Aging with Purpose at Clemson Downs

Residents at Clemson Downs, in Clemson, South Carolina, are mastering the art of aging with purpose. Founded in 1980 and nestled on a 38-acre campus, Clemson Downs is a continuing-care retirement community offering multiple care options that include independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care.

While no legal connection exists between Clemson Downs and Clemson University, many residents can be seen sporting the University’s famous orange and purple trademark colors. In fact, it was a group of retired CU professors who founded Clemson Downs for the purpose of serving the Clemson community with quality retirement living. Five activity directors stay busy with programs designed to engage, educate and entertain residents in all levels of care.

A favorite of Clemson Downs residents is an intergenerational program called Brain Fitness Camp. Hosted by Dr. Cheryl Dye, Director of the Institute for Engaged Aging at CU’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Science, undergraduate students establish a program of activities that Marketing Specialist Ruthie Millar says, “meet residents where they are”. The six-week programs encompass a variety of subjects such as fitness, exercise, music, dance, food and more. Friendships are formed between students and residents, sometimes lasting beyond graduation. Brain Fitness Camp has been held every semester for the past three years.

Other creative programs at Clemson Downs include a Veterans History Project for the Library of Congress where students have recorded experiences of those residents who are veterans, and G.E.TT. Cooking (Generations Eating Together Through Cooking) where residents participate in a cooking class with children.

For more information on Clemson Downs, contact Marketing Specialist Ruthie Millar at 864-654-1155, x274, or visit