Roughly 39,000 seniors in West Virginia are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease as of 2020, and this number is expected to grow by 12.8% or reach 44,000 by 2025. The disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and the Mountain State recorded nearly 800 Alzheimer’s-related deaths in 2018. In addition, almost one-fourth of statewide hospital readmissions are accounted to patients with dementia, and a projected 337% increase in the number of geriatricians is needed to meet the needs of the state’s growing Alzheimer’s population in 2050.

For older West Virginians and their families who are burdened by the progressive symptoms of dementia, there are memory care facilities in the state that provide supportive accommodations and specialized care programs. These facilities are purposely built with safe, secured environments and are staffed by specially trained caregivers and health care professionals. Memory care residents are also offered brain-healthy meals, therapeutic activities and meaningful companionship. Memory care facilities in West Virginia are licensed by the state as Alzheimer’s/dementia special care units.

Memory care can either be offered on its own in a community designed especially for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, or, more often, it’s provided as a service in a separate wing of an assisted living facility. Memory care programs are designed specifically for those with memory impairment, and the facilities often coordinate social activities and schedules specifically for the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

This guide shows helpful information on memory care in West Virginia, focusing on its estimated costs, public assistance programs, free resources and state regulations.

The Cost of Memory Care in West Virginia

In West Virginia, memory care services are provided by Alzheimer’s/dementia care units in assisted living residences and nursing homes. This care option usually costs 20% to 30% higher than standard assisted for the higher level of care provided to residents diagnosed with dementia. The higher pricing is normally accounted for by increased staffing requirements, advanced security features and specialized support services and activity programs. Memory care costs are derived from average assisted living costs to provide cost comparisons, but actual charges may vary based on a facility’s location, fee structure and programming model.

Memory Care Costs in Nearby States

West Virginia is considered an affordable state for memory care with an average cost of $4,688 per month, based on the Genworth Cost of Care Survey for 2019. It’s nearly $400 below the United States average of $5,064. Compared to neighboring states, the Mountain State is among the least expensive options. Kentucky is the most affordable nearby state at $4,371, about $300 less costly than West Virginia. Pennsylvania is also considered average at $4,891 but costs $200 more. Virginia is the most expensive nearby state at $6,000, costing seniors about $1,300 more compared to West Virginia. Ohio is also an expensive option at $5,424.


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Cost of Other Types of Care in West Virginia

Although memory care is relatively affordable in West Virginia at $4,688 per month, it’s the second most expensive senior care option in the state. However, memory care costs less than half the cost for nursing home care which is estimated to be $10,707. In addition to providing a cost-saving alternative to institutionalization, memory care facilities may be favorable for seniors who prefer the comfort of a homelike environment. Given their differences in levels of care, memory care costs only around $900 more than standard assisted living which is $3,750.

For home care arrangements, seniors may spend an average of $3,432 per month for in-home or home health care. While this is nearly $1,300 less costly than memory care, the pricing difference covers accommodation costs, 24-hour support, cognitive therapies and social opportunities with fellow memory care residents. Adult day care is an affordable option at $1,083, providing a limited scope of care that may be suitable for seniors with early or manageable stages of dementia.


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The Cost of Memory Care in West Virginia’s Top Cities

Comparing Costs Across West Virginia

Memory care costs throughout West Virginia range from $4,000 to $5,700 per month. Charleston, the state capital, is among the most expensive areas at $5,056, somewhat close to Morgantown which costs $4,964. Huntington and Morgantown have comparable average costs around the $4,400 range, while Wheeling is among the state’s most affordable areas with a monthly cost of $4,238.











Financial Assistance for Memory Care in West Virginia

Medicaid Aged and Disabled Waiver (ADW)

West Virginia Medicaid’s ADW program provides home and community-based services to eligible seniors as an alternative to nursing home care. Although Medicaid does not currently cover the costs in assisted living and memory care facilities, ADW covers the cost for case management services and RN assessments.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors must meet financial and medical qualifications to qualify for the ADW program. A contracted medical professional performs a health assessment for the applicant, while the Department of Health and Human Resources determines financial eligibility.

How to Apply
An accomplished ADW Medical Necessity Evaluation Request form must be submitted and approved prior to program application through a local county DHHR office.

Medicaid Personal Care Program

The Medicaid Personal Care program provides seniors assistance with activities of daily living. Although PC services are primarily provided to Medicaid recipients in their homes, there are certain instances for allowed provision in assisted living and approved residential care facilities as mentioned in the program’s policy manual.

Medicaid Personal Care Program

The Medicaid Personal Care program provides assistance with activities of daily living for qualified seniors. Although PC services are primarily provided to Medicaid recipients in their homes, there are certain instances for allowed provision in assisted living and approved residential care facilities as mentioned in the program’s policy manual.

Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility for PC services is based on financial and medical criteria. The DHHR determines an applicant’s financial eligibility, while medical eligibility is assessed by a contracted medical professional.

How to Apply
West Virginia Medicaid recipients must submit an accomplished PC Medical Necessity Evaluation Request form. A local county DHHR office may be contacted for assistance.

Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in West Virginia

Local and statewide programs on aging and dementia support are available for older West Virginians and their loved ones. These free resources include county-level organizations, service provider information, and state-supported agencies that provide referral, legal, and advance care planning assistance.

Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter

800-272-3900Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter offers free care consultations, community workshops and support groups and for senior residents with dementia and their families. Its headquarters is in Charleston, and it has regional offices in Morgantown, Parkersburg and Martinsburg.
Aging and Disability Resource Network (ADRN)866-981-2372The West Virginia ADRN assists seniors 60 and older in locating appropriate long-term services and supports that meet their needs. Established by the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services and serving all counties throughout the state, it has regional offices in Whitehall, Petersburg and Princeton in addition to the Dunbar main office.
County Aging Providers (Senior Centers)304-558-3317 / 877-987-3646Each county in West Virginia has a dedicated senior services agency that administers state-funded programs and a comprehensive range of local social services modeled after the Older Americans Act. These County Aging Providers also operate senior centers that provide health and wellness programs.
West Virginia Senior Legal Aid (WVSLA)800-229-5068Established through the Older Americans Act, WVSLA provides free civil legal services for West Virginian seniors 60 and older. It also offers legal advice on various topics including advance directives, wills, long-term care, Medicare and Medicaid benefits, Social Security and elder abuse.
West Virginia Center for End-of-Life Care

877-209-8086The West Virginia Center for End-of-Life Care is established by the WV Legislature to provide information, resources and coordination services on advance care planning and making informed health care decisions. Its e-Directive registry stores a patient’s medical orders, medical power of attorney, living will, mental health advance directive and other necessary legal forms for online access by authorized health care facilities.
WVSenior Care.com304-346-4575Maintained by the West Virginia Health Care Association, is a free online directory of health and residential care providers, government agencies, support groups and other statewide resources for seniors and their families.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in West Virginia

Licensed assisted living residences and nursing homes in West Virginia accommodate memory care residents in Alzheimer’s/dementia special care units. These facilities are licensed by the Office of Health Facility Licensure & Certification of the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources, and there are dedicated Code of State rules for Alzheimer’s/dementia special care units.

Scope of CareFacilities with Alzheimer’s/dementia special care units must provide a detailed disclosure statement to be signed by the resident and/or the client’s legal representative prior to admission. This disclosure should describe the distinguished form of care or treatment provided to the resident.
Care PlansA resident’s preliminary care plan should be established within three days of admission in an Alzheimer’s/dementia special care unit. Based on a resident’s initial assessment, an individualized care plan shall be developed by a multidisciplinary team of staff and professionals within 21 days after the resident’s admission. This care plan must be reviewed at least quarterly or more frequently as the resident’s needs change.
Medication ManagementMedication administration by unlicensed personnel must be upon the approval and supervision of a registered nurse. An unlicensed direct care staff member must complete training programs and receive a satisfactory evaluation to perform this task. In a dementia care unit, unlicensed staff members included in the minimum staffing shall not be responsible for medication administration.
StaffingDementia care units with a census of greater than five residents shall have at least two direct care staff present. The licensing authority may require above-minimum staffing when deemed necessary. All assigned staff members must complete at least 30 hours of initial training on Alzheimer’s/dementia care and a minimum of eight hours of documented annual training.
Medicaid CoverageWhile West Virginia Medicaid pays for nursing home care, it does not cover assisted living and memory care facilities. However, there are Medicaid programs that cover case management, RN assessments and limited personal care services for those who wish to reside in non-institutional residences.
Reporting AbuseAssisted living staff shall immediately report abuse, neglect and emergency situations to the Adult Protective Services (APS) division of DHHR at 1-800-352-6513. An APS mandatory reporting form must be completed within 48 hours as a written follow-up and sent to a local DHHR office. The facility’s licensing agency should also be notified within 72 hours of the reported incident.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does memory care cost in West Virginia?

Memory care in West Virginia has an average monthly cost of $4,688. While this estimated amount is based on the assumption that memory care is about 20 to 30% more expensive than standard assisted living, it’s less than half the cost of nursing home care in the state.

Are there financial assistance for memory care in West Virginia?

While West Virginia has several assistance programs for long-term care, these do not include coverage for memory care facilities in assisted living residences. There’s an SSI-related Medicaid program that pays for nursing home care, and this would benefit recipients opting for memory care in nursing homes. Other Medicaid and state-funded programs, including the Family Alzheimer’s In-Home Respite program, are primarily geared toward in-home services. However, eligible seniors intending to reside in non-institutional memory care facilities may qualify for minimal or limited services that are covered in these programs.

Does Medicare pay for memory care?

Medicare does not cover memory care services in assisted living facilities, but it provides limited coverage on skilled nursing and hospice care for recipients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It also pays for the cost of care planning services and cognitive assessments.

What types of services does memory care provide?

In addition to room and board, memory care facilities provide personal care services, 24-hour supervision, medication assistance and specialized programs for the residents’ physical, cognitive and emotional well-being. These programs include therapeutic life skill stations, reminiscence sessions and multisensory activities that help delay the progression of dementia. Care coordination services are usually provided to residents who need rehabilitative care, psychiatry services and other clinical services.

What types of facilities offer memory care?

Memory care accommodations can be standalone facilities exclusively for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and they can be separate neighborhoods that are part of assisted living facilities, nursing homes and continuing care retirement communities.

Memory Care Facilities in West Virginia (3)