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West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States. It borders the states of Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the north, and Maryland to the northeast. West Virginia has the lowest household income of the 50 states. West Virginia ranks 3 out of 50 for its senior population percentage – only behind Florida and Maine. 17.78 % of the residents in West Virginia are senior citizens who are sixty-five or older. Looking for assisted living in West Virginia? Check out our WV senior living guide and look through all senior living options in the state.
Assisted Living Cost in West Virginia
Seniors in the U.S. can expect to pay an average monthly fee of $3,628 for assisted living, while typical costs for a month of care in an Assisted Living Facility in West Virginia is, on average, $3,263 per month. While in West Virginia the average rate is $3,263 monthly for the towns that we have listed below and $3,100 is the average in the rest of the state. Assisted living fees are generally different from city to city and facility to facility. In West Virginia, some assisted living facilities will charge the residents based on how much assistance they need on a daily basis, which is often referred to as tier-based pricing.
Some other senior living options in West Virginia are popular, namely Adult Day Health Care and Home Health Aides. Quite often, these senior care alternatives are often preferred because they allow the person to remain in their home. Seniors can expect to pay around $3,146 a month – over $37,750 per year for a Home Health Aide in West Virginia for roughly forty-four hours of care. WV senior citizens can also expect to pay $1,246 monthly or almost $15,000 annually for Adult Day Care in West Virginia – for no more than twelve (and typically less) hours of care, five days per week. Elderly people and their caregivers should also not forget that Adult Day Health Care is just for 5 days per week – no weekends, and no nights. If the senior needs nursing care around the clock, home health care wouldn’t work for them. Even without on-going nursing home care, if the older adult in West Virginia needs a live-in home health aide, the costs will be substantially higher than 24/7 assisted living in a dedicated West Virginia senior care facility. It should be noted, however, that Medicaid or Medicare will often pay for home health care, but it generally will not pay for assisted living in West Virginia, so you can expect to pay assisted living costs out of pocket in most cases.
Nursing homes in West Virginia are needed for the elderly senior citizens who need constant nursing care. Based on the average across all cities in West Virginia, a semi-private room in a Nursing Facility in West Virginia costs almost $8,400 per month – over $100,300 per year, and private rooms will cost approximately $8,700 monthly – over $104,000 annually. Here, once again, Medicaid or Medicare may be able to offset nursing care costs in West Virginia.
If you thought that assisted living in West Virginia is expensive now, just imagine what the fees will be 10 years from now. The Genworth financial study that looks at assisted listing costs throughout the country found that the cost of Assisted Living in West Virginia will be close to $60,000 per year at that point.
These are the latest average costs of assisted living in West Virginia:
- Parkersburg Area, West Virginia - $3,033;
- Beckley, West Virginia - $3,220;
- Weirton Area, West Virginia - $3,251;
- Wheeling, West Virginia - $3,300;
- Huntington Area, West Virginia - $3,300;
- Charleston, West Virginia - $3,700; and
- Morgantown, West Virginia - $4,000;
The costs do not fluctuate too much from one city/town to another (at least not as much as in some other states), however the difference can still be noticeable at almost $1000 per month from the cheapest assisted living facilities in West Virginia, located in the Parkersburg area, to the most expensive ones, located in Morgantown. It should be noted that these costs are average, and each assisted living facility can decide their own pricing. Seniors living in West Virginia who needs memory care for dementia or Alzheimer’s can expect to be more for assisted living than those not needing memory care. There are also various levels of assisted living care that each facility may have, so it is best to do your due diligence and find out all the assisted living costs.
Reasons for Senior Living in West Virginia
There are various considerations for seniors who are looking into senior living options in West Virginia:
- It is cheaper for senior citizens to live in West Virginia than in other states, on average.
- It is safer for seniors to live in West Virginia than, on average, in other states – based on the crime rates for violent and property crimes.
- West Virginia is tax-friendly towards its senior population, only partially taxing Social Security Income, withdrawals from retirement accounts and public and private pensions.
- West Virginia is just slightly below nationwide average for its access to physicians. It also has substantially higher air quality and cheaper health care costs than nationwide averages.
- West Virginia’s weather is quite senior-friendly. There is slightly more rain than the nationwide average and the temperatures in the hottest months of summer average 3 degrees below U.S. average - good for most senior citizens as excessive heat is something that the elderly do not tolerate well. The state also has a lower UV Index and higher comfort level than average.
Places of Interest for Seniors Living in West Virginia
West Virginia has attractions that are interesting for people of all ages and has outdoor activities for all seasons. Here are some ideas of things that senior citizens may enjoy in West Virginia:
- Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – located in Weston, West Virginia. It used to be a government-operated psychiatric hospital until 1994.
- Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park – located in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. This National Park is one of the “crown jewels” in the National Park Service. It covers 4,000 acres in three different states (West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland.) The park shows a part of history all in one place. The C&O Canal National Park, Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail all intersect at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. There are 20 miles of hiking trails, whitewater rafting, tubing, fishing, as well as dining and overnight accommodations.
- John Brown’s Fort – located in Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
- Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth. There is an average of three different interactive exhibits yearly.
- Appalachian Trail Conservatory Lodge – located in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. This is the main visitor center for the Appalachian Trail and is one of the most famous landmarks on the entire Appalachian Trail. This point on the 2,190-mile scenic trail is considered by many to be the “physiological half-way point” on the trail. There are exhibits, a gift shop, a lounge for hikers with both cold and hot drinks available. There is also a collection of over 25,000 photos of hikers that have been taken since 1979 for those who walk the entire trail that covers 14 states.
- West Virginia State Penitentiary – located in Moundsville, West Virginia. It is a retired, gothic style prison that was in operation from 1876 to 1995. Tours are available of the cells that the prisoners as well as the electric chair. The penitentiary is similar to the one in Joliet, Illinois, except it is scaled down to half the size. The prisoners were instrumental in building the prison, beginning with the North Wagon Gate, which was the first building constructed on the site.
- West Virginia State Museum – located in Charleston, West Virginia. This museum, located in the Cultural Center of Charleston, traces the history of West Virginia and includes a collection of antique hats as well as the telescope that George Washington used to survey lands within the state;
- The Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum – located in Wheeling, West Virginia. This museum is housed in a restored Victorian school and holds a collection of tens of thousands of toys and trains;
- Mystery Hole – located in Ansted, West Virginia. The Mystery Hole can be found near Hawks Nest State Park and Cathedral Falls and it is next to the Midland Trail in Fayette County. It advertises itself as a gravity-defying wonder.
- Blackwater Falls State Park – located in Waterbury, West Virginia. This state park is named for the falls of the Blackwater River and it is one of the most photographed sites in West Virginia. The “black” water is a due to tannic acid from the red spruce and hemlock that fall.
Some cities to consider for West Virginia Senior Living
Here are some cities or towns that have ranked highly in different categories and in which seniors may enjoy living:
- Dunbar, West Virginia – a city in Kanawha County, West Virginia, along the Kanawha River. The population of Dunbar, West Virginia is approximately 7,750 residents, of which nearly 20% are age 65 or older. There is only 1 assisted living facility in Dunbar, however the Kanawha County has a total of 12 assisted living facilities in the area – more than sufficient to pick one that fits most seniors’ needs.
- Charles Town, West Virginia – a city in, and the County seat of, Jefferson County, West Virginia. The population of Charles Town is approximately 6,000 residents, of which around 12.5% are age senior citizens. Being a small town, Charles Town itself doesn’t have any assisted living facilities, but there are plenty of senior living options nearby.
- St. Albans, West Virginia – a city in Kanawha County, West Virginia at the confluence of the Kanawha and the Coal Rivers. The population of St. Albans, West Virginia is around 10,800, with approximately 20.5% of the residents who are senior citizens 65 or older. There are 2 assisted living facilities in St. Albans, WV and there are also 12 senior living options in the county.
- Princeton, West Virginia – a city in, and the County seat of, Mercer County. It is part of the Bluefield, WV-VA micropolitan area. The population of Princeton, West Virginia is estimated to be around 6,200 residents, of which approximately 29% are 65 years of age or older. Although it’s a small town, the population of seniors living in Princeton is high, as such there are a total of 4 assisted living facilities in Princeton WV.
- Elkins, West Virginia – a city, and the County Seat of, Randolph County, West Virginia. The population of Elkins, West Virginia is close to 7,400, residents, with approximately 17.5% of residents who are age 65 or older. There are 2 assisted living options in Elkin, WV and many nearby.
- Parkersburg, West Virginia – a city in, and the County seat of, Wood County, West Virginia. It is situated at the convergence of the Ohio and the Little Kanawha rivers. Parkersburg is only 14 miles south of Marietta, Ohio. The population of Parkersburg is approximately 31,000 with about 18% of the residents aged 65 or older. Parkersburg, WV contains 4 assisted living facilities in the city directly.
- Buckhannon, West Virginia – a city in, and the county seat of, Upshur County, West Virginia. Buckhannon is the only incorporated city in Upshur County and it is located along the Buckhannon River in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. It is 115 miles northeast of the capital of Charleston and 140 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. West Virginia Wesleyan College calls Buckhannon home, as does the West Virginia Strawberry Festival which is held annually on the third week of May. The population of Buckhannon is approximately 5,700, of which about 17% of the residents belong to the 65+ senior living community. There are 2 assisted living facilities in Bukchannon, WV.
- Bluefield, West Virginia – a city in Mercer County, West Virginia. It is the core city of the Bluefield WV-VA micropolitan area which has a total population of 107,342. Bluefield is in the Appalachian Mountains near Bluefield, Virginia. The population of Bluefield, West Virginia has been decreasing since 2010, and is approximately 10,400 residents, with around 21.5% of the residents belonging to the 65+ senior living community. There are 2 senior living facilities in Bluefield that offer assisted living to its seniors.
- Keyser, West Virginia – a city in, and the County Seat of, Mineral County, West Virginia. It is part of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town was named after William Keyser, who was an official for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The city of Keyser changed hands 14 times during the war because of the importance of the railroad. The population of Keyser, West Virginia is about 5,300, with a little more than 17% of the residents being age 65 or older. Keyser doesn’t have any assisted living options in the city, but Mercer County has a total of 8 senior living options to choose from.
- Vienna, West Virginia – a city in Wood County, West Virginia along the Ohio River. The population of Vienna is approximately 10,500 of which around 19.5% of the residents are aged 65 or older. Vienna doesn’t have any assisted living housing units, but Wood county in Vienna has a total of 4 assisted living facilities that seniors can choose from.