Memory Care in Virginia |

Memory Care in Virginia

Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia create challenges for families throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. About 150,000 adults aged 65 and older were known to have the illness in 2020, and that number is expected to rise to 190,000 by 2025, an estimated change of 26.7%. According to data from the Alzheimer's Association, 2,631 Virginia seniors died from Alzheimer's disease in 2019, and it anticipates that number will increase. Research from the CDC shows that death certificates underreport Alzheimer's disease, so these numbers are likely to be higher. 

Memory care facilities provide those living with Alzheimer's and dementia with care that is tailored to their unique needs. Memory care can take place in its own facility, or as part of a designated wing of another residential care community. Staff members of memory care units or facilities undergo specialized training in caring 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 will cover the cost of memory care in Virginia, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state, and a directory of memory care facilities in Virginia.

The Cost of Memory Care in Virginia

When figuring out how to pay for memory care, you first need to understand how much it will cost for your loved one to move to a quality community. As costs continue to rise, it's vital to have the latest details when planning for elderly care costs. In order to shed light on the impact of inflation on senior living costs, has gathered cost information from its network of over 75,000 senior living communities. These prices are based on the cost of Memory Care in Virginia and 45 other cities in Virginia.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Memory Care in Virginia

Inflation can have a significant impact on aging adults living in memory care communities, making it critical to monitor these changes. Average memory care costs increased by 10.5% nationwide in 2023, but Virginia fared slightly better with a 7% increase. Surrounding states like South Carolina and Maryland also had lower-than-average memory care cost hikes of 6% and 8%, respectively. However, Tennessee's cost rose by 21.5%, and West Virginia's growth of 45.5% could really hit home. Luckily, 2024 projections indicate a 1.5% drop in West Virginia's cost while other states continue to rise, including another potential increase of 7% in Virginia.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,863$5,369$5,792
West Virginia$3,744$5,446$5,376
South Carolina$4,011$4,234$4,881

Memory Care Costs in Virginia's Top Cities

Stretching from the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, Virginia's scenery varies more than the average memory care costs across the state. Many popular cities are close in cost to the state average of $5,667, with several coming in lower, including Virginia Beach at $5,403, Richmond at $5,433 and Arlington at $5,538. One exception among the more populated cities in the state is Norfolk, with its higher-than-average cost of $6,013.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Aging adults considering their senior living options must factor in their care level, current costs and future costs, as inflation potentially causes fluctuations over the long term. While independent living is the least expensive in Virginia at $3,194, it's not ideal for seniors needing personal care or assistance. For those wanting to remain as independent as possible but requiring some care, assisted living costs $4,604, while seniors needing dementia support pay an average of $5,667.

Virginia Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Virginia's Medicaid system may cover some memory care services as part of the Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus (CCC Plus) Waiver. This managed care program pays for medical treatments and Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) in community settings. Medicaid does not pay for room and board at assisted living facilities that offer memory care, but there are grant programs that may do so. 

Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus (CCC Plus) Waiver

The LTSS services covered for CCC Plus beneficiaries include assistive technology, environmental modifications, respite care, personal care and private-duty nursing. CCC Plus also covers medical and rehabilitative services commonly prescribed for dementia patients, such as occupational and speech therapies. Mental health services are also available. 

Who Is Eligible: Applicants must be 65 years or older and have full Medicaid benefits to qualify for CCC Plus. For some services, the senior must meet a nursing home level of care. How to Apply: Seniors can apply for CCC Plus or learn more about what the program covers by calling the CCC Plus Helpline at (844) 374-9159.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Virginia

The Department of Social Services (DSS) or Cover Virginia Central Processing Unit determines CCC Plus eligibility. Single applicants cannot earn more than $10,872 per year or own more than $2,000 in assets. The limits are the same for single applicants in a two-person household. Dual applicants in a two-person household may not earn more than $14,652 per year or own more than $3,000 in assets. Seniors already receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are automatically eligible for coverage. 

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Virginia

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$10,872$2,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$10,872$2,000
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$14,652$3,000

In addition to financial limits, Medicaid in Virginia requires that applicants:

  • Are U.S. citizens or legally documented immigrants
  • Virginia residents
  • Are aged 65 and older or younger with a disability

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Virginia

Applying for Medicaid coverage can seem complicated, but the following resources can help families with the application process and obtaining services once they're approved. 

CCC Plus Enrollment Helpline(844) 374-9159Helpline agents help with the enrollment process and answer benefits questions. Authorized representatives can also call the helpline for assistance.
Virginia CommonHelpOffice LocatorThe Virginia Department of Social Services operates Virginia CommonHelp to assist residents with their Medicaid applications and other benefit programs. Support is available over the phone or in person at a local office.
Project ConnectList of LocationsProject Connect helps families dealing with Alzheimer's and other cognitive impairments apply for Medicaid and find other memory care payment options. Outreach workers provide one-on-one assistance to ensure clients get the most out of their benefits.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Memory Care in Virginia?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not generally cover the cost of Memory Care. Most Memory Care Facilities are considered to be "social settings," so Medicare does not cover the cost incurred in these facilities. The only exception to that is if you are receiving memory care services in a Nursing Home. While this situation is much less common, Medicare would sometimes cover the cost, depending on a number of circumstances.

That being said, Medicare does still cover qualified doctor visits, medications, etc., as it would if you were still at home, but it will not cover the cost of care received at the Memory Care Facility.

More Ways to Pay for Memory Care in Virginia

In addition to the state programs mentioned above, those looking for resources to finance memory care may consider:

  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Depending on the policy details, long-term care insurance may be used to pay for memory care services. It's best to sign up for a policy early, as coverage will likely be denied if one already has long-term care needs. More information about the intricacies of long-term care insurance can be found at
  • Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow some homeowners to take out a loan as an advance from the eventual sale of their primary residence. This can be a good way to fund memory care in the short-term, but the loans will need to be paid back after the sale of the home. The most commonly used type of reverse mortgages for seniors is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, which is the only reverse mortgage insured by the federal government.
  • Veterans Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several programs that veterans and their spouses may use to cover health care needs such as memory care. More information about these programs can be found on the VA website.
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Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Virginia

Memory Care Regulation

In Virginia, facilities that provide memory care fall under the umbrella of assisted living facilities (ALFs). The Virginia Department of Social Services, Division of Licensing Programs, licenses and regulates these facilities.

ALFs that admit and provide care for people with dementia or other serious cognitive impairments must follow special state guidelines. These include providing secure, monitored indoor and outdoor areas for residents. Staff members must also receive training and continuing education on caring for individuals with cognitive impairments.

Facility Scope of Care

ALFs in Virginia provide 24-hour supervision, assistance and coordination of personal and healthcare services to adults who may have physical or mental impairments and require a moderate level of care with the activities of daily living. Virginia defines moderate assistance as a resident being dependent on caregivers for two or more of the activities of daily living. ALFs are allowed to admit and serve persons with dementia, but not those who require continuous or advanced nursing services.

Admissions Requirements

To be admitted to an ALF, a prospective resident must meet certain criteria. The table below provides an overview of who may or may not be admitted.

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Older adults and people with:

  • Dementia
  • Mental Health Conditions
  • Cognitive Disabilities
  • Physical Disabilities

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those who:

  • Present an imminent physical danger to self or others
  • Require continuous skilled nursing care
  • Need maximum physical assistance and meet Medicaid nursing facility level of care criteria
  • Are dependent upon a ventilator
  • Are under the age of 18

Care Plan Requirements

Within 90 days before admission to an ALF in Virginia, applicants must complete an in-person assessment to determine their mental and physical condition, as well as their care needs. After admission, these universal assessments are completed annually, or any time there is a significant change in behavior warranting reassessment of the resident's needs.

On, or within one week prior to, the date admission, a licensed ALF staff member must develop a preliminary plan of care detailing the resident's needs and identifying ways to protect his or her health, welfare and safety. If a comprehensive individualized service plan has already been created, it can be used in place of a preliminary plan. Regardless, a comprehensive individualized service plan must be completed within 30 days of admission. This plan must include a written description of the resident's physical examination results, identified needs and an interview with the resident. If appropriate, it will also include a fall risk rating and behavioral assessment. It must also include which services the resident will receive and detail the expected outcomes. This plan is reviewed and updated once a year or more frequently if necessary.

Medication Management Requirements

ALFs are required to have written medication management plans for each resident. Residents may be permitted to administer their own medications if they are competent to do so. Otherwise, staff members licensed and registered as medication aides administer medication under supervision. Medications must be reviewed every six months for residents in assisted living, except for those residents who self-administer all of their own medications.

Facility Requirements

Newer ALFs that were approved for construction or a change in use after December 28, 2006, can offer private or double-occupancy rooms to residents. In these buildings, floors with resident rooms are required to have at least one toilet and sink available for every four residents, and one bathtub or shower for every seven residents. Older licensed facilities may have up to four residents share a bedroom. They are required to have at least one toilet and sink available for every seven residents, and one bathtub or shower for every 10 residents.

For safety, all facility steps, ramps and stairways are required to have nonslip surfaces, and any windows that can be opened must be screened. The building must also be designed with signaling and call systems that allow residents to summon help.

Staffing Requirements

Staff who are involved in direct patient care are subject to background checks. As part of their training, direct care team members receive six hours of specialized instruction on caring for residents with dementia. Administrators must complete 12 hours of applicable training. Both direct care staff and administrators are also required to complete yearly continued education.

In ALFs with more than 10 residents, to ensure safety, a minimum of two staff members must be present and awake at all times. All staff and volunteers must be familiar with and ready to implement the facility's emergency preparedness plan in case of an actual emergency.

Reporting Abuse

There are several ways to report suspected abuse. To report elder neglect or abuse in Virginia, call the state's 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 888-832-3858. To file a complaint against an assisted living home in the state, go to Virginia's Department of Social Services website. Under their Division of Licensing Programs, there is an online form for reporting complaints or concerns. Reports can be made anonymously if desired. One may also contact the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 800-552-3402 or 804-565-1600.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Virginia

In Virginia, there is an abundance of resources designed to assist seniors throughout their retirement. has compiled information on a range of local organizations, programs, and agencies, categorizing them based on the care services they offer for easy browsing.

Area Agency on Aging

The Area Agency on Aging in is a crucial asset for retired individuals, providing advice on financial assistance, home-based care, and planning for extended care. It also connects seniors and their caregivers with local resources.

Virginia Area Agencies on AgingDiscover the wide range of support options available to seniors in Virginia through AAAs. With 25 AAAs across the state, seniors can access valuable information on state services and programs, including Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME), care coordination, and telephone reassurance check-ins. They can also benefit from residential repair and renovation programs, as well as local transportation services. Explore the resources available to support seniors in Virginia today.

Cash Assistance Programs

Financial assistance initiatives exist in Virginia to help seniors with low income sustain their home living. These initiatives provide tax reductions, discounts on crucial services, and aid for home temperature regulation costs.

Virginia Auxiliary Grants804-545-1644The Virginia Department of Social Services offers the Auxiliary Grant Program, providing financial assistance to seniors in assisted living or adult foster care. This aid ensures a basic standard of living. Eligible applicants must be at least 65 years old, Virginia residents for 90 days, and require assistance with 1-2 ADLs. For more details, seniors can contact their local Social Security office.
Virginia Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers discounted telephone service, enabling participants to stay connected with their loved ones through landline or mobile phones.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Elderly individuals in Virginia, living independently or in elderly care homes, can avail of numerous local financial support opportunities. These aid options help reduce in-home or long-term care costs and connect them to valuable community resources.

Virginia Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus Waiver844-374-9159The Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus Waiver in Virginia provides comprehensive long-term care and community-based supports for seniors, disabled adults, and individuals in need of nursing home or hospital-level care. With no waiting lists, beneficiaries have the option to choose between self-directed care or agency-provided case management services. Private insurance companies administer the benefits, allowing members to select their preferred plan. Covered services include adult day health care, assistive technology, accessibility modifications, emergency alert systems, and private-duty nursing.

Food Assistance Programs

In Virginia, numerous community programs focus on enhancing the health of seniors via proper diet. These initiatives provide meal delivery, shared meals, and food bank services, guaranteeing that older citizens can obtain reasonably priced, healthy food.

Virginia Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)804-786-3520The Virginia Commodity Supplemental Food Program provides nutritious food to low-income seniors aged 60 and above. To qualify, seniors must have an income at or below 130% of the federal poverty level. Eligible participants receive food boxes with essential staples like canned meats, fruits, vegetables, shelf-stable milk, cheese, cereal, beans, and pasta.
Virginia Farm Market Fresh for Older Adults804-662-9333The Fresh for Older Adults program in Virginia offers $5 vouchers to seniors aged 60 and above. Each senior receives 10 vouchers, redeemable from June 1 to November 18 at approved roadside stands and farmers markets in the state. These vouchers can be used to buy a range of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Eligibility is based on meeting specific income guidelines.
Virginia Older Americans Congregate Nutrition ProgramThe Virginia Older Americans Congregate Nutrition Program offers nutritious meals to older adults in group settings, while the Home-Delivered Nutrition Program delivers meals to isolated and homebound individuals. Eligible adults aged 60 and older, particularly those with low incomes and at risk of institutionalization, receive meals to alleviate hunger, encourage socialization, and improve the health and well-being of Virginia's aging population.
Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)800-552-3431The Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides electronic benefit transfer cards to help low-income seniors buy healthy food from local retailers. Funds are added automatically to the debit cards each month. To qualify, household members must have a monthly net income below the poverty line. Seniors receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income benefits may be eligible automatically.

Home Repair and Modifications

In Virginia, a variety of programs exist to support seniors and those with disabilities in funding home improvements and repairs. These initiatives, providing grants or loans, feature different eligibility criteria tailored for retired individuals.

Virginia Emergency Home and Accessibility Repair Program804-371-7000EHARP provides emergency financial assistance for individuals facing health or safety challenges that may impact their ability to remain in their homes. Qualified repairs encompass plumbing and electrical enhancements, as well as the construction or installation of wheelchair ramps.
Virginia Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)804-371-7000WAP, backed by government support, provides financial aid for energy-efficient home repairs and upgrades. These include insulation installation, air leak sealing, and HVAC equipment repairs. By enhancing homes, residents can also experience improved health and safety benefits.

In Virginia, there are several organizations offering cost-effective or free legal aid to senior citizens. They provide advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills, and power of attorney. Some also champion the rights of the elderly in long-term care establishments.

Virginia Poverty Law Center Helpline844-802-5910The Senior Legal Helpline provides complimentary legal support, guidance, and referrals to Virginia residents aged 60 and above. Our team of skilled attorneys is dedicated to addressing intricate legal concerns affecting seniors, such as long-term care, abuse and neglect, and public benefits like Medicaid. Connect with our knowledgeable attorneys specializing in senior-specific legal matters by calling the helpline.
Virginia Legal Aid866-534-5243VA Legal Aid offers free legal services to low-income individuals, including a specialized helpline for seniors. Seniors can receive guidance on long-term care, public benefits, and abuse and neglect. Legal support is provided at no charge to seniors and those with limited financial means.

Senior Engagement

In Virginia, numerous initiatives are in place to keep seniors involved and energetic. These encompass health programs, opportunities for volunteer work, and supportive communities, all designed to promote social participation and improve the quality of life.

Virginia Dementia Services804-662-9154The Virginia Office for Aging Services provides statewide dementia services for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. It fosters collaboration among agencies and oversees initiatives such as the Dementia State Plan, Brain Health Virginia, and caregiver training for dementia competence.

Social Security Offices

In the city of Virginia, Social Security offices are crucial resources for the elderly and those with disabilities. They provide advice on retirement perks, disability benefits, and additional security income.

Virginia Social SecuritySocial Security offers financial support to retirees and those unable to work due to disability. It is funded through payroll taxes paid by employers, employees, and self-employed individuals. Monthly payments during retirement are based on past earnings.

Tax Assistance

In Virginia, a variety of tax assistance options exist for seniors and people with disabilities. These encompass possible medical cost exemptions, property tax cuts, and other tax alleviation measures.

Virginia Department of Taxation804-367-8031Discover if you qualify for property tax exemptions or deferrals for disabled adults and seniors aged 65 and older. The Department of Taxation offers these benefits, while local municipalities and counties determine income limits. Moreover, taxpayers aged 65 or older can enjoy a $800 income tax exemption from the state. Check your eligibility today.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

In Virginia, there are establishments ready to assist seniors with limited income facing challenges with home upkeep expenses, such as energy and utility bills. Emergency financial support might be available for individuals threatened with utility disconnection due to outstanding payments.

Virginia Energy Assistance Program (EAP)804-726-7000Virginia's Energy Assistance Program provides emergency aid to low-income families for unpaid heating and cooling bills and urgent needs. It offers seasonal heating and cooling assistance, as well as emergency benefits.

Veteran's Services

In Virginia, retired military personnel can find essential support through local veteran services. These organizations help veterans access their deserved benefits and offer advice on a variety of issues.

Virginia VA Benefits and Health CareVirginia VA Benefits and Health Care provides comprehensive health care services to senior veterans at local veteran's medical centers, including convenient walk-in outpatient clinics. Vet centers throughout the state offer essential mental health services. Virginia is home to multiple national cemeteries, ensuring a dignified final resting place for military personnel. The VA also offers valuable assistance with disability claims and facilitates access to educational and vocational resources, aiding veterans in their transition to civilian life.

Virginia COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/15/2022. Since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, be sure to contact your Memory Care Facility or local Area Agency on Aging for the most up-to-date information.

Am I allowed to visit my loved one in person?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Is my loved one required to quarantine after I visit him or her?No
Am I required to wear a mask if I visit my loved one in person?Yes
Are visitors screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are residents allowed to leave the facility at-will?Yes
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave required to quarantine when they get back?No (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members and contractors checked for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are staff members and contractors tested for COVID-19?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Do staff members have to regularly screen residents for COVID-19 symptoms?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly check residents for elevated temperatures?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly test residents for COVID-19?Yes (Conditions Apply)
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