Skip to main content


The Gadsden Glen Center for Health and Rehab


How a Senior Living Health Center Can Still Feel Like Home

Remember nursing homes?

If so, the memory might not be so great – harsh lighting, off smells, constant mechanized reminders that you’re in an institution. In spite of the name, nothing could be less like home.

Happily, recent years have brought big changes to these and similar facilities, changes that go deeper than re-branding. With its emphasis on a high-end residential feel – hominess, if you will – Gadsden Glen is a good example.

Effectiveness Meets Discrete Design

Gadsden Glen is the health center component of the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, South Carolina. Bishop Gadsden is a CCRC, which means it offers a range of living situations to suit ongoing needs. The 128 beds at The Glen are divided among skilled nursing, short-term rehabilitation, and memory care.

Just to do its job, a health center must accommodate a variety of equipment and devices. But good morale contributes to health, too. Recognizing this, Bishop Gadsden leadership worked with architects RLPS and Reese Hackman to minimize clinical atmosphere without compromising clinical effectiveness.

For example, signal boosters for first responders’ radios are located out of sight rather than cluttering the ceiling. Likewise, the necessary strobe alarm lights are white rather than red –effective but inconspicuous. And speaking of atmosphere, a state-of-the-art ventilation system both clears the air and keeps it smelling fresh. In an emergency, power needs can be met with on-site generators hidden discreetly amid the landscaping – another design element that minimizes the institutional look.

If a person’s home is their castle, can their skilled nursing room be the same?

It can at least afford privacy. At Gadsden Glen the rooms are laid out like hotel suites, incorporating a living room alcove besides the bedroom.

Prospective residents touring Bishop Gadsden have always visited the cottages, the condos, the gym, the courtyards, the dining rooms. In the past, though, the health center was thought of only in case of emergency. That changed when Gadsden Glen opened in 2022, and today it is a selling point for Bishop Gadsden.

Today it has taken its rightful place on the tour.