Formerly the WVLTCP, we are now WVPEL, Inc.
Funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

Elder Economic Security’s older adults are pressured by increased costs for housing, health care, food, and utilities. With three out of every 10 older West Virginians living on Social Security alone, many people are living on the edge, where their basic needs exceed their income.

West Virginia is one of more than 17 states engaged in the Elder Economic Security Initiative™, a project focused on building economic security among older adults. Economic security is defined as the financial status where older adults have sufficient income (from Social Security, pension, retirement savings, and other income) to cover basic and necessary living expenses.

The West Virginia Elder Economic Security Standard Index™ (Elder Index) was tabulated by the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) as part of the National Economic Security Initiative™.

The Elder Index measures the cost of living for older adults aging in place in their own homes and provides individualized data for each of West Virginia’s 55 counties. Among its findings are that the average single West Virginia senior living alone requires between $14,832 and $20,616 per year (dependent on housing status) to cover basic expenses. The need for home and community-based long-term care can double, if not triple, an elder’s expenses.

The Elder Economic Security Initiative™ Policy Brief, released in conjunction with the Elder Index, explores policy changes and improved outreach needed to ensure every older West Virginian has adequate housing, food, health care, transportation, and income to cover basic needs.

These Elder Index and related materials are available in the Library.