DHEC Observes National Assisted Living Week, Sept. 13-19

National Assisted Living Week is September 13-19 . This year’s theme is “Caring is Essential,” DHEC recognizes the amount of hard work, care and love that it takes to keep South Carolina’s assisted living facilities operational and its residents happy and healthy.

Assisted Living Facilities,also known as Community Residential Care Facilities (CRCFs) in SC, are designed to accommodate residents’ independence, changing needs and preferences and come in a wide range of sizes

CRCFs are not the same as nursing homes, and offer different healthcare. CRCFs are not designed to offer round the clock care for their residents and are not required to have any licensed personnel on staff.. CRCFs offer assistance with items such as medication management, meals, and supportive services such as laundry or transportation.

“Many CRCFs have been impacted and faced challenges with COVID-19. Various areas of DHEC remain in constant communication with the facilities to provide guidance and assistance. Maintaining relationships with facilities is crucial to the DHEC’s mission, said JoMonica Taylor, Interim Section Manager for Residential Facilities Oversight.

During the pandemic, Healthcare Quality has conducted a total of 84 Infection Control Focused inspections at CRCFs. Due to the high risk of COVID-19 to the vulnerable population in congregate settings and the spread of COVID-19 throughout SC, Governor McMaster ordered DHEC to restrict visitation at CRCFs in March 2020. The facilities have shown resiliency during these trying times and great creativity in problem solving. In lieu of visitations, facilities have incorporated closed-window visits, virtual visitation through tablets, and phone calls. During holidays, some  facilities coordinated drive-by parades for residents to enjoy.

On September 1, 2020, in coordination with the Governor’s Office, DHEC partially lifted the visitation restrictions by issuing guidelines for limited outdoor visitation, with the intent to issue more guidelines that further lift visitation restrictions in coming weeks.

More facts about CRCFs

  • There are 497 licensed CRCFs in South Carolina.
  • There are over 150 CRCFs with Memory Care Units for residents suffering from dementia.
  • CRCFs are inspected annually
  • 3 new CRCFs have opened in SC during the pandemic

DHEC agrees that Caring is Essential, and thanks CRCFs for all that they do. These essential facilities and their staff provide a service to their communities that directly contributes to DHEC’s vision, healthy people living in healthy communities.

”We are incredibly grateful for the cooperation and patience of families and staff at these facilities, both of whom continue do to the best that they can to keep residents connected with loved ones as our state continues to respond to the pandemic,” Taylor said.

For more information on assisted living facilities, please explore the links below:

South Carolina Assisted Living Association

South Carolina Healthcare Association

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