West Virginia is home to almost 1.8 million people and more than one-fifth of those residents are senior citizens. West Virginia’s Bureau of Senior Services works closely with a network of County Aging Providers to ensure the needs of the state’s older adults are met. The average cost of in-home care in the state is only $3,432 per month, which is significantly less than the national average, and seniors who wish to age in place have a range of financial assistance options available to help.

This guide contains information about the cost of in-home care and other senior care options in West Virginia, as well as details about financial assistance programs and free and low-cost resources for seniors.

The Cost of In-Home Care in West Virginia

In-Home Care Costs in Nearby States

Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care 2019 Survey found that the average cost of in-home care in West Virginia is $3,432 per month, which is $858 less than the national average of $4,290. West Virginia is also the most affordable option when compared to neighboring states. Seniors in Kentucky pay $3,813 per month, which is almost $400 more than those in West Virginia. The price in Virginia is $4,195, while in Ohio the cost is equal to the U.S. average of $4,290. Maryland has the most expensive in-home care among West Virginia’s neighbors, and seniors in the state pay $4,481 per month.

$3432

West Virginia

$4290

United States Average

$3813

Kentucky

$4195

Virginia

$4290

Ohio

$4481

Maryland

Cost of Other Types of Care in West Virginia

In-home care and home health care both cost an average of $3,432 in West Virginia and are among the least expensive senior care options in the state. Adult day care is the most affordable type of care, with an average price of $1,083. Assisted living is only slightly higher than in-home care, with seniors in such facilities paying $3,750 per month. Nursing home care is the most expensive care option in the state at $10,707 per month, reflecting the high cost of nursing home facilities throughout the country.

$3432

In-Home Care

$3432

Home Health Care

$1083

Adult Day Care

$3750

Assisted Living Facility

$10707

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of In-Home Care in West Virginia’s Top Cities

Comparing Costs Across West Virginia

The cost of in-home care in West Virginia’s largest cities varies widely. Wheeling is the most affordable city, with an average monthly cost of $3,241. Costs in Charleston and Huntington are slightly higher at $3,337 and $3,527, respectively. Parkersburg and Morgantown have the highest costs among the state’s big cities, with the average in both coming in at $4,052 a month.

$3241

Wheeling

$3337

Charleston

$3527

Huntington

$4052

Parkersburg

$4052

Morgantown

Financial Assistance for In-Home Care in West Virginia

Medicaid Personal Care Program

The Medicaid Personal Care Program provides personal care services to state residents. The program is designed specifically to help people with activities of daily living, such as dressing, eating, personal hygiene and medication reminders. However, participants may also be able to get help with light housekeeping and nutrition services, such as meal delivery. Each beneficiary is assessed and approved for a particular set of services based on their needs.

Assistance through this program must be provided by licensed home care aides and agencies. Services are provided in participants’ place of residence, whether this is their own home, the home of a loved one, an assisted living facility or adult care home.

Who is Eligible?
Functionally, participants in this program must require help with at least three activities of daily living. They must also be financially eligible for Medicaid, however people who have a high monthly income and recurring medical expenses may be eligible through the Medically Needy Pathway.

How to Apply
Seniors can apply for this program through their local Area Agency on Aging.

Aged and Disabled Waiver

The Aged and Disabled Waiver program is designed to help older adults remain living at home rather than moving into a nursing home. Participants are given a medical assessment on enrollment to determine their care requirements and this is reviewed periodically to ensure their needs are being met. Available services include case management, personal care, homemaker services, skilled nursing and nonmedical transportation.

This waiver has a consumer-directed option called Personal Options. This allows seniors to select their own care providers for some services. Some family members, including ex-spouses, can be hired to provide care through this option.

Who is Eligible?
Applicants aged 65 and older must require a nursing home level or care, while those under age 65 must be classified as disabled by the Social Security Administration. They must also meet the financial eligibility requirements, which can differ based on marital circumstances. West Virginia also has alternative pathways to eligibility for people who are over the income or asset limits.

How to Apply
Seniors can apply through the Bureau of Senior Services by calling 877-987-3646.

Ron Yost Personal Assistance Services Program

The Ron Yost Personal Assistance Services Program (RYPAS) provides financial support for elderly and disabled residents to hire a personal care attendant. The program is designed to help participants complete activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and grooming, and help them remain living in the community.

As a self-directed program, participants are responsible for hiring and managing their own caregivers. The program allows participants to hire family members, including spouses, friends and neighbors. Funding is provided on a sliding scale based on the participant’s income.

Who is Eligible?
The program is open to West Virginia residents who have a disability that is expected to continue for at least 12 months. They must also require assistance with activities of daily living. The program is designed to help people whose income is too high for Medicaid eligibility, but it does have an upper income limit for applicants.

How to Apply
Applications can be made online through the Ron Yost Program webpage, or by calling the West Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council at 855-855-9743.

Lighthouse

The Lighthouse program provides services to seniors who require assistance with activities of daily living but don’t qualify for Medicaid. Support is provided in the senior’s home and comes under four categories: personal care services, mobility assistance, nutrition and housekeeping and chore services. The services available to each participant are based on a plan of care developed by a medical professional and county caseworker.

Lighthouse is a consumer-directed program administered at a county level. Seniors can choose their providers, but caregivers are hired by the county. Some counties allow family members, such as adult children, to be hired, but policies differ in each area. A maximum of 60 hours of care per month are provided through the program.

Who is Eligible?
Applicants must be at least 60 years of age, a resident of West Virginia and require assistance with at least two activities of daily living. Participants cannot be receiving assistance through a Medicaid program. There are no specific financial eligibility requirements, but an individual’s income level determines the amount of financial assistance they can receive.

How to Apply
Seniors can apply through their local County Aging Provider.

More Ways to Pay for In-Home Care

While the above programs help many people finance in-home care, they will not cover all costs for everyone. There are other ways to pay for in-home care, including out-of-pocket arrangements with siblings, annuities, reverse mortgages, private insurance, and more. Read Caring.com’s Guide to In-Home Care Costs to learn more about these alternative payment options.

Free and Low-Cost In-Home Care Resources in West Virginia

There are several resources available to West Virginia residents to support them in independent aging. These include transportation, assistive technology and more.

ContactServices Provided
Older Americans Act/Legislative Initiatives for the ElderlyContact a local County Aging ProviderThe Older Americans Act and LIFE programs provide a variety of in-home services for residents aged 60 and older. The services available vary by county, but can include home-delivered meals, transportation, homemaker services and yard maintenance.
Area Agencies on AgingContact local Area Agencies on AgingWest Virginia has four Area Agencies on Aging that provide services to seniors at a local level. Available support differs in each location, but can include nutrition services, transportation and assistance transitioning back to the community from a nursing home.
County Aging ProvidersContact local County Aging ProvidersWest Virginia’s County Aging Providers operate senior centers in each county. Providers also administer a number of programs, run local initiatives and offer social and education opportunities for seniors.
Non-emergency Medical Transportation844-549-8354West Virginia has nonemergency medical transportation available to take eligible residents to and from Medicaid-covered health services. Rides can be provided by private transportation providers, but the service can also reimburse gas mileage or provide bus passes.
West Virginia Assistive Technology System1-800-841-8436WVATS provides free demonstrations, training and advice regarding assistive technology. It also runs a virtual loan library and exchange system, as well a device reuse program.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in West Virginia

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources oversees home care providers in the state. The regulations in West Virginia are based on federal home agency regulations governing agencies offering Medicaid services.

Scope of CareHome health agencies can provide both clinical and nonclinical services. Clinical services can include skilled nursing and physical and occupational therapy. Nonclinical support may include personal care services and homemaker support.
Care Plan RequirementsAgencies must provide each participant with a written plan of care that specifies the care and services necessary to meet their needs. It must also include the frequency and duration of visits and the goals of the treatment.
Medication Management RequirementsHome health aides can provide assistance administering medications that are normally self-administered.
Staff Screening RequirementsAll home health agencies must conduct a registry check and fingerprint-based criminal background check prior to hiring staff.
Staff Training RequirementsProfessionals providing skilled services must be licensed to provide those services. Home health aides must complete at least 75 hours of classroom and practical training prior to employment and at least 12 hours of continuing education each year. Those providing personal care services only need to be trained in the services they are providing.
Medicaid CoverageThe Medicaid Personal Care Program and Aged and Disabled Waiver will cover some or all of the cost of in-home care for those who qualify.
Reporting AbuseAbuse should be reported to Adult Protective Services by calling 1-800-352-6513.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does in-home care cost in West Virginia?

In-home care in West Virginia has an average cost of $3,432 per month, according to the Genworth Financial Cost of Care 2019 Survey. These services are also known as homemaker services. Seniors who require clinical support may wish to look at home health care, which includes skilled nursing and also averages $3,432 per month in the state.

Are there financial assistance programs for in-home care in West Virginia?

West Virginia has a number of financial assistance programs that support in-home care. The Ron Yost Personal Assistance Services Program and the Lighthouse program allow seniors to choose caregivers to assist them with activities of daily living. The Older Americans Act/Legislative Initiatives for the Elderly program is run through County Aging Providers and has a range of services available, such as meal delivery and yard maintenance.

Are there transportation assistance programs in West Virginia?

West Virginia has a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation program available to Medicaid recipients. This program helps eligible residents attend Medicaid-covered health appointments. Benefits include reimbursement for gas mileage, bus passes and transportation through private providers.

What does it mean to age in place?

Aging in place is a term used to describe a senior’s decision to remain in their own home as they grow older. People who choose to age in place may need to make changes to their home and lifestyle to ensure they remain safe and comfortable. These changes may include home modifications, the purchase of assistive technology or receiving support through in-home care services.

Does Medicare pay for in-home care?

Medicare does not pay for nonclinical in-home care, such as assistance with activities of daily living, homemaker services and meal deliveries. However, seniors who require medical services in their home, including intermittent skilled nursing, physical therapy and medical social services, may be covered under Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B.