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

Note: There are no national studies on memory care costs. However, in most cases, this type of care costs 20-30% more than assisted living, so prices from Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey have been increased by 25%.

Using this formula, residents can expect to pay $5,200 per month for memory care. This is $425 lower than the national average, and it’s lower than many neighboring states. Average prices are closest in Pennsylvania where this type of care costs $75 less per month. Kentucky is a particularly affordable location with residents paying just $4,310 per month. Rates in Ohio increase to $5,794. Memory care in Maryland costs almost $1,000 more per month, and prices in Virginia average around $6,563, an increase of 26%.

$5200

West Virginia

$5625

The United States

$6563

Virginia

$5794

Ohio

$4310

Kentucky

$5125

Pennsylvania

$6125

Maryland

Memory care prices in West Virginia’s largest cities are well above the state median. Residents in Charleston pay $5,938 per month, which is above the state and national average. The median cost of care in Huntington is $6,094. In Parkersburg, these services cost $6,805 per month, and Morgantown is the most expensive major city with median rates of $7,125. Just two cities have below-average rates. In Weirton, you can expect to pay $4,750 per month. Wheeling is slightly more affordable with an average of $4,594. Even in smaller communities like Martinsburg, rates are slightly higher than the U.S. average.

$5938

Charleston

$6094

Huntington

$7125

Morgantown

$6805

Parkersburg

$4594

Wheeling

$4750

Weirton

$5788

Martinsburg

Long-term care prices vary significantly depending on the level of support required and where these services are provided. Daytime memory care programs are the least expensive option. The median cost is just $1,083, which is well-below the national average. Home health care agencies charge between $3,527 and $3,575 for their services. Assisted living costs $4,160 per month. Nursing homes also provide 24-hour care. However, they cost more than twice as much based on median rates of $11,619 per month for a semiprivate room or $12,212 for private accommodations.

$5200

Memory Care

$3527

Home Care

$3575

Home Health Care

$1083

Adult Day Health Care

$4160

Assisted Living

$11619

Nursing Home (semiprivate)

$12212

Nursing Home (private)

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 2022, this means that you can earn up to $2,523 per month compared to $841 for regular Medicaid. 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 $137,400 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.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in West Virginia

Income Limits* 

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$30,276

$2,000

Two-Person Household
(Only One Person Applying)

$30,276 for applicant

$2,000 for applicant
$137,400 for non applicant

Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$60,522

$3,000

*Per year

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.

Resource

Contact

Services Provided

(877) 716-1212

For 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.

(877) 987-3646

The 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.

(304) 352-0805

If 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.

How to Apply

How It Works

Aid and Attendance

Learn 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 Mortgages

Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov

If 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) Insurance

Learn 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

Families in West Virginia have access to a variety of state and local programs designed to support Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers while improving residents’ quality of life. You can learn more about free resources that can help with long-term care planning, legal concerns and healthy aging below.

Resource

Contact

Services Provided

(800) 272-3900

The Alzheimer’s Association, West Virginia Chapter is based in Charleston and operates three regional offices in Morgantown, Parkersburg and Martinsburg. This nationwide nonprofit offers caregiver training, support groups and one-on-one long-term care consultations to help families cope with dementia-related challenges. You can also borrow books, videos and other materials from your local office.

(304) 293-1743

The Memory Health Clinic at the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute specializes in diagnosing and treating dementia, including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Lewy body dementia and other forms of the disease. Patients have opportunities to participate in cutting-edge clinical trials and research studies that could lead to breakthroughs in Alzheimer's care.

(866) 981-2372

The West Virginia Aging and Disability Resource Network provides free services to help seniors aged 60 and older access programs sponsored by the Bureau of Senior Services. Staff members help with long-term care planning and personal needs assessments, and they provide referrals to agencies that serve residents in your county. The ADRN has offices in Dunbar, Fairmont/Whitehall, Petersburg and Princeton.

(304) 558-3317

West Virginia has four Area Agencies on Aging that are part of a nationwide service network established by the Older Americans Act. AAAs work with local senior centers and aging providers in each county to provide meals, transportation and community-based supports to adults aged 60 and older. They also offer evidence-based programs to promote healthy aging and help residents manage chronic diseases.

800-229-5068

Thanks to funding provided by the Older Americans Act, West Virginia Senior Legal Aid provides free assistance to state residents aged 60 and older. You can call the organization’s hotline for help with housing, government benefits, long-term care, estate planning, guardianship petitions and other civil matters. Services are also available to seniors who have been affected by abuse or scams.

877-209-8086

The West Virginia Center for End-of-Life Care is a nationally recognized initiative that works with older adults, families and health care professionals. It provides information and forms to help residents prepare living wills, powers of attorney and other health care decision-making documents to ensure that their wishes are respected. Completed forms can be uploaded to the e-Directive Registry for easy access by patients and caregivers.

(304) 346-4575

Sponsored by the West Virginia Health Care Association, WVSeniorCare provides a variety of long-term planning resources to help families learn more about assisted living, nursing homes and community-based alternatives. It also provides information about support groups, financial assistance programs and other age-related organizations that are active in the state.

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in West Virginia

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including dhhr.wv.gov/covid-19. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/15/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

Rules for West Virginia Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Yes

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

No

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Yes

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Not Available*

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for West Virginia Communities

Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?

Not Available*

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

Not Available*

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

Yes

Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?

No

Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?

No

*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for West Virginia Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Yes

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?

Yes

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

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.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in West Virginia

Scope of Care

Facilities 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 Plans

A 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 Management

Medication 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.

Staffing

Dementia 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 Coverage

While 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 Abuse

Assisted 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)