Annual health report addresses rise in South Carolina’s elderly population

May 3, 2019

South Carolina’s population is aging, and as the number of elderly people increases in the state, so does the need for senior care services.

According to an annual progress report for 2019 from the S.C. Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH), about 20 percent of the state’s population – over 1 million people – is expected to need long-term assisted living care by 2030.

“For the present and future public health benefits of all South Carolinians, long-term services and supports for seniors and people with disabilities need both immediate and prolonged public attention to sustain and improve a complex, disjointed and expensive long-term care system,” said Joel Smith, Vice Chair of IMPH’s Board of Directors in a press release.

The purpose of the long-term care report is to document the “systematic progress” of several critical issues that would impact caregivers and those that utilize their services.

The report details the progress on 30 key recommendations that were created by a long-term care task force and evaluated by a leadership council that was created in 2015.

Some of those recommendations included making more information about such long-term care services available online.

Among the progress detailed in the report was the improved utilization of the Vulnerable Adult Guardian Ad Litem program and the introduction of legislation that protects older adults, including the Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment Registry.

The full report can be viewed at imph.org.