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SC lawmakers OK new state veterans nursing home in Midlands

December 19, 2021 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Lawmakers have approved a plan by the South Carolina Department of Mental Health to build a new state nursing home for veterans in the Midlands region.

State lawmakers with the Joint Bond Review Committee greenlighted Tuesday the agency’s plan to locate a new home in Orangeburg County.

The agency now has three veterans nursing homes in the construction process and two new homes that will soon open. The State newspaper reports.

The five facilities scheduled to open over the next decade will almost double the number of beds the state has available for aging and disabled veterans, from 530 to more than 1,000, helping to cut down on a housing backlog. The agency’s three current nursing homes all have waiting lists.

Kenisha Grimes, Orangeburg County’s veterans affairs officer, said that many of the county’s veterans who need that level of care end up paying private facilities because they can’t get a bed at the nearest state-operated homes in Walterboro and Columbia.

“They would love to be in a veteran-friendly nursing home,” Grimes said. “But the ones who try to get there are placed on a list and sometimes end up passing before they’re accepted to either one of those homes.”