State Assisted Living Policy: 1998. South Carolina



Community Residential Care Facilities R61-84

General Approach

In 1996, Governor David Beasley issued a long term care plan for the state that created a framework for developing assisted living. The plan seeks to provide a local and accessible continuum of care and recommends the exploration of long term care housing alternatives to expand the current array of choices and recognizes that nursing facilities and community residential care facilities will not continue to meet the diverse needs of aging and disabled citizens. "Assisted living has the potential to expand the current array of choices in the long term care service delivery system. Still in its early stages, assisted living may provide cost effective and appropriate services for frail elders and disabled adults. It offers developers, owners and management agencies prospects for expansion."

The task force included representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services, Aging, Consumer Affairs and the Housing Finance and Development Authority. In addition, representatives from the residential care facilities association, two nursing home associations and others also participate. The task force recommended a definition of assisted living and adult foster care and public funding to the extent possible.

Legislation passed in 1996 requires facilities advertized as special care facilities serving residents with Alzheimer's disease to disclose the form of care and treatment that distinguishes it as being suitable for people with Alzheimer's disease, the admission/transfer and discharge criteria, care planning process, staffing and training, physical environment, activities the role of family members and the cost of care.

In 1998 there were 490 licensed facilities with 11,668 beds.


"Community residential care facility is a facility which offers room and board and which provides a degree of personal assistance for a period of time in excess of twenty four consecutive hours for two or more persons, eighteen years old or older, unrelated to the operator within the third degree of consanguinity." The definition includes facilities which serve people with mental illness and alcohol or drug abuse needs.

Task force recommendation Assisted living is a special combination of housing, supportive services and health care designed to respond to the individual needs of those who need help with ADLs and IADLs. Supportive services are available 24-hours a day to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs, in a way that promotes maximum dignity and independence for each resident and involves the resident's family, neighbors and friends.

Unit Requirements

Bedrooms must offer 80 square feet for single rooms and 60 square feet per resident in multiple occupancy rooms. No more than four residents may share a room. One toilet is required for every eight residents and one tub/shower for every 10 residents. Pets are allowed.

Tenant Policy

Facilities may not admit anyone suffering from acute mental illness, anyone needing hospital or nursing home care, anyone needing daily attention of a licensed nurse.


Facilities must provide personal assistance, protection and recreation. Personal assistance includes assistance with ADLS, assistance with making appointments and arranging transportation to receive supportive services required in the care plan. Continuous supervision must be provided for anyone whose mental condition is such that their safety requires it.


Facilities may administer medications and are responsible for ascertaining that medications are taken by residents in accordance with physician's orders.


At least one staff member shall be available for every 10 residents during the day and one per 44 residents at night. Facilities with more than 10 residents must have one staff member awake and dressed at night.


Administrators must be licensed by the SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and be no less than 21 years of age, possess mature judgement and have sufficient education (high school or equivalent) to read, understand and comply with the regulations. They must have three reference letters attesting to their character, be unimpaired by drugs or alcohol, demonstrate adequate knowledge of licensing requirements and have other attributes.

Staff In-service training programs shall be planned and provided for all personnel and shall include at least: basic first aid; fire protection; medication administration and management; care of persons who may have contagious, communicable or sexually transmitted diseases and licensing regulations. Training shall be provided on a continuous basis and not less than annually.

Background Check

Not specified.

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