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Assisted Living Virginia

A state in the mid-Atlantic region of the country, Virginia has approximately 8.6 million people, of whom 15.9% are seniors aged 65 and older. In Virginia, the cost of living is only three points above the national average. Virginia scores 7.4/10 on the Best Places Comfort Index, making it one of the most pleasant places to live in the state. In the Caring 2024 Senior Living Report, Virginia ranked 37th overall but only 44th in health care and 42nd in senior living and housing. However, it ranked 22nd in quality of life.

Virginia is home to several high-quality hospitals, including the Inova Fairfax hospital in Falls Church, Virginia. The no. 1 hospital in the state, it’s nationally ranked in one adult specialty and highly rated in several other adult specialties. According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2021, the overall cost of assisted living in Virginia is $5,250 a month.

This guide covers the cost of assisted living in cities throughout Virginia and nearby states. It also considers Medicaid and Medicare coverage of costs of assisted living in Virginia, and it presents a list of free resources for Virginia seniors.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Virginia

When trying to decide how to pay for assisted living, one of the first questions that comes up is "How much does it cost?" With the impact of inflation, it's more important than ever to have up-to-date information when making a financial plan for senior living. To help shed light on real senior living prices, has compiled proprietary cost data from its network of over 75,000 senior living providers to offer insight into the average cost of assisted living in Virginia and its 56 cities.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Virginia's Top Cities

Although the state overall is slightly more expensive than the norm, Virginia's three largest cities have relatively affordable assisted living communities. Virginia Beach and Arlington are priced well below the state average with monthly costs of $4,159 and $4,083, respectively, while Chesapeake scrapes in just below the norm at $4,480. Norfolk stands out as Virginia's most expensive big city for assisted living, with an average of $5,471 per month.



Virginia Beach








Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Assisted Living in Virginia

Inflation continues to affect assisted living costs in most of America. Virginia's seniors fared better than most, however, with a virtually unchanged cost for assisted living care from 2022 to 2023. The U.S. overall experienced an increase of 9.6% in the same period, and the cost of assisted living jumped even higher in all nearby states. West Virginia and North Carolina saw monthly rates increase by 23.2% and 18%, respectively. The bill for seniors in Kentucky's assisted living community's became 14% higher, while Maryland had the smallest yet still significant increase of 10.4%

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,070$4,459$4,802
North Carolina$4,088$4,828$4,803
West Virginia$4,198$5,173$5,183

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

Assisted living in Virginia costs around $1,000 per month less than memory care, which is largely due to the increased requirements of residents with Alzheimer's and the need for additional staff, amenities and services. Independent living is the most affordable, at $3,194 per month, as it provides a much looser framework that's ideal for more active seniors.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in Virginia?

Currently, no Medicaid program helps to pay for assisted living in Virginia. Virginia does have one relevant waiver program for the elderly, the Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus Medicaid Waiver (CCC+). Virginia’s Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is not a waiver program but is available to seniors on Medicaid.

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Virginia?

The CCC+ Waiver  provides services for seniors who require a nursing home level of care but want to remain living in their homes or their communities. Benefits can include durable medical equipment, assistive technology, skilled nursing and respite care. Program participants can hire their caregiver of choice, including friends and some relatives.

The PACE program is for adults aged 55 and older who are living with chronic health care needs and who meet a functional nursing home level of care. It helps them remain in their communities for an extended period. PACE uses federal Medicare and Medicaid funds to cover many assisted living costs, including medical expenses such as emergency room care and hospital admissions, dentistry, some prescription drugs, nutrition counseling and occupational and physical therapy.

Assisted Living Waiver Programs in Virginia

Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus Medicaid Waiver (CCC+).

Medicaid manages CCC+, the long-term services and support program that helps over 250,000 residents of Virginia. It uses an integrated delivery model to cover a wide range of health services for members with complex health care needs. The waiver is designed for Medicaid recipients who are at least 65 years old, receive Medicare benefits and full Medicare benefits (dual eligibility), receive Medicaid long-term supports and services (LTSS) and live in a facility or who have a medical or behavioral health condition and functional impairment.

To apply for CCC+ Waiver, contact your local Department of Social Services. It will complete a screening to determine eligibility.

How to Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Virginia

Virginia Medicaid determines eligibility for Medicaid. The Department of Medical Assistance Services operates Virginia Medicaid. You can apply for Virginia Medicaid if you meet the program’s financial limits. An individual cannot earn more than $17,131 a year, and a couple must earn no more than $23,169. An individual cannot have assets worth more than $2,000 and a couple $4,000.

2022 Basic Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Virginia

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset Limits: Applicant(s)Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$32,904$2,000
Two Person1$32,904$2,000**$148,620
Two Person2$65,808$3,000

*Depending on the facility setting, a recipient may not be able to keep income up to this level.

**Income limit is for applicant only.

Medicaid does not count certain assets, including numerous household effects, prepaid burial arrangements, family heirlooms and one car. Applicants may not have more than $603,000 in home equity.

Other eligibility requirements include:


  • A resident of Virginia
  • A U.S. national, a permanent resident illegal alien who needs help with health care insurance
  • An individual aged 18-64 whose finances fall below Medicaid’s financial limits


You may also be eligible if you:


  • Are pregnant or responsible for a child younger than 18 years of age
  • Are blind
  • Have a disability or a family member in your household who has a disability
  • Are at least 65 years of age


How to Apply for Medicaid in Virginia

You or your family can apply for Medicaid in two ways:



You can mail your paper application, or you can take it to your local Social Services department

Information You Will Need 

When you apply for Medicaid, you need to have the following information available:


  • Proof of age 
  • Proof of residency in Virginia and of your US citizenship or your permanent resident status
  • Proof of all income sources, including tax returns, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and veterans’ benefits 
  • Proof of assets, including bank accounts, retirement accounts and trusts 
  • Social Security number 
  • Policy numbers for any current health insurance, including Medicare 

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you want to learn more about how to determine eligibility for Medicaid and how to apply, you have several options:

ProgramContactServices provided
Virginia Medicare(833)522-5582Operated through the Department of Medical Assistance Services, this organization provides any information that you require about enrollment or available options at the Virginia Medicaid site
Department of Social Services(804)726-7000You can learn more about Medicaid by visiting your local Social Security office. They can tell you how to determine your eligibility, how to apply, and the information you'll need to provide during the application process.
Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman(804) 565-1600While the ombudsman's office may best be known for helping seniors prevent abuse in long-term care facilities, it can also provide seniors with information on their health care choices, including Medicaid. If a senior is denied Medicaid, an ombudsman, acting as an independent third-party, can help them reapply.

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Virginia?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Virginia. Assisted living facilities are considered to be a “residential setting” and not a “clinical setting,” (think nursing homes). While Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of care received in an assisted living community, it does still cover things like approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc., just like it would if you lived at home.

For more information about when Medicare can be used to pay for senior living in a nursing home, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Homes in Virginia.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Virginia

Seniors who are not eligible (due to location, financial situation, or other factors) for other types of financial assistance, do still have some options. See the table below for an overview of some of the most common ways to make Assisted Living affordable.

NameHow To ApplyHow It Works
Aid and AttendanceLearn more and apply online at who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for Assisted Living.
Reverse MortgagesLearn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.govIf you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for Assisted Living. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.
Long-Term Care (LTC) InsuranceLearn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Assisted Living. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of Assisted Living will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Virginia

There are many resources in Virginia that assist seniors in their retirement. has compiled information on local organizations, programs and agencies and categorized them into care types for easy reference.

Area Agency on Aging

Retirees can find support and advice on various senior-related issues from their local Area Agency on Aging. The agency provides advice on topics such as financial assistance programs, in-home care and long-term care planning. It also connects seniors and caregivers with community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Virginia Area Agencies on AgingThere are 25 AAAs in Virginia, each of which provides seniors with information about services and programs in the state. Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME), a telephone reassurance check-in service and care coordination are a few of the available services Additional options range from residential repair and renovation programs to local transportation services for seniors.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Virginia provide financial support to help low-income retirees remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Seniors and caregivers can apply for tax rebates and reductions, discounts on vital services and help covering the cost of heating and cooling their home.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Virginia Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers a discount on landline or mobile telephone service, ensuring that participants can stay in contact with loved ones.
Virginia Auxiliary Grants804-545-1644Seniors who live in assisted living or in adult foster care can receive direct financial assistance under the Auxiliary Grant Program from the Virginia Department Of Social Services. Financial aid helps adults maintain a standard of living that meets a basic level of need. Seniors who apply for the program need to live in an approved facility and meet other criteria. Applicants need to be at least 65 and be a resident of Virginia for at least 90 days. Applicants must also need help with 1-2 ADLs. Seniors should contact their local Social Security office to learn more.

Food Assistance Programs

Local organizations help ensure elderly citizens have a balanced diet and receive essential vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Through nutrition programs, congregate meals, home-delivered meals and food pantries, these programs help Virginia seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Virginia Older Americans Congregate Nutrition ProgramThe Virginia Older Americans Congregate Nutrition Program serves nutritious meals to older adults in group settings such as senior centers, while the Home-Delivered Nutrition Program delivers meals to elderly individuals who are isolated and homebound. Adults aged 60 years and older, particularly those with low incomes and at risk of becoming institutionalized, are eligible for meals. The end goals of both programs are to reduce hunger and food insecurity, encourage socialization and promote the health and well-being of Virginia's aging population.
Virginia Farm Market Fresh for Older Adults804-662-9333The Virginia Farm Market Fresh for Older Adults program distributes vouchers to qualifying Virginians aged 60 and older. Each voucher is worth $5, and 10 are given to eligible seniors. They can redeem between June 1 and November 18 at pre-approved roadside stands and farmers markets within the state to buy herbs, fruits and vegetables. Applicants must meet certain guidelines to qualify, including falling within a specific income range.
Virginia Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)804-786-3520The Virginia Commodity Supplemental Food Program provides low-income seniors with access to nutritious foods. Seniors must be 60 years of age or older and have an income at or below 130% of the federal poverty level to be eligible for this program. Qualifying seniors receive food boxes stocked with staples to supplement meals. These boxes may include canned meats, fruits, vegetables, shelf-stable milk, cheese, cereal, beans and pasta.
Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)800-552-3431The Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides electronic benefit transfer cards that help low-income Virginia seniors pay for nutritious food from local groceries and other retailers. Funds are automatically added to the debit cards each month. To qualify for this program, the members of a household must have a total monthly net income no higher than the poverty line. Seniors already receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income benefits may automatically qualify for SNAP benefits.

Home Repair and Modifications

Seniors and those with disabilities can access a variety of local resources to help them pay for home repairs and modifications. Programs in Virginia have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Virginia Emergency Home and Accessibility Repair Program804-371-7000EHARP provides emergency financial assistance to help correct urgent health or safety issues that could prevent you from remaining in your own home. Examples of eligible repairs include plumbing and electrical upgrades and wheelchair ramp construction or installation.
Virginia Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)804-371-7000Sponsored by the state and federal government, WAP helps with the cost of energy-efficient home repairs and upgrades, such as installing insulation, sealing air leaks and repairing HVAC equipment. Home improvements can also enhance residents' health and safety.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Virginia seniors. Older adults can access advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills and power of attorney. Some firms also act as long-term care ombudsmen, advocating for the rights of seniors in senior living communities.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Virginia Poverty Law Center Helpline844-802-5910The Senior Legal Helpline provides assistance, advice and referrals for Virginia residents aged 60 and over. You can call the helpline and speak to attorneys at no cost on complex legal topics specific to seniors, such as long-term care issues, abuse and neglect, and public benefits like Medicaid.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Virginia help older adults remain active and ensure they contribute to the community. Resources include wellness programs, volunteer opportunities, support groups and organizations that help residents connect with the community to live fulfilling lives.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Virginia Dementia Services804-662-9154The Virginia Office for Aging Services provides dementia services throughout the state for those living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The office coordinates services across agencies and oversees initiatives such as the Dementia State Plan, Brain Health Virginia and dementia-capable training for caregivers.

Medicaid Resources

Navigating the Medicaid system is often difficult and confusing. Several Virginia resources help older adults by providing advice on Medicaid options, waiver programs and eligibility criteria to help seniors receive the right health care benefits.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Virginia Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus Waiver844-374-9159In Virginia, long-term care and community-based supports are covered by the state's Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus Waiver. This managed care organization serves seniors, disabled adults and residents of all ages who require a nursing home or hospital level of care. Unlike many waivers, there are no waiting lists. Beneficiaries have the option to choose between self-directed care where they can hire and manage their own caregivers, or they can have an agency provide case management services. Benefits are administered by private insurance companies, and members have the freedom to enroll in a plan of their choice. Virginia's CCC Plus Waiver covers adult day health care, assistive technology, accessibility modifications, emergency alert systems and private-duty nursing.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Virginia help seniors and disabled people access the benefits they're entitled to. Older adults can contact their local office for information about receiving retirement benefits, disability allowance and Supplemental Security Income.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Virginia Social SecuritySocial Security is a source of income available to retirees and people who can no longer work because of a disability. The money for Social Security comes from a payroll tax levied on employers, employees and self-employed individuals. When you retire, you'll receive monthly payments based on how much you earned when you were working.

Tax Assistance

Seniors can apply for tax assistance from several Virginia resources. Elderly residents and those with disabilities could be eligible for tax exemptions on medical expenses, reductions on property tax and other tax assistance programs.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Virginia Department of Taxation804-367-8031The Department of Taxation allows counties and local municipalities to offer property tax exemptions to disabled adults and seniors aged 65 and older. You may qualify for a property tax deferral or exemption. Income limits are set at the local level. The state also offers a general $800 income tax exemption for taxpayers aged 65 or older.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Low-income seniors who are struggling to meet the costs of maintaining their homes can find support from organizations that offer assistance with utility and energy bills. Virginia retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Virginia Energy Assistance Program (EAP)804-726-7000Virginia's Energy Assistance Program provides emergency assistance to help low-income families with unpaid heating and cooling bills and other urgent needs. The program provides seasonal heating and cooling assistance, as well as emergency benefits.

Veteran's Services

Virginia retirees who have served in the U.S. military can find support from local veteran services. These offices and organizations help vets access the benefits they're eligible for and provide advice and information on a variety of issues.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Virginia VA Benefits and Health CareVirginia VA Benefits and Health Care provides health care services to senior veterans at local veteran's medical centers, which include walk-in outpatient clinics. Mental health services are available at vet centers throughout the state. National cemeteries are scattered throughout Virginia to provide military personnel with a dignified final resting place. Additionally, the VA offers assistance with disability claims and access to educational and vocational resources to support veterans in their transition to civilian life.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Social Services, Division of Licensing Programs regulates assisted-living facilities, known as ALFs, in the state. Virginia has a set of rules and regulations more complex than many other states, but the result is a set of requirements that hold ALFs to high standards.

Assisted Living Service Plan RequirementsAssisted living staff are required to create an individual service plan for each resident. Usually, this is accomplished when the resident moves into the facility. Facility staff, the resident, the resident's doctor, the resident's family or caregiver and other concerned parties create the care plan, which must be updated at least once a year
Assisted Living Admission RequirementsBefore a senior can move into an assisted living facility, staff must certify that they meet specific requirements for admission. Staff must certify that an individual treatment plan has been completed and submitted, that the senior's physician has agreed that assisted living is the right choice, that the senior has had a mental health screening, and that a person who can act as a contact in the case of emergency or incapacity has met with the staff.
Assisted Living Scope of CareVirginia licenses ALFs to house and provide measured amounts of nonmedical assistance. These communities must stay within this designated scope of care. At a minimum, ALF's must provide safe, clean and comfortable living conditions, regular meal service, assistance with ADLs and emergency assistance if the resident has a fall or other injury. 
Assisted Living Medicaid PolicySome, but not all, ALFs in Virginia accept Medicaid as a form of payment for residents who qualify for benefits under PACE. Seniors who receive SSI/SSDI may use this to cover housing costs.
Assisted Living Facility RequirementsVirginia ALS must meet facility requirements that ensure accessibility and safety for residents and visitors. These requirements must meet or exceed the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code standards. 
Medication Management RegulationsALF staff may be required to assist some residents with medication management. Therefore, all staff must be trained in the appropriate procedures and scope of care for assisted living in Virginia. Staff can assist seniors with largely self-administered medication. Staff may remind residents to take medication on time, help them apply topical medications and provide them with over-the-counter medications. 
Staffing RequirementsVirginia law requires at least two staff members to be awake and on duty at all times, one of whom should be trained in CPR. The larger the facility, the more staff required. In most cases, enough staff must be on hand to operate the facility without leaving any resident who needs immediate assistance in need. 
Staff Training RequirementsAdministrators at an ALF in Virginia who are not licensed must undergo at least 20 hours of training within 12 months of their hire. At least six hours of that training involves working with residents who have memory care issues. If an administrator has not received this training previously, they need to complete it within two months of their hire. Direct care staff must either have a certificate as a nurse's aide or successfully complete the approved 40-hour direct care staff training program provided by a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. 
Background checks for assisted livingAll employees who work at a Virginia ALF must undergo a background check before hiring. Any individual with a felony or domestic violence conviction or offenses related to moral turpitude, such as sex crimes, is permanently barred from employment in a Virginia ALF.
Requirements for Reporting AbuseAny allegation of elder abuse, including physical, sexual or emotional, financial abuse or caregiver neglect, must be reported under Virginia state law. Managers of ALF's must notify the authorities about the alleged abuse, regardless of their opinions about the allegation's credibility or the evidence. Staff members must be trained to recognize and report abuse and neglect cases. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Assisted Living Facilities in Virginia

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