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Memory Care in West Virginia

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 39,000 seniors in West Virginia are living with the disease, and an additional 5,000 diagnoses are expected by 2025. This represents an increase of nearly 13%. Additionally, Alzheimer’s is the state’s seventh leading cause of death after conditions like heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Dementia and age-related memory loss are serious concerns since West Virginia has an above-average population of older adults. More than one in five residents is aged 65 or older, and the state’s senior population is more than 365,500 strong. Since dementia is most common in this age group, there’s increasing demand for memory care and geriatric services such as those provided by the University of West Virginia Hospitals. On average, residents pay $5,200 for assisted living services provided in special care units, which is slightly lower than the U.S. median.

Memory care can be offered on its own in a community designed especially for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, but it’s more commonly 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 provides helpful information about memory care in West Virginia with a focus on average prices, state regulations, Medicaid benefits and free resources for dementia patients and their families.

The Cost of Memory Care in West Virginia

When trying to decide how to pay for memory care, 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, Caring.com has compiled proprietary cost data from its network of over 75,000 senior living providers to offer insight into the average cost of memory care in West Virginia and its 3 cities.

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

Memory care figures differ widely across West Virginia's major cities. As of 2023, Bridgeport's average ($5,443) is in-line with the statewide average of $5,446. Rates run higher in Charleston, where the current monthly fee is around $5,519. Costs are lower in Martinsburg, where seniors can expect to pay $5,413 monthly — just 0.6% under the state norm. For comparison, memory care is even cheaper in nearby Pittsburgh, PA at $4,798 monthly.

West Virginia

$5,446

Charleston

$5,519

Bridgeport

$5,443

Martinsburg

$5,413

Pittsburgh, PA

$4,798

Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Memory Care in West Virginia

West Virginia is one of few states where memory care costs are predicted to fall in 2024. Having increased by a staggering 45.5% between 2022 and 2023, ($3,744 to $5,446), the average monthly price is predicted to be about $5,376 for 2024. It's predicted that fees will also fall in Kentucky. Countrywide, the overall average rate is set to increase approximately 7.9% to $5,792 from 2023 to 2024. Based on current trends, costs are forecast to continue climbing in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio, where memory care prices have already increased by 5.1%, 7% and 10.9%, respectively.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
West Virginia$3,744$5,446$5,376
U.S. Average$4,863$5,369$5,792
Ohio$4,827$5,352$5,826
Pennsylvania$4,949$5,201$5,931
Kentucky$4,359$4,852$4,784
Virginia$5,298$5,667$6,060

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

Regarding senior care in West Virginia, different care types have diverse prices. An individual's support needs and a facility's amenities are among the factors that cause varying rates. Memory care averages $5,446, which is approximately $273 higher than the monthly assisted living cost of $5,173. Specialized services, staff training and brain-booting menus may contribute to memory care's substantially higher cost than independent living ($2,460).

Assisted Living

$5,173

Memory Care

$5,446

Independent Living

$2,460

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in West Virginia?

Note: For the purposes of this guide, when we say “Memory Care” we are referring to memory care provided in a “social setting,” such as an Assisted Living Facility. This is the most common way to receive Memory Care and is the best fit for all but the frailest seniors. Sometimes the actual service of memory care can be provided in a Nursing Home (“medical setting”), so the financial assistance options will be very different. To learn more about the financial assistance options available for memory care provided in a nursing home, read our guide to Nursing Home Care in West Virginia.

West Virginia provides limited coverage for assisted living and memory care through its Medicaid State Plan. Personal care services are also covered by the state’s Aged & Disabled waiver. However, this program only covers services that are provided in the home, so it can’t be used for assisted living or memory care. West Virginia’s Personal Care services program helps Medicaid-eligible seniors with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living. While coverage is primarily for in-home assistance, there’s more flexibility in where these services are provided.

Residents of assisted living facilities, adult residential care homes and memory care units may be eligible. However, there are some restrictions. For example, Personal Care services cannot duplicate services that these facilities are legally required to provide. The state’s policy manual provides more details about the program’s benefits and limitations. Applicants must meet Medicaid’s financial eligibility requirements and require a nursing home level of care to qualify. Because this is an entitlement program, benefits are available to all who qualify. There are no waiting lists.

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in West Virginia?

The Personal Care services program covers nurse-supervised care provided at home or in a residential setting, such as an assisted living or memory care facility. These services are designed to prevent or delay the need for nursing home placement while giving seniors more freedom and independence. A functional needs assessment is used to determine how many hours of assistance you require. Here are some of the services that it may cover.

 

  • Help with daily activities of living
  • Meal preparation and nutrition services
  • Housekeeping and chores
  • Mobility assistance
  • Personal care and hygiene

 

Coverage is not available for skilled nursing, including wound care and help with IV medications. Standalone housekeeping services are also ineligible. If you have questions about this program, contact the Bureau of Senior Services at (866) 767-1575.

How to Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in West Virginia

If you require long-term care, you may qualify for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services. This program has higher income limits equal to 300% of the federal benefit. For 2023, this means that you can earn up to $2,742 per month. The state also has a medically needy qualification pathway that lets you spend some of your extra income on medical bills. The state considers all sources of income, including wages, retirement benefits and rental properties.

Assets are limited to $2,000 for individuals or $3,000 for couples if both spouses require care. Some items are exempt, including a home, vehicle and many household items. If your spouse requires memory care but you will remain in the community, you may be able to keep $148,620 in nonexempt assets. Part of your spouse’s income can be used to help with your monthly expenses if needed. A professional Medicaid planner can provide more information about these rules. You can also find a summary below.

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset Limits: Applicant(s)Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$32,904$2,000
Two People1$32,904**$2,000$148,620
Two People 2$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.

*** Income is limited to $2,742 per month per spouse.

To qualify for Medicaid long-term care you must: 

  • Live in West Virginia
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Require a nursing home level of care
  • Be aged 65 or older or have a disability
  • Have limited income and assets

 

How to Apply for Medicaid in West Virginia

Applications for Medicaid, including Personal Care services, are handled by the Department of Health and Human Resources. The state provides several application options for your convenience.

 

 

If you’re completing an application for someone else, make sure to complex Appendix C to designate an authorized representative who can discuss the application with the DHHR. Your primary care physician must also complete a Medical Necessity Evaluation Request that provides information about your health and confirms the diagnosis of dementia.

Information You Will Need

Medicaid eligibility is based on medical and financial need. The state asks a variety of questions about your household, income, assets and expenses to confirm your eligibility. Make sure that you have the following items available when you apply.

 

  • Personal information, including name and date of birth
  • Social Security numbers
  • Proof of citizenship and in-state residency
  • Details about your health coverage
  • Employment information
  • Tax status and deductions
  • Monthly and annual income
  • Household expenses
  • Disability information

 

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you have questions about your eligibility or if you want to check the status of your application, contact the DHHR or one of its affiliates. You may have a right to file an appeal if your application was denied or you disagree with a decision.

ProgramContactServices provided
Department of Health and Human Resources(877) 716-1212For questions about Medicaid or other benefits administered by the DHHR, contact the agency’s customer service hotline. Applicants may be screened for food stamps, utility bill assistance and other financial assistance programs.
Bureau of Senior Services(877) 987-3646The Bureau of Senior Services is responsible for managing home- and community-based services, including the state’s Personal Care program. To learn more about programs that support healthy, independent aging, contact the bureau’s main office in Charleston.
Office of Inspector General, Board of Review(304) 352-0805If you have been improperly denied benefits or if your services have been reduced, you may be able to file an appeal. The Board of Review handles decisions related to Medicaid, waivers, adult protective services, food stamps and other entitlement programs.

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in West Virginia?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of memory care in West Virginia. As was mentioned above, this doesn’t apply to Memory Care received in a Nursing Home. Since it is the most common to receive memory care in a “social setting” (such as an assisted living facility), Medicare won’t be a viable financial assistance option for most seniors who need Memory Care. However, Medicare will 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 Memory Care in a nursing home, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Homes in West Virginia.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in West 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 Memory Care affordable.

NameHow To ApplyHow It Works
Aid and AttendanceLearn more and apply online at va.gov.Veterans 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 toward paying for Memory Care.
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 Memory Care. 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 acl.gov.Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Memory Care. 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 Memory Care will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in West Virginia

There are many resources in West Virginia that assist seniors in their retirement. Caring.com 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
West Virginia Area Agencies on AgingWest Virginia's Area Agencies on Aging cover four regions and are vital for helping older adults maintain their independence and age in place. Services include the Lighthouse program, which provides personal care, nutrition and mobility support and assistance with light housekeeping chores. West Virginia's AAAs also include help with Medicare planning, respite care and caregiver services.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in West 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
West 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.

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 West Virginia seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
West Virginia Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program304-558-3550West Virginia Department of Agriculture administers this federal funded grant program to provide low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and herbs; and to increase the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities through farmers markets and roadside stands. This program also aids in the development of new and additional farmers markets and roadside stands. Program period for eligible seniors to sign up is June – October. Farmers trained for this program April – July.
West Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)304-205-6357The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is administered by DHHR and governed by federal law and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Nutrition Services. SNAP provides monthly benefits to help eligible households buy food.
West Virgnia Meals on WheelsWest Virginia Meals on Wheels helps seniors in their communities by providing nutritious meals and other support services. Deliveries are available to eligible homebound seniors ages 60 and over as well as those unable to prepare their own food. The program also offers balanced meals in congregate settings with peers. Additional services vary by location but may include emergency deliveries during inclement weather, pet food delivery, transportation to medical appointments and hospital readmission programs.

Free Used Medical Equipment

Due to the high cost of purchasing new medical equipment, several organizations in West Virginia collect lightly used medical devices such as wheelchairs, ramps and walkers and distribute them to local seniors and residents in need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
West Virginia Assistive Technology System800-841-8436Through the West Virginia Assistive Technology System's device reuse program, seniors can receive free gently used medical equipment. Seniors who have a short-term need for medical equipment can borrow devices for up to 30 days.
West Virginia Community Living Services Program (CLSP)304-525-3324Mountain State Centers for Independent Living operates an assistive technology loan program. Seniors can borrow the devices they need for a short time. If seniors need help financing a device, staff can provide referrals and help with applications.
West Virginia Telephonic Communication Device Loan Program304-558-1675The West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing distributes free telecommunications equipment. Seniors who have a verified hearing loss can borrow an amplified phone, captioned phone or teletypewriter.

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 West Virginia have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
The West Virginia Homeowner Rescue Program (WVHR)211The West Virginia Homeowner Rescue Program uses funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help seniors and other homeowners in West Virginia cover the cost of critical home repairs that make their homes livable. Homeowners can receive up to $10,000 in funding for work completed by a licensed, insured contractor. To qualify, applicants' income must not exceed 150% of the area median income, and they must have experienced financial hardship related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
West Virginia Housing Rehabilitation Program304-562-5896The city of Hurricane, WV, works with a variety of work camp organizations that provide home rehabilitation services for seniors, disabled individuals and those in financial need. These groups travel to various cities, including Hurricane, and typically spend a week fixing and modifying local homes in need. Groups are made up of youth and adult volunteers. Local residents can contact City Hall to apply for this free service, offered periodically throughout the year.
West Virginia Section 504 Home Repair Program800-295-8228The Section 504 Home Repair program provides loans to help eligible homeowners repair or modify their homes. Senior homeowners (62+) may qualify for grants to eliminate safety hazards around the home.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to West 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
Legal Aid of West Virginia866-255-4370Legal Aid of West Virginia provides free civil legal services to those aged 60 and over statewide. This agency has licensed legal professionals who specialize in applying for public benefits, understanding assisted living contracts and preparing for future care and medical needs. The agency also serves as the long-term care ombudsman for the Hurricane region and advocates on behalf of those in assisted living facilities.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in West 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
West 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 West 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
West Virginia Homestead Exemption800-982-8297This property tax exemption program helps reduce the cost of homeownership for eligible seniors. It exempts the first $20,000 of a home's value from property taxes. If approved, they will see the exemption on their next tax bill.

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. West 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
West Virginia Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)304-205-6357The West Virginia Bureau for Family Assistance administers two programs that support low-income seniors. The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program covers heating and cooling costs via cash benefits or payments sent directly to utility providers. The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program assists those whose water services have been disconnected due to nonpayment. LIHWAP covers the costs of water and sewer charges. Income limits apply to both programs.

Veteran's Services

West 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
West Virginia VA Benefits and Health CareSenior veterans can access physical and mental health care through West Virginia VA Benefits and Health Care. Outpatient clinics provide medical services, along with vet centers in cities, including Beckley and Charleston, where counseling is available. At multiple benefits' offices in West Virginia, seniors can file claims and get help accessing veterans' benefits.

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.

TopicRule
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.

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Caring.com

Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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