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Guide to Independent Living in West Virginia

Called the Mountain State for its scenic views of the Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia provides a beautiful backdrop for retirement living. The state is home to over 100 golf courses,numerous stargazing spots and scenic train tours, giving residents the opportunity to experience its sights in a variety of ways, and picturesque mountain towns offer unique shops and restaurants. Despite its amenities, West Virginia is one of the cheapest places in the United States to live, providing an affordable retirement for seniors, who make up a fifth of the population of 1.8 million people.  

West Virginia also has economically priced independent living services, with older adults paying $2,704 per month, which is less than the national median. This level of care is for those who don’t need medical monitoring or help with daily living activities but are seeking a low-maintenance lifestyle. These communities offer a range of amenities for active seniors, including recreational programs and social clubs, yard care, housekeeping and transportation.

This introductory guide for independent living in West Virginia highlights service costs in major cities throughout the state and outlines popular options for paying for services. It also lists some nonprofit agencies that provide free and low-cost services to older adults.  

How Much Does Independent Living Cost in West Virginia?

Note: There currently isn’t authoritative data on the average cost of Independent Living Facilities nationwide, so instead, we use the cost of Assisted Living to estimate it. Since the cost of Independent Living is typically 30-40% lower than the cost of Assisted Living, the numbers below were calculated by subtracting 35% from the cost of Assisted Living as reported in the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

At $2,704, independent living rates in West Virginia come in lower than the national median of $2,925, and care costs are lower than fees in most bordering states. In Virginia, older adults pay $3,413 for services, and in Maryland, rates come in at $3,185. Seniors in Ohio pay approximately $3,013. Kentucky is the cheapest bordering state for independent living, with communities charging an estimated $2,241.  


West Virginia


The United States









The Cost of Independent Living in West Virginia’s Top Cities 

Independent living fees vary across West Virginia, depending on location and local costs of living. Wheeling is the most economical place in the state to obtain services, with communities charging an estimated $2,389 per month, and in Weirton, care costs are comparable at $2,470. Seniors in Charleston pay $3,088, and in Huntington, fees average $3,169. Parkersburg’s rates are higher at $3,539, and in Morgantown, care costs exceed the state median by about $1,000 at $3,705.  













The Cost of Independent Living vs. Other Types of Care 

In West Virginia, seniors have a range of long-term care options, depending on their needs and budgets. Independent living is economically priced at $2,704, but those seeking even more affordable care may consider adult day health care, which costs $1,083 monthly. In-home care is costlier than independent living, with agencies charging $3,527 for basic homemaker services and $3,575 for skilled home health aide services. Older adults who want to obtain personal care services in a residential setting pay $4,160 for assisted living, and those who need more extensive care pay $11,619 for shared rooms in nursing homes.  


Independent Living


Adult Day Health Care


Homemaker Services


Home Health Aide


Assisted Living Facility


Nursing Home (Semiprivate room)

Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Independent Living in West Virginia?

The short answer is no, Medicaid and Medicare do not cover the cost of living in an independent living community. That being said, those who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), may be able to take advantage of financial assistance programs in West Virginia to partially or fully cover the cost of care in Assisted Living. For more information about financial assistance for those who need help with ADLs, read our guide to Assisted Living in West Virginia.

For more information about other ways to make Independent Living more affordable, such as retirement funds, the sale of a home, etc, read the section below.

How to Make Independent Living More Affordable in West Virginia

If retirement income isn’t enough to cover independent living, older adults have several options for paying for services. Reverse mortgage loans may be practical for those who own homes but aren’t ready to sell. These loans provide monthly cash flow and don’t need to be repaid until the owner sells the house. Those who have access to lump sums of cash through sources, such as inheritances or insurance settlements, may purchase an annuity, which converts the sum into a steady stream of monthly payments. Those with certain life insurance policies may have the option of accessing their death benefit to use toward long-term care, and those with long-term care insurance may have coverage for specific services, such as housekeeping and transportation. 

Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in West Virginia

Older adults in West Virginia can get free financial and legal advice, options counseling and information and referrals for community-based services through a variety of government and nonprofit organizations. The following table features top resources for seniors in West Virginia to help them make informed decisions regarding their long-term care plans.  

Resource Contact Description 
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (877) 987-4463 SHIP provides free, impartial health insurance options counseling to those eligible for Medicare. This volunteer-driven program has a free helpline seniors can call for one-on-one assistance with understanding their Medicare benefits, researching Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans in their regions and determining whether they qualify for Medicaid. Counselors can also help older adults understand their medical bills and resolve billing errors or denied health insurance claims.  
Area Agencies on Aging (304) 558-3317 (877) 987-3646 There are four Area Agencies on Aging in West Virginia, each of which serves those aged 60 and over through free and low-cost programs. Through their local AAA, older adults can get information on how to cover independent living expenses and apply for public benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.  
West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance Contact Form The West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance provides free help with accessing state and federal VA benefits, including emergency financial assistance, tax exemptions and military license plates.  
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (800) 942-2677 Through their local RSVP location, those aged 55 and over can participate in volunteer activities that fit their interests and schedules. Opportunities vary by region but may include distributing food in food pantries, tutoring local school-aged children and providing home-delivered meals and friendly phone calls to housebound individuals in the community.  
Legal Aid WV (866) 255-4370 Legal Aid WV has licensed legal professionals who provide free legal advice, assistance and representation to those aged 60 and over throughout the state. Older adults can contact their local office for one-on-one help with estate planning, assigning powers of attorney and accessing public benefits that may help pay for independent living expenses. 
AARP West Virginia (866) 227-7458 AARP provides up-to-date information on issues that affect seniors, as well as discounts on travel and recreational activities, safe-driving classes and income tax preparation.  

COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for West Virginia Independent Living Communities

The following rules and guidelines were obtained from, as well as other state-level government sites. Among others, these rules apply to independent living communities and assisted living facilities.

This data has been most recently updated on 2/15/2022, but keep in mind that COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, so all of the below information can change at any time. For additional questions and up-to-date information, you can contact your loved one’s senior living facility or your local Area Agency on Aging.

Visiting Loved Ones

Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?Yes
Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?No
Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?Yes
Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?Not Available*
Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives? Yes
Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are visitors being asked 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 and Group Activities

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?Not Available*
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?Not Available*
Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?Yes
Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?No
Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?No

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

Safety Measures for Staff & Contractors

Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?Yes

Safety Measures for Residents

Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?Yes
Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?No
Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?Yes
Are residents being tested for coronavirus?Yes (Conditions Apply)
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