luxurious Resort Lifestyle Community, has been developed exclusively for adults 55 and over and is now OPEN! We offer the comforts and conveniences of modern-day living that allow you to enjoy your retirement. Daniel Pointe's top-notch, all-inclusive services and amenities...
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Photo of Oaks at Charleston
1919 Photos available
66 Floor plans available
9.2
Review score
43 reviews
9.2
Review score
43 reviews
5 star
56%
4 star
23%
3 star
7%
2 star
5%
1 star
9%
See all reviews
The staff is wonderful, as well as the caregivers. For the most part, my family has a great rapport with the caregivers, and they are very attentive to our sister. We also have a great rapport with 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.
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 promotions expiring soon
8.5
Review score
82 reviews
8.5
Review score
82 reviews
5 star
46%
4 star
26%
3 star
15%
2 star
7%
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
18 reviews
8.2
Review score
18 reviews
5 star
50%
4 star
33%
3 star
11%
2 star
6%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
I would say the staff is friendly and the private rooms are big comparatively. As with any place, changes take a bit of time and getting all shifts on the same page. Comparatively, they are still head and...
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 Holiday Ashley Park
55 Photos available
8.2
Review score
41 reviews
8.2
Review score
41 reviews
5 star
49%
4 star
34%
3 star
17%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
Staff was very accommodating in helping me set up my cable. I am not computer savvy. I found that the location of this facility is in a good location of restaurants and other businesses. So far I like my...
Provides: Independent Living
Care types provided by this community
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.
Holiday Retirement provides a fulfilling, independent lifestyle in a welcoming environment. Our beautiful facility is situated on picturesque landscaped grounds in a quiet corner of Charleston. We're conveniently close to shopping, healthcare, dining and wonderful regional attractions. Our...
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Photo of The Palms of Mt. Pleasant
1414 Photos available
55 Floor plans available
9.4
Review score
46 reviews
9.4
Review score
46 reviews
5 star
55%
4 star
39%
3 star
4%
2 star
0%
1 star
2%
See all reviews
Too far to exit to take dog out, to access transportation, etc. Swimming pool too small. Apartment nice. I had to provide my own housekeeping because none was available. Meals were nice and on time. ...
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
9.2
Review score
36 reviews
9.2
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 – and experience greater well-being.This inviting residence features spacious apartments and villas, each with a flexible...
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Photo of Shem Creek Health Center at South Bay
33 Photos available
8.2
Review score
3 reviews
8.2
Review score
3 reviews
5 star
33%
4 star
67%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
Most of the staff cares deeply about the residents. I've been surprised by how much still have to follow up and advocate for my Dad. But I love seeing how they love my dad! The activities director and...
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 Overture West Ashley 55+ Active Adult Apartment Homes
1515 Photos available
1515 Floor plans available
5 star
62%
4 star
13%
3 star
25%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
This is a place for someone who does not want to have to deal with any maintenance. You can leave and go on vacation without any problems. It is clean and well run. Very easy access to services, a grocery...
Provides: Independent Living
Care types provided by this community
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.
To put it simply, Charleston, SC is a sight to be seen. There's a lot this world-renowned city has to offer—sandy beaches, incredible dining experiences, rich culture, high-end shopping and much more. At Overture West Ashley, you are right in the center of it all. Our 55+ active adult community...
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Photo of Overture Daniel Island 55+ Active Adult Apartment Homes
1717 Photos available
55 Floor plans available
5 star
80%
4 star
20%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
I chose Overture Daniel Island because of the quietness of where it is located. I have the smallest 1 bedroom apartment that they have but it is plenty of space for me and what I need. The maintenance staff...
Provides: Independent Living
Care types provided by this community
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.
Picture a life of luxury and relaxation in a coastal, Lowcountry setting. That’s life at Overture Daniel Island. We’ve thoughtfully designed our 55+ Active Adult apartment home community to reflect all the charm and allure of its surrounding areas, with beautifully crafted apartment residences...
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...
8.5
Review score
3 reviews
8.5
Review score
3 reviews
5 star
67%
4 star
33%
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.
9.3
Review score
12 reviews
9.3
Review score
12 reviews
5 star
67%
4 star
25%
3 star
8%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
The staff seems very helpful and they try hard to blend new and existing residents in the dining room and for many of the activities. They have a new activities director who seems nice and enthusiastic. ...
Provides: Independent Living
Care types provided by this community
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.
We are currently updating our information about this care provider. To find out more information, or to schedule a tour, please fill out the form above.
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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 Canterbury House
Provides: Senior Apartments
Care types provided by this community
Senior Apartments: Senior apartments offer accessible, no-frills living for seniors who are generally active, healthy, and able to live on their own.
Photo of The Sherman House
Provides: Senior Apartments
Care types provided by this community
Senior Apartments: Senior apartments offer accessible, no-frills living for seniors who are generally active, healthy, and able to live on their own.
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...

Our methodology

How we rank order the Charleston community options above

We developed a proprietary recommendation system that orders Charleston community options based on factors we know are important to seniors and their families:

  • Proximity to your search location
  • Availability of recent, high-quality reviews
  • The amount of detailed community information available

Where we source our information

14,000+ communities

We collect proprietary data from our network of 14,000+ senior living communities in the U.S., with regular refreshes of data and information

350,000+ reviews

We have 387,000+ reviews from senior living residents and family members that provide first-hand accounts about senior living communities

Read our full methodology

Costs of independent living in the Charleston area

The average total cost for an independent living facility in Charleston is around $4,260.[01] For this price, you can expect to have access to all the standard amenities offered, such as planned social activities and access to fitness centers or other common areas. It also includes things like maintenance and lawn care.

The graphic below is representative of the average baseline costs of an independent living facility without considering any additional fees or add-on extras.

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

Charleston, SC
$4,113/mo

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

Charleston, SC
$4,113/mo
U.S. national average
$3,994/mo

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

$4,515/mo
Independent Living
$4,113/mo

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

Semi-Private
$4,466/mo
Studio
$4,712/mo
1 Bedroom
$4,384/mo
2 Bedroom
$5,294/mo
Detached Cottage/Bungalow
$4,900/mo

Average cost of Independent Living in Charleston over time

Charleston, SCSC stateNational

What families are saying about independent living in Charleston

Recent reviews for independent living in Charleston

Overture West Ashley 55+ Active Adult Apartment Homes in Charleston, SC

4.4
The staff and residents are super friendly. There are lots of activities, and they are awesome for the residents. The breakfast is available Monday through Friday, and this is awesome for us. On Wednesdays they offer a happy hour, and they even include some appetizers.

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.

How people pay for independent living in Charleston

Paying for independent living is generally out of pocket, but there are options to find savings in other areas to leave more space in your budget to cover independent living in Charleston.

Medicaid, Medicare, and long-term care insurance won’t help with the cost of independent living, these programs can help you with medical costs you might incur while living there.

Here, we’ll talk about private payment methods, as well as how VA benefits, public assistance, Medicaid, and Medicare might be useful.

Private pay methods

Private pay covers everything from Social Security benefits to pensions to investment returns. It’s any income stream that helps you cover assisted living expenses. Some of the following are also helpful:

Caregiver Resources
Reverse Mortgages and Long-Term Care: The Pros and Cons
By Merritt Whitley, senior living writer and editor
VA benefits
29573

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

About 51% of Charleston veterans are 65+

Charleston’s nearly 15,000 veterans should look into all the VA benefits that might be available to them that could help them cover independent living.

Some veterans might be eligible for the VA Pension. This also applies to their dependents. The Aid and Attendance benefit is another helpful offering from the VA. It’s for vets who need help with day-to-day activities, have eyesight issues, are bedbound, or are even in a nursing home. The Aid and Attendance benefit adds additional money on top of the monthly VA Pension. Veterans can apply for these benefits at the regional VA office.

It’s not always easy to know if you qualify for VA benefits, and that’s why veterans services officers are trained to help you through the process. Their help is free, and you can find them at veterans services organizations and VA offices.

Another helpful resource for veterans is The South Carolina Veteran Coalition, which joins VSOs, government officials, nonprofits, and other organizations to act as a one-stop-shop for veterans trying to connect to resources. Veterans need to fill out the information on the Combined Arms portal, and it only takes 72 hours to be matched with useful resources.

Resources for Charleston veterans

Local VA offices

The South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs
1800 St. Julian Place, Suite 305
Charleston, SC 29204
Phone: 803-734-4014
Email: va@scdva.sc.gov
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Charleston County Veterans Affairs Office
Veterans services officers: Anne S. Owen and Leslie D. Kemp
4045 Bridge View Drive
North Charleston, SC 29405
Phone: 843-874-6360
Email: vaoffice@charlestoncounty.org
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

VSOs

American Legion Post 241
Veterans services officer: Perry W. James, IV
3151 Rivers Ave.
North Charleston, SC 29405
Phone: 803-351-0811

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

VFW Post 5091
4257 Spruill Ave.
North Charleston, SC 29405
Phone: 843-744-2089

Disabled American Veterans
VA Regional Office
6437 Garners Ferry Road
Columbia, SC 29209
Phone: 803-647-2422

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

Medicaid

Medicaid helps with medical expenses for low-income seniors. It won’t help with covering the expense of staying at an independent living facility, but it can make sure your health care costs don’t add up.

Some seniors can qualify for in-home health care and support at their independent living facility if it is deemed medically necessary. This could happen through the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program. There are three HCBS waivers in South Carolina:

Application assistance for Medicaid

The South Carolina Healthy Connections website is an easy place to get started by applying online for Medicaid. If you need help or have questions, there is a state Long Term Care Ombudsman Program operated by The South Carolina Department on Aging. In Charleston, the ombudsman is located at the Trident Area Agency on Aging (TAAA). The TAAA also has an Eligibility Screening and Assessment Coordination Program to assist people looking to determine eligibility for assistance.

SC Thrive is a great resource for eligibility screening, application assistance, and counseling. GetCareSC, a website operated by the Department on Aging, is another easy way to find and connect with helpful resources.

Lastly, South Carolina is among 15 states offering coordinated care for seniors who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. This program for people 65+ is called Healthy Connections Prime. The program’s ombudsman can provide guidance to those enrolled in Healthy Connections Prime.

Charleston resident Medicaid resources

Eligibility and application assistance

Healthy Connections Local Eligibility Office
3685 Rivers Ave., Suite 102
North Charleston, SC 29405
Phone: 888-549-0820
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 – noon

SC Thrive
Phone: 800-726-8774
Email: contact@scthrive.org

Trident Area Agency on Aging
5895 Core Road., Suite 419
North Charleston, SC 29406
Phone: 843-554-2275
Email: info@tridentaaa.org
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

SC Department on Aging Programs

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

Medicare 

Independent living facilities are not a Medicare-covered expense. However, this federal health insurance program for those 65+ can help seniors who live in an independent living facility with the cost of medical care.

Additional savings can be found through a Medicare Savings Program in South Carolina called Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB). It will cover Part B’s premiums, copayments, and deductibles for those who meet the income limit qualifications, are blind, disabled, or at least 65 years old.

Medicare application assistance

The South Carolina State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers free counseling for people who need help understanding and applying for Medicare. SHIP is operated by the South Carolina Department on Aging, and it can even help them enroll in other low-income assistance programs if they qualify. GetCareSC exists to help residents connect with local resources. Seniors can sign up for Medicare online or through the Social Security Administration office.

South Carolina is also one of just a handful of states offering coordinated care for seniors who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. This dual program for people 65 and older is called Healthy Connections Prime. The ombudsman for this program will assist seniors who are enrolled in Healthy Connections Prime to understand and utilize the dual program.

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

Understand South Carolina laws and regulations for independent living communities

Independent living facilities in South Carolina are not required to be licensed. They do have a lot of conveniences, such as housekeeping services, transportation, and social activities, but they don’t offer any type of care. However, if an independent living facility is combined with assisted living or memory care, then state licensing requirements for Community Residential Care Facilities will apply.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is responsible for the licensing, regulation, and inspection of long-term care facilities in Charleston. South Carolina licensing regulations for assisted living facilities cover a lot of areas, but here are some key takeaways around what they govern:

  • Guidance for staffing levels and training requirements
  • Required reporting of accidents
  • Record maintenance rules
  • Safety precautions
  • Transportation and recreation guidance
  • Medication management
  • Meal service
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Infection control
  • Maintenance and construction requirements

Unannounced inspections, both routine and those triggered by a complaint, are part of the state’s licensing requirements for long-term care facilities. The DHEC inspects to ensure facilities uphold the guidelines and laws discussed above. Facilities are inspected at least annually. Inspection reports are made available to the public by contacting DHEC or searching online.

Protections for residents of all facilities in Charleston can be found in the Bill of Rights for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities. Independent living communities in South Carolina have minimum age requirements — most often, it’s 55 and up.

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
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

COVID-19 regulations for Charleston independent living communities

Independent living facilities do not have to adhere to any COVID-19 mandates, but Charleston does provide some guidelines and gives coronavirus updates here. The Charleston guidelines match the recommendations from the CDC.

An illustration of a syringe

Vaccinations. Vaccinations are recommended per the CDC guidelines on vaccinations.

An illustration of a protective breathing mask

Masking. Masks are recommended in public settings.

An illustration of a broom

Facility cleanliness. Frequently touched objects and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected frequently with cleaning spray or a wipe.

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

Social distancing. Avoiding close contact with people who are ill is highly advised.

Types of independent living in Charleston

Independent living in your retirement years can make your days easier and more fun. Independent living communities offer built-in social environments and a plethora of conveniences, from provided meals to housekeeping services. You can plan to join community activities, jump in the pool for water aerobics, or play cards with friends in the game room.

A blend of living options

There are seven independent living facilities partnered with A Place for Mom within 10 miles of Charleston’s historical city center. While three are standalone, the rest are blended with other living options. Four of the independent living facilities also offer assisted living and memory care. These are good choices for seniors who want to seamlessly age in place.

Locations for everyone’s taste

Nestled in the historic downtown area of Charleston, you’ll find independent living communities close to the hustle and bustle of shops, restaurants, and cultural events. Waterfront living near the Charleston Harbor is also available, giving active residents easy access to parks, walking trails, and activities like fishing or sailing.

Lowcountry luxury living

Southern style and charm are reflected in the architecture of many of our partner independent living facilities that offer fun, resort-style living. Well-appointed private apartments and manicured grounds are an expectation. Many facilities are all-inclusive, meaning that you don’t have to spend time paying individual bills, instead, you can enjoy lively happy hours at built-in bars and bistros, spa time at onsite salons, or first-class holiday parties.

Charleston independent living services and amenities

These charts highlight some of the many care, dining, and entertainment offerings available in Charleston independent living communities. They don’t represent all possible services and amenities available at assisted living communities in Charleston, but support comparisons against nationwide offerings. Our Senior Living Advisors can help you find communities that fit your preferences.

Availability of select dietary accommodations in Charleston independent living

Independent living communities help seniors maintain a balanced diet by accommodating their health needs, allergies, and other restrictions. Below you’ll find the percentage of Charleston partners making specific dietary accommodations for seniors compared to the percentage of assisted living partners making those accommodations nationally.
Charleston, SCNational
Nutritionist / dietician
Nutritionist / dietician
23.3%
19.6%
Low / no sodium
Low / no sodium
36.7%
32.7%
No sugar
No sugar
36.7%
30.2%
Vegetarian
Vegetarian
30%
31.9%
Pureed meals
Pureed meals
6.7%
7.4%
0.0%20.0%40.0%60.0%80.0%100%

Availability of select dining options in Charleston independent living

Our independent living communities know that seniors want top-quality meals and options for how they dine. The chart below indicates the percentage of Charleston communities that offer dining options to their discerning residents compared to our partners nationally.
Charleston, SCNational
Professional chef
Professional chef
36.7%
34.8%
Restaurant style dining
Restaurant style dining
53.3%
41.7%
Room service
Room service
40%
35.3%
Anytime dining
Anytime dining
23.3%
16.5%
0.0%20.0%40.0%60.0%80.0%100%

Availability of select programs and activities in Charleston independent living

Senior living communities offer a variety of programming to keep seniors socially, mentally, and physically vibrant. The chart below shows what percentage of partnered independent living communities in Charleston offer the selected activities, amenities, and programs compared to the percentage of partners nationwide.
Charleston, SCNational
Activity director
Activity director
56.7%
43.5%
Pet-focused programs
Pet-focused programs
46.7%
27.1%
Community service programs
Community service programs
40%
31.4%
Devotional activities on-site
Devotional activities on-site
43.3%
47.3%
Parties / BBQs / happy hour
Parties / BBQs / happy hour
60%
48.1%
Outings / off-site activities
Outings / off-site activities
60%
53%
Piano or organ
Piano or organ
50%
41.3%
Arts and crafts center
Arts and crafts center
43.3%
36.2%
Educational speakers / life long learning
Educational speakers / life long learning
53.3%
40%
Clubs / games / karaoke
Clubs / games / karaoke
60%
45.8%
Live performances
Live performances
60%
45.4%
Dances
Dances
43.3%
30.9%
Fitness center
Fitness center
36.7%
38.5%
Fitness classes
Fitness classes
60%
45.3%
0.0%20.0%40.0%60.0%80.0%100%

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Our free touring checklist can help you choose the right community.

Unfamiliar with Charleston? Highlights for seniors

72,706

Number of seniors over the age of 65 currently living in Charleston

18%
Percentage of seniors 65 and older within the Charleston population
$50,969

Median annual income for Charleston seniors 65 and older

Health care for seniors in Charleston

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Medical University of South Carolina Health

This hospital received one of 2023’s America’s 100 Best Hospitals Awards from Healthgrades for delivering quality care consistently year over year.

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Roper St. Francis Healthcare

This hospital earned one of Healthgrades’s 2023 America’s 250 Best Hospitals Awards.

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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

This VA Medical Center, along with several area VA clinics, provides health care to Charleston’s veteran population.

Transportation for seniors in Charleston

Getting around town won’t be a chore since 71%  of our partner independent living communities offer transportation for free, while 43% offer it at-cost. Of course, you can certainly have your own personal vehicle if you’d like.

Charleston’s public transportation system, Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA), offers a fixed-route bus system. The Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) has three additional routes to get riders around the downtown area faster. CARTA offers quarterly free ride days for seniors who are at least 55 years old to help encourage them to learn how to use the bus system.

For 55+ seniors, CARTA OnDemand offers up to 20 trips per month within this service area for as low as $4 a ride. The rest of the fare is subsidized because this program is a partnership between the city of Charleston and Uber. Tel-A-Ride paratransit customers are automatically eligible for this program, too.

If you’d like to access a private option for getting around, here are some available choices:

Despite having some public transport, the city doesn’t get a great score in that area. Charleston earns just 24 on a scale of 100 from Walk Score, which measures pedestrian friendliness based on public density and walking and biking routes.[04] Walkability is fair, with the Radcliffeborough, Cannonborough, and Elliotborough neighborhoods being the best for pedestrians. There are some trails and urban infrastructure for bicycles. The city of Charleston has this guide for cyclists with safety and law reminders.

Transportation card image
40

Walk Score

Transportation card image
24

Transit Score

Transportation card image
50

Bike Score

Senior activities in Charleston

There is so much to do and see in the gorgeous coastal city of Charleston, it’s hard to know where to begin! For a city that’s been around for more than three centuries, that’s hardly a surprise.

Take a trip back in time

Once the center of Charleston’s commerce and trade, Charleston’s Rainbow Row is now a designated historic landmark and a must-see attraction. A horse-drawn carriage tour is one unique way to enjoy it. Peek inside a late Colonial-era mansion with a tour of the Nathaniel Russell House Museum or step inside America’s first museum.

To honor Charleston’s roots, learn something about African-American history in the South at the Old Slave Mart Museum. The spot where the first shot of the Civil War was heard is also part of Charleston’s history. The Confederates fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. You’ll have to ride a ferry boat to visit the Fort. There is a ramp system making the ferries accessible, but sometimes the tides prevent the ramps from being used. The Fort itself is partially, but not entirely, accessible.

The Charleston City Market is steeped in history, too. It is open every day of the week, and the night market is open on Friday and Saturday evenings. The market has vendors who sell everything from fine art to handmade jewelry to homemade sweetgrass baskets that are weaved by artisans before your eyes.

The performing arts scene

From classes and workshops to exhibits and art sales, The Gibbes Museum of Art has everything an art lover could want. You can access portions of the museum for free. This accessibility guide to the museum will tell you everything you need to know to have a great experience.

Charleston’s Gaillard Center is home to the performing arts. You can catch a comedy show, live music, or dance performances at this fully accessible venue. Charleston Music Hall also offers live music with six accessible seating spots, as shown on this seating chart. The Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre is a great way to spend a night out with friends.

No shortage of natural beauty to enjoy

Charleston’s eight-acre Waterfront Park is a city landmark. With more than 1,000 feet stretching along the coast, the scenery alone is breathtaking. Fishing along the pier or strolling any of the walking paths is a great way to enjoy a day.

The James Island County Park fishing dock is another great place to cast a line. If you love staying near the water, you’ll want to book a sailing tour out of Charleston Harbor. Renting a canoe or a kayak is another way to enjoy life on the coast. If you want a more relaxing way to enjoy the water, kick back at the popular Folly Beach.

Good times specific for seniors

Frequently Asked Questions

Daniel Pointe Retirement Community, Somerby of Mount Pleasant and The Palms of Mt. Pleasant are the top-rated Independent Living facilities near Charleston, SC. These Independent Living facilities received the highest rankings based on verified family reviews. See full list of communities.

The average cost of Independent Living in Charleston is $4,113 per month. This cost may vary based on location, amenities, floorplan, level of care and other factors.

References

  1. A Place for Mom. (2023). A Place for Mom proprietary data.

  2. Healthgrades. (2023). MUSC Health University Medical Center.

  3. Healthgrades. (2023). Roper Hospital.

  4. WalkScore. (2023). Living in Charleston.

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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. (2023). A Place for Mom proprietary data.

2.
3.

Healthgrades. (2023). Roper Hospital.

4.

WalkScore. (2023). Living in Charleston.