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 Nursing Homes in Columbia, SC

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Columbia makes a great environment for seniors: Given its laid-back and welcoming nature as well as an accessible environment for retirees, moving a loved one into one of Columbia’s nursing home facilities could certainly be a great option for their next phase in life.

However, it’s important to know that the term “nursing home” can sometimes be an umbrella under which multiple types of senior care exist. First, nursing homes are also called skilled nursing facilities, and these communities offer both in-depth nursing services as well as long-term care. In turn, these types of facilities offer residents the highest level of medical care outside of a hospital and are ideal for seniors needing 24/7 care, hospice services, or rehabilitation.

On the other hand, some individuals searching for a nursing home for their loved one might actually be seeking out other types of services — mainly memory care or assisted living. The former provides 24/7 care and supervision tailored to seniors with memory loss conditions, and the latter offers more minimal assistance to seniors who are somewhat active but may require help with activities of daily living.

Although A Place for Mom doesn’t partner with standalone skilled nursing facilities, we do partner with both memory care and assisted living facilities that may offer skilled nursing wings or medical care services. If you’re seeking an assisted living or memory care facility in Columbia, you’ll find six options within a 10-mile radius of downtown that are partnered with A Place for Mom. We’ll also give you an overview of the area’s senior care options as well as information surrounding costs, payment methods, laws and regulations, and highlights Columbia offers its seniors.

Nursing homes facilities near Columbia, SC

Showing 29 communities
Last Updated: 5/24/24
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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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Nutritious meals are one of the most important and valued benefits of senior living. Chefs and meal planners provide residents the right balance of vitamins and minerals – and so much more. The best make sure every dish is made with quality ingredients, tastes great and leaves diners excited for their next meal.

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Photo of Fairforest Grove Senior LivingCommunity card badge
1010 Photos available
22 Floor plans available
9.7
Review score
56 reviews
9.7
Review score
56 reviews
5 star
58%
4 star
30%
3 star
7%
2 star
0%
1 star
5%
See all reviews
Their role in his hospice care was outstanding. The care they gave towards the end was instrumental in helping us accept the inevitable. The fact that they honored him on his wall of veterans and gave us...
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.
At Fairforest Grove, you’ll feel the difference that regional ownership and management make in creating a warm, family-focused environment, especially suited for senior living. Fairforest Grove is owned and managed by Mainstay Senior Living, not by a corporation or senior care conglomerate. Our...
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Photo of Forest Lake Manor
1010 Photos available
99 Floor plans available
9.7
Review score
74 reviews
9.7
Review score
74 reviews
5 star
64%
4 star
22%
3 star
5%
2 star
4%
1 star
5%
See all reviews
People were really good to mama ..Clean with lots to do. Just didnt like paying for services not provided. Mama had a broken arm. So help would have been good.
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.
In a beautiful homestead with an expansive Southern-style front porch, you'll find Atria Forest Lake, a family-style senior community. Enjoy a quiet walk in the courtyard, relax with friends by the fountain, or visit with family in the dayroom. Located in the heart of Forest Acres, Atria Forest...
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Photo of Merrill Gardens at Columbia
1616 Photos available
33 Floor plans available
9.5
Review score
33 reviews
9.5
Review score
33 reviews
5 star
67%
4 star
27%
3 star
6%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
Our family has been very happy with the facility and we had a great first impression. It did not seem like a "nursing home" - it is clean, it smelled nice and there are a lot of open spaces. The residents...
Provides: Assisted Living, 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.
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.
Merrill Gardens at Columbia is a new senior living community offering independent living and memory care. We are located next to Segra Park, home of the Columbia Fireflies, one mile from the State House and downtown. We offer luxury senior living in the heart of revitalized BullStreet District....
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Photo of Harmony at Columbia
99 Photos available
3232 Floor plans available
9.1
Review score
49 reviews
9.1
Review score
49 reviews
5 star
55%
4 star
29%
3 star
12%
2 star
0%
1 star
4%
See all reviews
They always went above and beyond giving good care, very friendly, and always accessible to help. I would recommend Harmony at Columbia to others without a doubt.
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 The Harmony Collection at ColumbiaIndependent Living | Assisted Living | Memory CareIn our continued effort to meet the demand of seniors in Columbia, South Carolina, we are offering Virtual Tours, an enhanced screening procedure for new residents, along with the security, support,...
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Photo of Brookdale Harbison
1010 Photos available
33 Floor plans available
Pricing promotion expiring soon
8.7
Review score
29 reviews
8.7
Review score
29 reviews
5 star
48%
4 star
28%
3 star
10%
2 star
0%
1 star
14%
See all reviews
The friendliness of the staff does vary greatly amongst the staff with some receiving's 1s and some others receiving 5s. What we like the most about the Brookdale Harbison community is the size of 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.
Embrace The Golden YearsIf you want to embrace your golden years with enthusiasm and energy without sacrificing peace of mind that comes from having access to quality care, look no further than our assisted living community in Columbia, South Carolina. Surrounded by a warm and welcoming care team...
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Photo of Brookdale Columbia
88 Photos available
33 Floor plans available
Pricing promotion expiring soon
8.7
Review score
33 reviews
8.7
Review score
33 reviews
5 star
33%
4 star
49%
3 star
18%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
I chose the community due to close to my home and the staff was welcoming. The cost was reasonable for my Dads needs now and in the future along with the cleanness.
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.
The Greatest AdventureTucked away in a beautiful building in Columbia, South Carolina, you can experience a retirement rich in luxury amenities and spacious accommodations. With personalized care plans, an action-packed events calendar and a warm and friendly group of residents, you may think you...
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Photo of Palmettos of Parklane
44 Photos available
8.0
Review score
9 reviews
8.0
Review score
9 reviews
5 star
67%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
33%
See all reviews
After visiting several places in the Columbia area, I made the decision to place my dear friend at The Palmettos. That was in March 2020. Two and a half years later, I am still confident that I made 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.
Photo of Wildewood Downs Retirement Community
33 Photos available
5 star
94%
4 star
3%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
3%
See all reviews
This is a great community and you should come and visit. They have activities like art work, work out classes, walking, dinner parties, movies, bridge and more for the residents to do. I even entered a...
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.
Personalized assisted living services are designed for individuals who are no longer safe or comfortable living alone or without medical supervision nearby. These residents may require various levels of assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) from medication management to assistance with...
Photo of Mill Creek Manor
1717 Photos available
7.7
Review score
32 reviews
7.7
Review score
32 reviews
5 star
28%
4 star
28%
3 star
28%
2 star
0%
1 star
16%
See all reviews
A PLACE FOR MOM was extremely friendly and helpful. Could not have found a place for mom without their help. I would recommend to others. We picked this community because of the cost, and it was friendly.
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 Mill Creek Manor Independent, Assisted Living, & Memory Care, located in beautiful Columbia, SCMill Creek Manor is conveniently located to dining, shopping, and surrounded by beautiful Sesquicentennial Park.Here at Mill Creek Manor we provide a senior living neighborhood with the...
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Photo of The Haven in the Summit
1111 Photos available
5 star
47%
4 star
21%
3 star
21%
2 star
0%
1 star
11%
See all reviews
My Aunt has been at the Haven for around seven months. She came from another place where she had UTI's all the time. We are still paying bills from those. Here she has not had one. The place is set up...
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.
We are a 60 bed secured Alzheimer's and Dementia Care community. We promote independence and choice. We have 3 unique neighborhoods where residents are placed dependent on their personal level of cognitive function. This way their neighbors are understanding to each other because they are at the...
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Photo of Carolina Gardens at Kathwood
1212 Photos available
5 star
31%
4 star
31%
3 star
19%
2 star
13%
1 star
6%
See all reviews
My mother in law is still adjusting to living at this community. The staff have been fabulous and have helped every step of the way. The entire staff watch out for her. She likes the food and they do offer...
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.
Carolina Gardens at Kathwood is an assisted living and memory care community in Columbia, South Carolina. Located in the capital city of Columbia, our residents enjoy unparalleled access to fine shopping, dining and medical facilities. Columbia is a historic city with a thriving downtown area,...
Photo of Harbison Hall
8.0
Review score
1 review
8.0
Review score
1 review
5 star
100%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
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My father really enjoyed himself here everyone was very nice and helpful treated us like family would recommend to anyone.
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 SC Episcopal Home at Still Hopes
5 star
100%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
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.
Photo of Life Care Ctr of Columbia
5 star
100%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
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It was OK. I think that the rehab was good, but they didn't inform us as to what was going on on a daily basis, and you would go over an no one seemed to know. She went there about three times this year...
Provides: Nursing Homes
Care types provided by this community
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.
Photo of Williams Community Care Home
5 star
100%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all reviews
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 Laurel Crest
5 star
0%
4 star
100%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
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Laurel Crest is more expensive, but they had better care than where my loved one is now. The staff to resident ratio was better here and we got much more personalized care. They pay attention the the...
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care, 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.
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.
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: Nursing Homes
Care types provided by this community
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.
Photo of The Palmettos of Parklane
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 Highlands Senior Living Columbia
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 White Oak of Columbia
Provides: Nursing Homes
Care types provided by this community
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.
Photo of Morris Community Care Home
Provides: Nursing Homes
Care types provided by this community
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.
Photo of Rice Estate
Provides: Assisted Living, Memory Care, 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.
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.
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.
Photo of Central Carolina Health & Rehb
Provides: Nursing Homes
Care types provided by this community
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.
Photo of Providence Hospital
Provides: Nursing Homes
Care types provided by this community
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.
Photo of Vitality Living Columbia
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.
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What families are saying about nursing homes in Columbia

Recent reviews for nursing homes in Columbia

Fairforest Grove Senior Living in Columbia, SC

5.0
After over a year I am still very happy with the care for my mother at FairForest. Mother wanted to be in Columbia, SC near her sister. This is too far away for me to be involved in Mothers care so I needed a place that I could rely on. Mother went in for Assisted Living but her dementia ...
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Brookdale Columbia

3.5
The staff is friendly and the housekeeping is good and responsive. The move in process was excellent. My mother is generally displeased with the food. It is bland, overcooked and cheap. They probably need to invigorate the process by having featured meals. For example, Friday fish day, chicken ...
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Pines Columbia in West Columbia, SC

5.0
My dad passed away in August. The Pines was wonderful to him. Very caring kind staff. They were always well staffed, we never felt like they were short handed. The staff really tries to grant all requests no matter how big or small. The public bathroom could be updated/repaired to have a more ...
Read more

Costs of nursing homes in the Columbia area

The national monthly median cost for nursing home care in a private room is $7,908.[01] A nursing home will provide 24-hour medical care to your loved one. However, not everyone is in need of that level of care.

According to A Place for Mom’s proprietary data shows, residents at our Columbia partner facilities paid an actual average of $3,864 monthly for assisted living and $4,017 for memory care — pricing that reflects associated fees and service fee add-ons paid by seniors.[02]

Depending on the facility, baseline care costs within Columbia’s senior care communities can include special types of care (memory, hospice, diabetes, incontinence, high-acuity, and ambulatory); assistance with personal care; 24-hour supervision; mobility assistance; ancillary services; medication management; an on-call doctor; a visiting podiatrist; and visiting occupational, physical, and speech therapists.[02]

Average monthly cost of Nursing Homes in Columbia, SC vs. nearby cities

Columbia, SC
$3,961/mo

Average monthly cost of Nursing Homes in Columbia, SC vs. the state and national average

Columbia, SC
$3,961/mo
U.S. national average
$4,858/mo

Average monthly cost of Nursing Homes in Columbia vs. other types of senior living

$3,961/mo
Nursing Homes
$3,961/mo

Median monthly costs of Nursing Homes in Columbia, SC by room type

Semi-Private
$3,961/mo
Studio
$4,483/mo
1 Bedroom
$4,384/mo
2 Bedroom
$4,949/mo

Average cost of Nursing Homes in Columbia over time

Columbia, SCSC stateNational

How people pay for a nursing home in Columbia

Prospective residents and their loved ones have several options when it comes to paying for a senior care facility. Some might choose private payment methods such as selling a home or taking out a reverse mortgage, while others will also use state and federal benefits they qualify for, including U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, Medicaid, and Medicare. Either way, you can use the information provided in this section to find the payment method that best suits you or your family.

Private pay methods

Private pay is the accumulation of funds that you or a loved one have earned through the years. These funds can come from several different places, and residents and their families often rely on retirement accounts, returns on investment portfolios, pensions, Social Security benefits, or personal savings to finance senior care.

You can also choose to use other forms of private income, including the following:

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VA benefits
7335

Roughly 7,335 veterans live in Columbia, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

About 12% of Columbia veterans are 75 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Veterans in Columbia, South Carolina, and their families may be eligible for certain VA-provided benefits that can help them cover costs related to nursing homes, assisted living, or memory care.

First and foremost, any veteran should look into the VA’s Aid and Attendance benefit, as this particular benefit generously boosts the funds provided to a veteran’s Pension. In turn, this extra funding can then be used for in-residence care services that will improve the senior’s quality of life — no matter where a senior is located.

How local veterans service officers can help

Plenty of Veterans Services Organizations in Columbia are available to help guide you or your loved one through the VA benefits process. This includes Columbia’s designated veterans services officers: individuals recognized by the VA who are there to help educate veterans and their families about the benefits available to them. Even if you don’t think you or a loved one will qualify for benefits, reaching out to a representative is important to be sure.

Resources for Columbia veterans

Government offices

South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs
1205 Pendleton St., Edgar A. Brown Building No. 477
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-734-0200
Email: va@scdva.sc.gov
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Columbia Regional Office
6437 Garners Ferry Road
Columbia, SC 29209
Phone: 800-827-1000
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Veterans Services Organizations (VSOs)

VFW Department of South Carolina
210 Glassmaster Road
Lexington, SC 29072
Phone: 803-808-0317
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

National Association for Black Veterans Chapter 0123
1572 Leesburg Road
Columbia, SC 29209
Phone:844-458-1041, ext. 700
Email: nabvetsscscc@gmail.com

Richland County American Legion Post 6
200 Pickens St.
Columbia, SC 20209
Phone: 803-799-2736

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

Medicaid

Medicaid is a federal public health insurance plan that is provided by state governments. It’s meant primarily for low-income individuals, including seniors who fall under certain annual income limits. In the Palmetto State, this program is called Healthy Connections.

Wondering whether you or a family member might qualify? South Carolina Medicaid’s requirements — including the conditions and annual income limits needed to qualify — are accessible here. The state also has an official Medicaid handbook that covers all the details.

Will Medicaid cover costs at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and memory care facilities?

It’s important to note that the costs Medicaid will cover depend on a senior’s care type. The program doesn’t pay for “custodial care” (such as room and board costs) in assisted living or memory care facilities, but it will cover custodial costs for those residing in nursing homes.

At the same time, Medicaid will help cover some medically necessary care costs in assisted living or memory care facilities through Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers, which are how states allocate federal funding for Medicaid toward in-home care.

Applying for Medicaid in South Carolina

Those looking to apply for Medicaid in South Carolina can fill out an online application here.

Additionally, local resources exist for those looking to determine their Medicaid eligibility, get help applying, or understand their options if they have the program. Richland County’s Healthy Connections eligibility office is there to help you determine whether you meet Medicaid-specific eligibility requirements. Likewise, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) are also there to assist seniors and their family members with questions and concerns surrounding all things Medicaid.

Those who would like to have their Medicaid questions answered from a more senior-specific lens might look to the South Carolina Department on Aging (DOA), which functions as Columbia’s Local Agency on Aging. This department can address any Medicaid- or aging-related questions you might have. It’s also there to help connect seniors and their families with other services relevant to long-term care.

Lastly, seniors and their families should know about Columbia’s local Medicaid ombudsman. This individual is an impartial party who is there to informally educate people about Medicaid as well as address any related concerns or resolve disputes.

The ombudsman helps seniors navigate Healthy Connections Prime, a coordinated care program for seniors 65+ who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare.

Columbia resident Medicaid resources

Columbia Medicaid offices

South Carolina DHHS
1801 Main St.
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-898-2500
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

South Carolina DSS
1535 Confederate Ave.
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-898-7601
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Healthy Connections local eligibility office of Richland County
3220 Two Notch Road
Columbia, SC 29204
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

South Carolina DOA
1301 Gervais St., Suite 350
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-734-9900
Fax: 803-734-9886

Healthy Connections Prime Advocate (Medicaid ombudsman)
1301 Gervais St., Suite 350
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 844-477-4632
Fax: 803-734-4534
TTY: 771
Email: primeadvocate@aging.sc.gov
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Medicare

The services Medicare, the federal health insurance for those 65+, will cover depend on the type of senior care facility a senior resides in. For nursing homes, you should know that Medicare’s Part A (or the plan’s hospital insurance) does cover skilled nursing services, but on a limited and short-term basis. Covered services could include semi-private rooms, sterile dressings, nutrition counseling, intravenous injections, medications, and physical or occupational therapy.

On the other hand, the program doesn’t pay for “custodial costs” for memory care or assisted living facilities in Columbia, including room and board — but it can cover medically necessary in-home care needs within these types of facilities. While Medicare Part A will pay for services such as psychiatry, skilled nursing care, in-home care services, medication, and hospice, Part B (Medicare’s medical insurance) will cover services such as care from doctors or other medical professionals, outpatient care, in-home care, medical equipment, and some preventive care.

Applying for Medicare in South Carolina

If you’re interested in learning more about Medicare or applying for the program, head to this useful portal. Here, you’ll find ample information on the basics of Medicare, including how to go through the application process and when you should apply.

The Medicare program suggests applying three months before you turn 65, but you have until three months after your 65th birthday to complete this process.

Lastly, those interested specifically in memory care facilities should know that seniors living with dementia could qualify for Medicare’s Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model. This model is meant for patients with chronic conditions, and it offers additional benefits.

In-person Medicare applications can be completed at your area’s Social Security Administration office. You can also head to this page to conveniently apply online.

Resources in Columbia that provide Medicare-related assistance

If you’re feeling lost when it comes to Medicare or simply want to chat with an expert, Columbia has an array of expert Medicare organizations and resources for seniors and their families.

First, the South Carolina Department of Aging offers up a State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) that counsels seniors and their family members who have questions about Medicare. For assistance with fees, however, seniors will want to look to the South Carolina Medicare Savings Program. This specific offering can assist South Carolinians with deductibles, premiums, and other Medicare fees.

Prisma Health SeniorCare’s Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) program could also be helpful to keep in mind. This resource provides care options tailored to seniors. These services include dentistry, in-residence care, physical therapy, and more for those who are not in nursing homes but qualify for that level of care.

However, one of the most critical local resources people in Columbia should know about is Richland County’s ombudsman. This individual is there to assist seniors and their families with Medicare, from answering informal questions to advocating for them whenever they have Medicare-specific disputes.

Columbia resources that can help with Medicare questions

Columbia has ample resources for seniors and their loved ones who are looking to understand their options with Medicare.

The State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is provided via the South Carolina Department of Aging. Interested parties should know that SHIP will help seniors and their families navigate Medicare applications and answer questions. Richland County also has an ombudsman that can help seniors and their families with Medicare-related questions.

Columbia resident Medicare resources

Medicare programs

SHIP
1301 Gervais St., Suite 350
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 800-868-9095

Medicare Savings Program
Phone: 888-549-0820
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Prisma Health SeniorCare PACE program

Two locations:

1308 Laurel St.
Columbia, SC 29201

1100 Shirley St.
Columbia, SC 29205

Phone: 803-434-3770
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Apply for Medicare

Social Security Administration office
1835 Assembly St., Floor 11 of Strom Thurmond Federal Building
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 866-964-7594

Richland County Ombudsman
Phone: 803-929-6000
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Understand South Carolina laws and regulations for nursing homes

All nursing homes, assisted living facilities and memory care facilities in South Carolina are regulated, licensed, and inspected by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

In particular, these are some of the critical laws and regulations nursing homes must adhere to:

  • Licensing: Nursing homes must obtain a license from the DHEC, which is granted after a first inspection. Licenses are renewed on a yearly basis, and the DHEC also conducts inspections to make sure nursing homes are compliant.
  • Staffers: Nursing homes must ensure there are enough staffers to care for residents’ needs. A licensed nurse must be on-site 24 hours a day, nursing homes must meet minimum staff-to-patient ratios, and all employees must undergo criminal background checks.
  • Resident rights: Dignity and respect must be afforded to residents in South Carolina’s nursing homes. Of course, they should also receive adequate care. Residents have the right to take part in conversations surrounding their care planning and decisions, and nursing homes must have policies meant to safeguard their residents from abuse. South Carolina has a Bill of Rights for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities that must be followed.
  • Safety: In South Carolina, nursing homes must be secure and clean. Infectious disease policies must be established, as well as policies surrounding ensuring residents receive adequate care.
  • Care: Residents in nursing homes must always receive quality care. This includes making sure seniors have appropriate meals, are hydrated, have medication management, and receive assistance with activities of daily living as needed.
  • Reporting: Each South Carolina nursing home should have a policy on how residents can lodge complaints or reports surrounding neglect and abuse. The DHEC is in charge of investigating these incidents.

Nursing homes in the state that participate in Medicare and Medicaid must also comply with certain federal regulations similar to the ones outlined above.

Nursing home inspections in South Carolina

Generally, South Carolina’s nursing homes undergo an inspection by the DHEC annually. However, certain facilities that have been noncompliant in the past — or ones that have received complaints — may find themselves inspected more frequently.

During these visits, inspectors gauge a nursing home’s compliance when it comes to state and federal regulations. The facility’s policies and procedures are evaluated, and interviews with staffers, residents, and their loved ones are held. The inspectors will also note the degree of cleanliness and safety in the facility. If the DHEC uncovers any issues during its inspection, it will ask the nursing home to create and carry out corrective plans. They may also receive fines and penalties if this plan is unsuccessful.

If a resident themselves or one of their loved ones is concerned about the quality of care or safety offered in a nursing home, they can also file a complaint with the state’s DHEC. Additionally, all DHEC inspections are available to the public. You can contact the DHEC using the contact details below to request specific facility results. You can also see the inspection reports online.

Nursing home zoning regulations in South Carolina

Some nursing homes in Columbia may also be subject to specific zoning regulations set forth by local governments. Generally, these regulations are laid out so that the city’s nursing homes will be in appropriate areas — think in areas close to medical campuses or convenient to public transportation.

Because these zoning laws can vary widely, it’s best to reach out to the local government office that’s responsible for zoning laws a nursing home falls under if you’re curious about a specific facility.

Do laws and regulations differ for South Carolina’s assisted living and memory care facilities?

As mentioned above, assisted living and memory care facilities must also adhere to DHEC guidelines surrounding licensing, adequate staffing, quality care, and similar regulations to South Carolina’s nursing homes. Both fall under the term Community Residential Care Facilities in South Carolina. You should also know that South Carolina’s memory care facilities do need a special designation for these services.

Assisted living facilities must be inspected by the DHEC at least once every two years, and memory care facilities are also inspected — just not on a specific timeline. Additionally, some nursing homes in Columbia may have assisted living or memory care services, meaning a combination of these regulations will still apply to them. You can search here to see if a facility is licensed, but inspection reports are not available online. For that, you’ll have to reach out to the DHEC.

South Carolina Department of Health contact information

2600 Bull St.
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 855-472-3432
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

COVID-19 regulations for Columbia nursing homes

Nursing homes, assisted living and memory care facilities in South Carolina do have specific COVID-19 guidelines provided by the DHEC. Some of the DHEC guidelines are listed below (which are up to date as of September 2021), and the full document is available here.

An illustration of a protective breathing mask

Masking. The use of a quality face mask is encouraged for staff, residents, and visitors.

An illustration of a broom

Facility cleanliness. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer use is encouraged by the DHEC, and facilities must be sure to infect high-traffic surfaces regularly.

An illustration of a shield

Staff safety. Appropriate protective equipment should be worn by staff.

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

Social distancing. Social distancing is suggested among individuals whenever possible.

What to expect from nursing homes in Columbia

Of course, opting to make a move to a nursing home isn’t an easy decision to make for yourself or a loved one. However, the laid-back and accessible lifestyle Columbia offers — as well as the variety of options offered by the senior care facilities in the area — means you’ll certainly find a community tailored to the needs and interests of any senior. Here, we’ll share more information about what you can expect from the area’s senior care facilities, whether you’re looking into nursing homes, memory care, or assisted living.

Many types of combination senior care

Of the six A Place for Mom-partnered senior care facilities within a 10-mile radius of downtown Columbia, just one offers standalone assisted living services. The rest include a variety of different care:[02]

  • Two facilities offer assisted living and memory care.
  • One facility combines assisted living and independent living.
  • One community offers assisted living, independent living, memory care, and senior apartments.
  • One particularly progressive community offers assisted living, independent living, and memory care.

With this in mind, seniors residing in combined facilities who are concerned about needing an additional layer of care later can rest assured that they’ll be accommodated.

Comprehensive health and dietary services

Residents in Columbia’s senior care facilities benefit from the variety of health care services their facilities provide, ensuring a senior’s unique care needs will be addressed.

Individual facilities’ offerings may vary, but services offered by the area’s assisted living and memory care facilities may include staff members awake at all times to help, medication management, incontinence management, diabetic care, as well as visits from doctors, physical or occupational therapists, and podiatrists.

Additionally, residents’ dietary needs and preferences will certainly be catered to: Columbia’s assisted living and memory care facilities offer up a host of dining options, from low- and no-sodium meals to gluten-free and no-sugar-added options.

Amenities that keep seniors engaged

No matter the type of facility, the wider Columbia senior care market provides residents with amenities that keep them entertained and engaged.

Certain assisted living and memory care facilities have a wide diversity of available activities, including on-site devotional groups; Protestant, Jewish, Catholic, Mormon, and other religious services; art classes; educational speakers; live dance or theater performances; choirs or singing clubs; wine tastings; dances; barbecues and picnics; and much more.

Seniors may also still be able to get active, no matter their abilities: Some facilities offer perks like day trips or outings, community service programs, stretching classes, light therapy, sensory programs, and yoga or chair yoga. If your senior is less of a social butterfly, they might still be able to enjoy facility common areas. These include spots like a courtyard with enclosures, a billiards lounge, a game room, a movie or theater room, salons or barber shops, or libraries, to name a few options.

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Unfamiliar with Columbia? Highlights for seniors

14,110

Number of seniors over the age of 65 currently living in Columbia, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

10%
Percentage of seniors 65 and older within the Columbia population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau
$46,630

Median annual income for Columbia seniors 65 and older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

Health care for seniors in Columbia

Seniors in Columbia will have no shortage of medical experts to rely on. Below, we’ll cover some of the area’s top medical facilities.

A graphic of a capital letter H in a circle

Lexington Medical Center

The top-ranked hospital in Columbia is Lexington Medical Center.

Lexington Medical Center is known as Columbia’s No. 1 hospital system. It’s a top performer in 11 different adult procedures and conditions, so seniors might be able to find a top-ranked specialist here.

A graphic of a capital letter H in a circle

Columbia VA Health Care System

Columbia’s VA medical system is there to assist veterans with a variety of health-related needs — it offers patients primary care, specialty care, mental health care, and more.

Transportation for seniors in Columbia

Columbia is a city where most people rely on cars to do their errands, meaning getting around by another means can sometimes prove difficult. But seniors and their family members shouldn’t worry: There are safe options for seniors who need to get out and about that don’t require them getting behind a wheel.

First, all Columbia assisted living and memory care facilities partnered with A Place for Mom offer residents complimentary transportation, and one-third offer transport at cost.

Those who have a caregiver with them can also rely on public transportation to get from point A to point B. The city’s Dial-A-Ride Transit (DART) Service is an offshoot of the Comet bus system, and it serves Columbia seniors who are living with disabilities. All of DART’s buses are wheelchair-accessible, and its $4 fares include a care attendant. DART has no restrictions or guidelines when it comes to usage, but the buses do run on a fixed schedule; residents with a DART card can use the service Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For errands or other tasks, seniors can use Columbia’s Senior Express. This service can take a senior or their caregiver around town, whether that’s to a medical appointment, social outing, shopping trip, or something similar. It’s available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Senior activities in Columbia

There’s so much to do in Columbia, South Carolina, that it’s hard to know where to begin! From nationally recognized parks to comprehensive and educational museums, you can easily spend a whole day outside or an entire day inside — no matter your interests.

For a calm, quiet, and contemplative day that stimulates the mind, seniors and their family members will love the Columbia Museum of Art. Not only does the museum offer engaging and accessible exhibits, but it also has plenty of programming. The South Carolina State Museum is interactive and engaging while offering accessibility for all who come. It also offers an exhibit for everyone, as its focus spans everything from South Carolina history to astronomy.

With all of this in mind, though, being outdoors is still one of the best ways to spend a day in Columbia. For starters, visitors could take seniors to the Robert Mills House and Gardens. Here, families can enjoy a stately mansion as well as outdoor garden areas. This is an especially calming activity, and mindful accessibility options like wide walking paths create a welcoming environment for seniors and their loved ones. Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is another botanical place of interest that keeps accessibility in mind: Home to over 3,000 animals flanked by greenery, the garden provides lush and calming exhibits as well as tours and animal encounters for people with disabilities.

Looking for more of a walk in the park, though? Families can head to Saluda Shoals Park, an especially accessible local park which is also home to a scenic river walkway. Sesquicentennial State Park is another solid option for families who enjoy a sunny day outside. It’s home to not only trails, but a large lake where you’ll often find locals relaxing. Lake Murray also hosts boat tours and provides accessible trails and piers for fishing.

Once you’re done with your day on the lake, why not head to one of Columbia’s shopping and dining districts for some food and more quality time? Congaree Vista is home to some of the city’s most beloved architecture, while Five Points has a more festive vibe. You could also see vendors at Soda City Market that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, but if you’re looking for a good stroll about town, Devine Street is the place to be.

And who doesn’t love a festive atmosphere? You’ll find it in Columbia every year at the South Carolina State Fair. If you missed that, don’t worry: The Greek Festival is sure to give you a whole day of fun.

If your loved one can’t usually head out of their community, however, rest assured that Columbia’s senior care facilities also offer up engaging activities for residents on-site — and that some even have supervised day trips and outings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fairforest Grove Senior Living, Forest Lake Manor and Harbison Shores are the top-rated Nursing Homes facilities near Columbia, SC. These Nursing Homes facilities received the highest rankings based on verified family reviews. See full list of communities.

The average cost of Nursing Homes in Columbia is $3,961 per month. This cost may vary based on location, amenities, floorplan, level of care and other factors.

References

  1. Genworth. (2021). Cost of Care Survey.

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

  3. United States Census Bureau. (2021). Population Estimates 2021: Columbia, South Carolina [Data set].

  4. U.S. News and World Report. (n.d.). Lexington Medical Center.

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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.

Genworth. (2021). Cost of Care Survey.

2.

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

3.

United States Census Bureau. (2021). Population Estimates 2021: Columbia, South Carolina [Data set].

4.

U.S. News and World Report. (n.d.). Lexington Medical Center.