Since the 1850s, Bishop Gadsden, known then as the Episcopal Church Home, has been providing excellence in senior living. Today, Bishop Gadsden is designated as one of the oldest senior communities in the United States still in operation and has expanded beyond its original downtown footprint – and its original five acres on James Island is now more than 100 acres.
However, it is important to point out that Bishop Gadsden is not just another retirement or senior living community.
“We are a life plan community, offering apartment and cottage living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory support and short-term rehab,” said Kimberly Borts, director of the Office of Charitable Giving and Communications.
Probably the most sought-after aspect of Bishop Gadsden is its extraordinary assisted living facility – Myers Hall – which was established in 1987.
Over the years, Myers Hall has gone through several small-scale renovations, but Bishop Gadsden is now expanding its assisted living offerings. Once the project is complete, Bishop Gadsden assisted living will encompass: Grand Oak – two bedrooms, 12 total residences; The Cypress – one bedroom, 52 total residences; The Sabal – one-bedroom suites, nine total residences; The Laurel – studios, six total residences.
Borts said, “Apartments, and generally more overall personal living space, are desirable in assisted living. Most of our assisted living residences feature full kitchens, separate dining/living spaces and bedrooms with large walk-in closets, and spacious private bathrooms.”
The construction began in late 2020, with completion scheduled for spring 2022.
Bishop Gadsden’s assisted living expansion coincides with the development of a brand-new health and rehabilitation center, which also will open in the spring of 2022. Ashley Proctor, Bishop Gadsden’s health care marketing manager, explained that the building will offer short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing care, as well as 13 additional assisted living memory support residences, bringing the total to 32.
The 150,000-square-foot health and rehab center will have the highest staff to patient/resident ratio in the area. The new building also will include a bistro, gift shop, spa, chapel and meditation room, as well as various outdoor spaces with gardens, screened porches and water features. There will be 64 skilled nursing, 32 memory support and 32 short-term rehabilitation residences.
Proctor stated, “Bishop Gadsden’s new health and rehab center will have the additional capacity to welcome current Bishop Gadsden residents as well as non-Bishop Gadsden residents. With the short-term rehab center being Medicare-certified, we want to become the area’s top choice for rehab support.”
Bishop Gadsden’s deeply-rooted mission started when it was established in downtown Charleston 171 years ago as a respite for widows and orphans. That mission has continued through the evolution of Bishop Gadsden. The first five acres of its James island location was gifted by St. James Church, the necessary funds were raised to break ground and, in 1985, its name was changed to the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in honor of its founder, Bishop Christopher Gadsden, the fourth Bishop of the Episcopal Church of South Carolina.