Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Pageland, SC

Home Care Pageland, SC

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Buford Battleground gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Pageland, SC is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Pageland, SC

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“Phil Davidson and his staff provides the best service around in the York County area...Very professional and they truly care about their clients...I highly recommend Always Best Care of Rock Hill”

Will J.

“Looking for a loving and caring place for a parent, grandparent or any loved one? Look no further than Phil and his team at Always Best Care of Rock Hill!”

Tamaya M.

“I have enjoyed working with Always Best. They are informative and helpful. When I need to schedule care, they are very responsive. Definitely a good choice in companion care.”


“Always willing to help”

Christine B.

“I have worked for many agencies as a CNA. Always Best Care of Rock Hill, SC is by far the best! They treat their clients and caregivers with generosity and compassion. They go "above and beyond" in every area. You can't go wrong with them.”

Loretta B.

“They gave my mother the most wonderful, loving care. They were very accommodating when we needed to make changes in the schedule. After dealing with two other agencies I wish I had gone with them from the start. They deserve a 10!”

Bobbie S.

“New Employee & I’m loving it already”

Sonda P.

“Needed care for my mother with dementia, and father with medical issues. The team at Always Best Care were very responsive to our needs for 24/7 care for about 8 weeks. They try hard to have the same caregivers come to the house for continuity of care. The family really appreciated Phil's assistance with placing my parents in Assisted Living. His knowledge of the local York County homes was invaluable to placing my parents in a welcoming environment. I would highly recommend Always Best Care to help with senior care!”

Mary E.

“I have had the best support from a caring and supporting staff over the past year. The AMAZING part is that I live in CA and they're providing these services in Rock Hill. When I have any questions they are quick to get my answer back in a timely manner.”

James G.

“I could probably say that I was a past client of this provider, but because I continue to receive words of encouragement and advise from them, I still claim the current client status. Their help with my mother that was provided while she was at home was fantastic. They also have helped guide us through hospital and rehab stays. I would have to give them a 5 star rating and honestly can not think of one thing that went wrong on their part while we used their care The Caregiver was excellent. I wholeheartedly would recommend Always Best Care to anyone that finds themselves needing a caregiver to come along beside them.”


“Always willing to help”

Christine G.

“We're using Always Best Care for my parents. They're fantastic. The caregivers are professional, courteous, entertaining, and accommodating. They mainly provide medication management and companionship. I feel like they give personal touches, and there's a certain professionalism to them that other agencies I contacted didn't have.”


“Excellent care was given to my mother. Thank you for being there when we needed you.”

Robin J.

“Always Best Care has been providing care givers for my 91 year old father for more than 2 years now. I have been happy with their staff. My father is cared for with love and dignity and with their help I've been able to keep him in my home.”

Laura A.

“Always Best Care service was very helpful in locating an assisted living facility for my Mother. Very professional and I would use them again.”


“It was time to consider alternative living arrangements for my mom. She was living on her own in a single-family home that she loved. She was in need of assistance with daily household chores, driving, and managing daily functions. I was given Phil Davidson's name from a social worker. He explained that Phil (and his company Always Best Care), may be a good resource for me and my mom. We began with some in home care (3-5 days a week). Phil met my mom, established a great working relationship with her, and had one of his staff members become my mom's in home caregiver. Phil took the time to get to know my mom and aligned her needs and personality with the right person to help her. Eventually we needed to look for an Assisted Living community. Phil was there to guide us. He arranged meetings with a variety of communities and toured with them with us. Phil knew the right questions to ask and always kept my mom's wishes on his checklist. I especially liked that Phil does not get paid by us, but rather by the facility that we ended up choosing. Phil and his staff were great to work with. Exceptionally professional and understanding of my mom.”

Rich S.

“I had a wonderful experience using Always Best Care Senior Services! The owner, Phil Davidson, along with our wonderful caregiver, Sarah , came to my house so that I could meet them and get to know them before my parents moved in with my family for several months! As we sat discussing our plan of care, I got the feeling they would treat my parents like part of their family! And they sure did! Sarah was kind, patient and very knowledgeable with my parents and their medical issues. Sarah was so helpful to me and my family! I would not have been able to make it through those months without her! I felt at ease and had no worries when I was at work, or having some ME time! I knew my parents were in caring and trustworthy hands! So, I would highly recommend Always Best Care senior Services!!”

Stephanie C.

“Phil, I just wanted to recount to you what my Mother told me on the phone this morning about your employee, and my parent's caretaker, Vicky Jo. Vicky Jo started with my parents in March of 2012, during a very difficult time. My father had fallen and broken his neck, on top of coping with Parkinson's. My mother took care of him, as well as their home and while we could help some, the day to day chores took a toll on her. We were afraid we were going to lose her health as well. In a huge stroke of luck, we were able to find a two-bedroom apartment at Chandler Place which would provide meals and emergency response services, alleviating a good bit of my mom's responsibilities and stress. In an even bigger stroke of luck, we began using Vicky Jo two hours every morning to help my father with bathing and dressing. In the months that followed, Vicky Jo has not only provided physical support, but significant moral support to both my parents. She is very capable, upbeat and genuine. My mother is absolutely devoted to her and feels she can trust her with anything. We couldn't be more grateful for her, and for you as well for providing her to us. I also want to take a moment to thank you, as you have gone above and beyond in your interaction and care of my parents. I can tell you truly care about my folks and their well being and it is such an amazing thing to see in this day and age when everything seems like it is only about the money. Blessing to you and your business. I know that you will be a God Send to other families as well and I wish you the best. Please know that if you are ever in need of a referral, I would be delighted to provide one for you.”

Barbara S.

“It is a pleasure doing business with a professional and ethical company”

Kristen B.

“Phil, We so love Sara and are very appreciative for the way you run your business. You really stand out in an industry and a time when people just go through the motions. You are a very special man and I pray that you will be very successful in your business.”

Karissa L.

“Thank you and your team for providing the great help and assistance during this summer. The care givers that we had were excellent and very professional. Thanks for being so flexible with the scheduling.”

John R.

“Dear Phil, "We would like to thank you and your staff for providing such wonderful live-in care for our Grandfather from June through October 2013. Our family found ourselves in the most unimaginable situation when our Grandmother was unexpectedly hospitalized in late May and ultimately passed away in June. As you know, she was the sole caregiver for our Grandfather who has severe Alzheimer's disease. We are so very fortunate that we discovered your agency! You were able to promptly place qualified caregivers in his home and this gave our family immediate peace of mind. The level of care and compassion that you and your caregivers demonstrated toward our Grandfather is more than we ever anticipated and we will be forever grateful. You all walked with him through the terrible tragedy of losing his wife of 67 years. You and your staff provided extraordinary physical and emotional care for him through his grief and made getting him back to a "normal" life your top priority upon her death. In addition to the care you all provided my Grandfather, you were so kind to help educate us on the progression of Alzheimer's. You were a wonderful resource to us on what to expect in the next phases of this disease and help us plan for long-term care for him. While we are very sad to have to place him in a memory care-assisted living facility, we made the decision knowing that this will be the best place for him as he ages and his disease worsens. Your guidance and expertise in helping us choose the right facility for him helped make this daunting task bearable. Thank you again for all that you have done for our grandfather and for our family! We will be forever grateful!”

Ashley S.

“Phil, We so love Sara and are very appreciative for the way you run your business. You really stand out in an industry and a time when people just go through the motions. You are a very special man and I pray that you will be very successful in your business.”

K L.

“Dear Phil, Thank you and your team for providing the great help and assistance during this summer. The care givers that we had were excellent and very professional. Thanks for being so flexible with the scheduling.”

John A.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Pageland, SC?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Pageland, SC

Types of Elderly Care in Pageland, SC

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Pageland, SC
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Pageland, SC
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Moore’s Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Pageland, SC
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Mickey's or visit Landmark Inn, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Pageland, SC

Benefits of Home Care in Pageland, SC

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Pageland, SC, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Pageland, SC

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your SC's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Pageland, SC

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Pageland, SC understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Pageland, SC

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Pageland, SC

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Palmetto Oaks Residential Care Home
  • Springhill Assisted Living
Home Care Pageland, SC

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Pageland, SC

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Pageland, SC 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Pageland, SC

Latest News in Pageland, SC

Fueling SC’s top industry

Tourism is the main driver of South Carolina’s economy, accounting for about 10 percent of jobs in the state and an estimated annual impact of $29 billion.The University of South Carolina helps keep this economic engine humming by preparing graduates of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management to take on key roles in a variety of businesses and by helping those businesses adapt and grow.“It’s about getting our students jobs, but it’s also about getting into these businesses and organizatio...

Tourism is the main driver of South Carolina’s economy, accounting for about 10 percent of jobs in the state and an estimated annual impact of $29 billion.

The University of South Carolina helps keep this economic engine humming by preparing graduates of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management to take on key roles in a variety of businesses and by helping those businesses adapt and grow.

“It’s about getting our students jobs, but it’s also about getting into these businesses and organizations for research then using that research to provide help to the industries,” says Robin DiPietro, director for the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. “We need industry and, in reality, industry needs us to provide great employees and to provide cutting-edge research.”

That dual mission starts with hiring faculty who have the right educational background and the industry experience to provide students with the perfect balance of coursework and out-of-the classroom experiences to learn the business.

“Most of our faculty come from the hospitality and tourism industry. That's where we started,” DiPietro says. “Not only do faculty need the academic credentials, but they need to have some experience in our field, because that's the primary way it will benefit our students.”

USC’s work on both fronts is essential to the industry’s success. But there also is a learning curve, especially for parents who are looking for a return on their investment in their child’s education.

“I think that’s one of our challenges, trying to overcome this ‘burger-flipper’ image that we sometimes have with parents,” says Duane Parrish, director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism.

Meeting workforce needs

Parrish, a 1981 USC business graduate, has more than 40 years’ experience working in hotels, including when he was a student at USC.

“I graduated in one of the worst times economically,” Parrish recalls of his USC days. “It was ugly in terms of finding a job.

“But I had been working at a Holiday Inn and I really loved it. My general manager took me under his wing and taught me the hotel business,” he says.

Parrish has been an instructor in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management and serves on the college’s industry advisory board. His agency hosts HRSM interns every year and several of those interns have started their careers with the state department.

He says part of what the advisory board works on is helping students with that “kitchen table” conversation with their parents — convincing them that hospitality careers are more than waiting tables.

“If your child comes home and says, ‘I want to work in hospitality or in a hotel,’ that's a tougher sell for the child,” he says.

Parrish says hospitality wages are up more than 20 percent since the pandemic.

“I don't believe many at all in our industry are making minimum wage anymore,” he says. “We've come a long way in terms of pay, but we still have that reputation nationally as a ‘burger flipper,’ I'll call it. But we've come a long way from that.”

Different roads lead to hospitality

For 2002 biology graduate Laurie Savidge, it was her parents who suggested a return to school to earn an advanced degree in hospitality.

“My introduction to working in the hospitality industry was at Charleston Place Hotel. And how could you not fall in love with hospitality there?” Savidge says. “My parents gave me the great advice of, ‘You might want to consider continuing your education and learn more about the business of hospitality.’”

So Savidge returned to USC to earn her master’s in 2005 in international hospitality and tourism management.

“That's where I really learned the fundamentals of the business of hospitality,” says Savidge, who is director of operations for Marriott’s Grande Ocean resort in Hilton Head Island.

But it was two visiting professors from Australia that Savidge says laid the groundwork for her interest in corporations’ environmental and social responsibility to the communities they operate in.

To that end, Savidge partners with local purveyors — farmers and fishermen — who provide produce, seafood and other products from areas like the Port Royal Sound for the resort’s guests.

“Marriott International and Marriott Vacation Club have a firm foundation in corporate citizenship and giving back to the community our resorts exist in,” she says. “I've been fortunate to support our organizational sustainability initiatives since the early stages of my career.”

Savidge has also taught hospitality classes at USC Beaufort and some of her students have gone on to be employees with Marriott Vacation Club.

“We provide tours to hospitality students who want to learn more about the business and see a resort, see the front of the house, see the back of the house, and we do a Q&A,” she says.

“When I was teaching introduction to hotel management, I had a student who went on a tour, then he became an hourly associate and now he's one of my managers.

“I love being able to see their careers grow and see how their degrees have helped them be successful leaders.”

Education and experience

Darron Kirkley began his hospitality career at the age of 18, working as an event planner for his hometown Pageland, S.C., Chamber of Commerce. He worked there while he was earning his first degree from USC in math education (2007).

“I just fell in love with the industry,” he says. “I think that's one thing a lot of people don't think about, the necessity of the education and the training behind festivals and events. So that’s sort of where my life changed.”

But getting deeper into the industry without a hospitality degree was not so easy.

“I literally applied for a job straight out of college and my undergrad wasn't in hospitality and tourism, and I was told point blank that I didn't get the job because I didn't have the degree,” Kirkley says. “The industry experience mattered, but there are definitely those employers out there that value education.”

Kirkley returned to USC to get his master’s in international hospitality and tourism management and later a second master’s in sport and entertainment management.

Now Kirkley serves as Chesterfield County’s tourism coordinator, where he is responsible for sales, marketing, advertising, social media and all other aspects of getting people to come to a destination.

He says working while he was in class helped him make the connection between what he was learning and how it applied in the real world.

“I then could instantly go and apply those strategies, theories, those future trends, future topics that we were taught in class and see that actually happening in real life, which was definitely unique,” he says. “But it goes back the other way, too. In class as we had those discussions, I could bring in those real-life experiences of what the industry was facing.”

Kirkley also gets to put his undergraduate degree to use as a teacher — by day at Central High School, where he teaches a hospitality class, and by night, as an instructor in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management.

“I serve on multiple committees and boards that are tourism-related, so when our students come out, they are very well versed in what the current trends are, what's going on, what the state is experiencing,” he says. “I think that has made a huge difference for our students having those connections.”

Those industry connections don’t just help the students, but they help professors and researchers in the college learn even more about the industry.

One such USC research project is funded by the Economic Development Association to create an online training tool for the post-COVID hospitality industry.

“It's through our industry connections that we are able to collect surveys or collect data that helps enhance our research,” DiPietro says.

“We really need those industry connections for student success, which is No. 1, to get them jobs, then secondarily, getting relevant research data and being able to provide it back to industry partners.”

Man arrested in connection with dog fighting ring near Pageland, sheriff says

PAGELAND, S.C. — More than 20 dogs were rescued from a dog fighting ring and breeding operation that deputies discovered in the Pageland area.The Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office announced on Monday that one person was arrested in connection with the investigation into the dog fighting.According to CCSO, animal control officers received a complaint about animal cruelty happening on Smith Lane, just outside of Pageland to the southeast. The sheriff’s office began investigating with the help of the South Car...

PAGELAND, S.C. — More than 20 dogs were rescued from a dog fighting ring and breeding operation that deputies discovered in the Pageland area.

The Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office announced on Monday that one person was arrested in connection with the investigation into the dog fighting.

According to CCSO, animal control officers received a complaint about animal cruelty happening on Smith Lane, just outside of Pageland to the southeast. The sheriff’s office began investigating with the help of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and federal agents.

According to an incident report obtained by Channel 9 reporter Tina Terry, one of the dogs was found roaming the streets.

Deputies said the dog was “acting skittish and acting in an aggressive manner by growling.” The deputy said, “the stray dog was acting like it was going to lunge and try to bite me.”

The investigators went to the property on Feb. 6, and they seized 13 adult dogs and nine puppies. They were taken to the Chesterfield Animal Shelter.

The conditions of the dogs weren’t immediately given. It’s not clear if they’ll be made available for adoption.

“It makes me feel angry because that is not right. It’s not right,” neighbor Demetric Blakeney said.

Blakeney told Channel 9 that she was grateful that law enforcement shut down the dog-fighting ring that wasn’t too far from her daughter’s schools.

“Very grateful that they’re taken away because they’re just like humans,” Blakeney said.

The sheriff’s office says a suspect identified as Derwayne Terry Miller, Sr., was arrested. He’s facing weapons and drug charges, along with animal abuse and neglect charges. Federal charges are also anticipated against Miller.

SLED said it has been cracking down on this kind of activity. In September, the organization said it had seized around 50 pit bulls from York County as part of a massive statewide takedown.

If you have information about any dog fighting in Chesterfield County, the sheriff’s office asks that you call 843-623-2101 or the tip line at 843-287-0235.

(WATCH BELOW: Charlotte Area Investigators Get Tips On Breaking Up Dog Fighting Rings)

Amid growth from Charlotte, a small SC town tries to hold on to its identity

PAGELAND — If Tim Griffin could build his own personal paradise, it might look something like the 72nd annual Pageland Watermelon Festival.The Pageland Chamber of Commerce president has waited all year for this, and he’s dressed in full watermelon regalia: cowboy boots hand-painted to look like watermelons, watermelon-emblazoned khakis, a watermelon backpack with watermelon tchotchkes attached, a watermelon shirt, even a watermelon top ...

PAGELAND — If Tim Griffin could build his own personal paradise, it might look something like the 72nd annual Pageland Watermelon Festival.

The Pageland Chamber of Commerce president has waited all year for this, and he’s dressed in full watermelon regalia: cowboy boots hand-painted to look like watermelons, watermelon-emblazoned khakis, a watermelon backpack with watermelon tchotchkes attached, a watermelon shirt, even a watermelon top hat complete with a red feather sprouting from the brim.

It’s not blood running through his veins, he joked. It’s watermelon juice.

Griffin hopes that the spirit on display during the four-day celebration — that of a close-knit community working together toward a common goal — lasts forever. But he worries that it won’t.

Pageland, a town of 2,500 people on the South Carolina-North Carolina state line, is changing. As the Charlotte metro area spills over the border, the community has become inundated with people looking for more affordable, convenient housing. Pageland’s population will double by the end of the decade if development continues at the current pace.

That growth brings opportunities, but for a rural community long accustomed to its isolation, it also comes with immense challenges, residents said. They worry about overcrowded schools, inadequate infrastructure, emergency services stretched thin and the rising cost of living. They worry that the town’s identity will be lost.

During the watermelon festival, Griffin watched as tourists filled the streets of the small community, as town council members cut into fresh watermelons, handing heavy chunks to passersby. He watched as kids — and even some adults — competed beneath the park gazebo in the seed-spitting contest, and as residents, many wearing past festival T-shirts, conversed over cups of watermelon sweet tea.

“We’ve got to manage our growth,” Griffin said. “And we’ve got to be very proud of who we are, so people want to be a part of that.”

But Griffin is afraid the town is losing ground.

“It’s scary,” he said. “It’s scary because what’s coming is unknown to us.”

‘We don’t know everyone now’

In Pageland, people aren’t afraid to say hello to each other. That’s what many like about living in the small town.

Simple things, like trips to the grocery, become social occasions, said Linnett Burr, who moved to Pageland when she was a child. She decided to stay, raising her family there and spending 47 years as a realtor.

Now, she works in an office downtown that she shares with her son, a lawyer. On the weekends, she watches her grandkids play baseball, and she still runs into people at the store who she helped buy their first home.

Robin Usher, a third-generation resident of Pageland, taught for years in Chesterfield County schools. Her husband spent 20 years as the high school football coach.

The students Usher taught and the kids she watched on the football field were the children of the people she grew up with. Her own children grew up surrounded by neighbors who didn’t hesitate to offer help, an experience she believes shaped them.

“This is a great little town to raise your children, to live in, to go to church with and different things, because 99.9 percent of us are looking out for each other,” Usher said.

But Pageland has begun to change, the two women said. It’s not necessarily a bad change, but it’s a noticeable one.

Burr won’t go to the grocery after 8 a.m. It just gets too crowded. Usher retired in May after more of her students and their parents became strangers to her.

“In the community, just going to the grocery store and not knowing people is new because for so long we knew everybody at the grocery store, when we shopped,” Usher said. “ … We don’t know everyone now.”

The area around Pageland has long been known as a bastion for certain forms of agriculture, such as watermelon farming, which requires the sandy soil that exists in the region. Settlers reportedly began arriving in the late 1700s.

It wasn’t until 1908 that Pageland was formally organized, after the railroad arrived. It was named for Adolphus High Page, the railroad president.

Since then, the town has had its ups and downs, but in the last several decades the population has hovered around the mid-2000s with little growth or decline. That’s about to change.

A study commissioned by Pageland projects the town will grow by 2,608 people in the next 10 years and add an additional 1,050 housing units. That will bring the town’s housing stock to more than twice the number it has currently. Many of those additional units are already in development.

Officials said Pageland’s growth is largely driven by the housing market in Charlotte — an hour away — bursting at the seams.

From 2020 to 2022, median home prices in the Charlotte metro area increased 54 percent from $273,500 to $420,000, according to a report from the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate, a branch of the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

The report found that skyrocketing costs are due to a combination of a dramatic increase in population and persistent construction delays, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and Charlotte’s natural growth.

Yongqiang Chu, the director of the Childress Klein Center and the report’s principal author, said the Charlotte market is one of the fastest growing in the nation.

On average, more than 100 people move to the area each day, and there’s not enough affordable housing to accommodate them. In 2021, more than 80 percent of households could not afford a median-priced home, Chu said.

That means some are looking to the suburbs and beyond, where housing is cheaper.

An expressway built in 2018 to connect Charlotte with Union County — the North Carolina county between Charlotte and Pageland — has made Pageland an even more accessible option. It’s about that time that the town started to see growth, residents said.

For a community that long ago grew accustomed to going it alone, the influence now wielded by outside forces has been difficult to get used to, said Adam Foard, a Pageland attorney who has spent his life in the town. Foard is Burr’s son.


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