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

West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living, Inc.

"Old Couple" by bravenewtraveler"to foster and maximize opportunities for West Virginians to live, age, and contribute with dignity and vitality"

The West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living, Inc. is committed to fostering West Virginians' ability to age in place with improved economic security and in a setting they choose--whether at home, in a residential care facility, or elsewhere.

West Virginia has one of the oldest populations in the U.S., and its size is growing. Our state also has the nation's highest disability rate. And, with less access to residential long-term care than most other states, many West Virginians will elect to remain at home as they age.

Public and private professionals from many disciplines across West Virginia are working hard to improve the experience of getting older. The Partnership seeks to bring together these varied efforts to create an integrated network of thought and action. By emphasizing collaboration and communication, we will propel statewide progress to support West Virginians in a more successful and financially secure aging experience.

What is The Partnership for Elder Living, Inc.?

The system of services and care for seniors (we prefer the term “elders”) is being taxed by a huge population explosion caused by the “Baby Boom” generation and increasing longevity of life. Government, non-profit, and for-profit entities address a myriad of issues that relate to the need that our society has to make our senior citizens as comfortable as possible. continued

What's Happening at The West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living?

Congratulations to new WVPEL Board Member, Greg Carpenter.

The WVPEL Annual Membership meeting was held on Nov. 8th in Charleston. Thank you to the members who were able to attend. During that meeting elections were held to fill the seats left vacant by the expiration of one members term, and by the death of former WVPEL Board Chair, Regina Mayolo. 

One of the vacant positions was filled by Mary Skeens (CommunityWorks in WV). Ms. Skeens' initial term was set to end in 2017, but her dedication to the Senior Living Communities project, a joint venture of CommunityWorks and WVPEL, led her to seek another term. We are very happy that she will remain on the Board.

With Board member Patti Fast's term ending, we are pleased to have another representative of The Health Plan join us as a member of our Board. Mr. Greg Carpenter was elected to a three-year term on the WVPEL Board of Directors.   

Mr. Carpenter is the Director of Sales and Service for the WV Medicare Division of The Health Plan. He graduated from WV State University with a business degree and from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Virginia with a master’s degree, cum laude, in Theological Studies. He is a Navy veteran, and his previous employment includes sales and service for Union Carbide/Dow Chemical; Coventry Health Care WV Medicare Sales Manager; and he developed the Senior Markets Division at Commercial Insurance.  He is native West Virginian, raised on the West Side of Charleston.

Mr. Carpenter is committed to serving seniors and providing Medicare and Medicaid insurance plans to West Virginians. His knowledge and experience will be invaluable to WVPEL.

Mark your calendars now! The 2018 WVPEL Annual Membership meeting date has been set for Tuesday, November 13, 2018. Watch here, the WVPEL newsletter, and our FaceBook and Twitter feeds for additional information to be posted as it becomes available.

Remember! WVPEL is accepting membership applications for 2018. To find out more, visit our Membership Information page.

If you or your organization would like to help support our mission, WVPEL is a 501(c)(3) organization and your donations are tax-deductible. Click HERE to go to the WVPEL Donation form.

In Memorium

Regina Ann Mayolo: December 25, 1957 ~ October 12, 2017

On October 12, 2017, former WVPEL Board Member, and past Chair, Regina Mayolo departed this world. WVPEL mourns the loss of Ms. Mayolo. She shared our passion for accessibility, believing that the WVPEL's involvement in the annual WV Housing Conference, and in projects such as the Senior Living Communities, and the Direct Care Worker training program would lead to more West Virginians being able to age in place, or simply to remain in their own homes, with dignity and grace.

We were honored to have had Ms. Mayolo share her insight, knowledge and enthusiasm.

To view Ms. Mayolos's obituary as it appeared through the Dean C. Whitmarsh Funeral Home, please click HERE.

West Virginia Center for End-of-Life Care Survey Shows Need for Increased Palliative Care Options

Statewide survey polls knowledge and attitudes regarding palliative care.

The vast majority of West Virginians want to die at home, but most people lack the community resources to help with that process or are unaware of palliative care options close to home.

Using a grant awarded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation with assistance from the West Virginia University Foundation, the West Virginia Center for End-of-Life Care conducted a statewide survey as part of the Community Palliative Care initiative to examine West Virginians’ knowledge of and attitudes regarding palliative care. Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and improving quality of life for both the patient and the family.

The objective of the survey was to gather information on West Virginians’ knowledge of advanced illness care and preferences such as how, where and by whom they would prefer to receive such care if the need should arise.

“Results of the survey show that West Virginia has a dramatic gap between the kind of care people want near the end of life and the kind of care people have access to or are aware of,” said Courtney Dunithan, executive director of the West Virginia Center for End-of-Life Care. “Our next step is to gather a larger statewide group of stakeholders to create a comprehensive plan to ensure community palliative care is available to all West Virginians who have the interest and need for palliative care services.”

To read the entire document, click HERE.

WV Congressman in the Lead on Important Caregiver Education Bill

Focus on the establishment of a geriatric health care workforce.

Congressman David B. McKinley of West Virginia is one of three who have introduced the bipartisan Geriatrics Workforce and Caregiver Enhancement Act in the House of Representatives. McKinley, a Republican, joined Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D—Ill) and Doris Matsui (D—CA) in offering the legislation that would make progress in educating and supporting the caregiving workforce for elders in America.

The bill calls “for the establishment or operation of geriatric workforce enhancement programs that…support the development of a health care workforce that maximizes patient and family engagement and improves health outcomes for older adults by integrating geriatrics with primary care and other appropriate specialties,” according to its text.

According to the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA), the bill would reestablish the Geriatric Academic Career Awards (GACAs), a previously funded program for developing clinician-educators as well as establish the workforce enhancement programs. The result, according to the EWA would be to:

WVPEL has worked for many years to improve the education of in-home care providers in our state. We believe that the introduction of this legislation shows a growing awareness of the problem in Washington.

WVPEL Creates Medicaid Fact Sheet for West Virginians for Affordable Health Care

The Relation Between Seniors and Medicaid

WVPEL has been asked by West Virginians for Affordable Health Care to prepare a "fact sheet" on the relation between elders and Medicaid. Many people think that Medicaid is only for children and very poor/or disabled people. Actually nearly 70% of Medicaid spending in West Virginia is for nursing home care and much of that is for seniors. Also, this document explains a little about "dual eligibles" - people on both Medicare and Medicaid. Click HERE for a look at the document.

WVPEL Director Phil Schenk is available to make presentations to your group, club, or organization about Medicaid and the Elderly. Contact for more information.

Thanks to the WVPEL's Sponsors and Supporters

WVPEL would like to thank our sponsors and partners who help further our mission. Please click HERE for a look at the organizations that are helping to create a new vision for successful aging. If your organization would like to assist WVPEL in the continuation of our efforts, please contact us about becoming an annual sponsor or organizational member.

If you need additional information, contact Phil Schenk at or Lisa Scarberry at

WVPEL is on the Road to Talk With Civic/Community Clubs and Organizations

The West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living is available to bring your club or organization an important presentation about the state of aging in West Virginia. It is a presentation that is important to all because the rapid aging of our population affects everyone – old and not so old alike. With dwindling resources and rapidly growing population who need assistance, it is important for your members to know the situation.

We are also offering a presentation on Senior Oral Health. Thanks to funding from the WV Oral Health Coalition, WVPEL can now present to your group or organization on the impact oral health can have in the senior population and provide information on resources available to elders in West Virginia.

Click HERE, or visit the WVPEL News and Events page, to find out more.

WVPEL Partners with AARP WV and Dozens of Aging Leaders to Address the Future of Aging Services with FACT

In 2014, the West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living (WVPEL) and AARP West Virginia formed a coalition to begin an important and ambitious project. We have convened a group of some of the most knowledgeable and best thinking people in the state in the fields related to aging and disability. This diverse group met monthly from May 2014 through June 2015 to examine the entire system of services and care for seniors and other adults who utilize those programs and services. The group's goal is to acknowledge the imminent changes we must face, acknowledge what is working and what is not, and co-create an ideal system for West Virginians who need care. This group is called WVFACT - The West Virginia Future of Aging and Caregiving Taskforce. To summarize the current situation with the senior service system, a white paper was developed, "The Senior Boom: The Future of West Virginia's Senior Citizens" that documents the current snapshot of what "is" and states that challenges to the system. To view or download a copy of this important paper and to read more about WVFACT, please click HERE.

WVFACT PHASE ONE Report is now available. Click HERE to read this report.

WVFACT FINAL Report is now available. Click HERE to read this report.

WVPEL Survey Gauges Interest of WV's Elders in the "Village" Concept

300 Elder West Virginian's Provide Feedback

In November of 2014, the WV Partnership for Elder Living contracted with a highly respected market research firm, Mark Blankenship Enterprises, to conduct a survey of elders across West Virginia to gather information on how the "village concept" was viewed in this state. Three hundred of our state’s elders – 60 years of age and older – responded to questions developed by WVPEL and our two “Village” groups - the Kanawha Valley Village People, Inc. and SAIL of the Eastern Panhandle (Shepherdstown Area Independent Living)

“The results of the survey are promising for the development of more Village groups in West Virginia,” said WVPEL Director Phil Schenk. “We hope to use this data to generate interest in doing that.”

A report on the results of the survey was written by Blankenship and is available for review. It shows the degree of interest, by sub-categories, of WV elders' interest in things such as joining a "village" organization, sharing services, and whether or not they felt services in their particular area could be considered "adequate." It finds, for example, that 71% of those polled support the Village concept. That percentage increases in the Northern Panhandle, Eastern Panhandle and Parkersburg.

The survey is part of a grant project funded by the Retirement Research Foundation of Illinois with additional support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation of Pittsburgh. To review the results of the survey, please click HERE.

Major Study of WV Elder Economic Condition Released by WVPEL

WVPEL in cooperation with the WV Center on Policy and Budget has released a major study of the economic condition of elder West Virginians. The study, titled The State of Older Adults in West Virginia: Economic Security and the Over 65 Population, is a follow-up to the Economic Security Standard Index for West Virginia published in 2010. The Index showed what it really costs West Virginia elders to live. The new study shows how much they have to live on. This is an important and very interesting study. Read More Here

Make a Plan for Alzheimer's: Final Report

Look in our online "Library" to view the final report with recommendations of the Make A Plan (MAP) planning project for Alzheimer's in West Virginia. The planning involved input from more than 50 participants from all over the state and from many professions and interest groups. This report was presented to the West Virginia Legislature's Joint Interim Committee on PEIA, Seniors, and Long Term Care on December 2011 and received very positive response from the lawmakers. The project's director, Jane Marks, our new Board Chair, then CEO of the Alzheimer's Association West Virginia Chapter, gave praise to all who participated. Her leadership was inspirational and resulted in a very impressive report.

WVPEL acted in a facilitation role for the project and is proud to post this report as an example of the kind of work that can be done through our coalition-building model. Don't forget that we are starting new work groups to look at

Contact Phil Schenk at for details.

Share Your Thoughts with WVPEL on Facebook!

Did you know that WVPEL is on Facebook? You should "Like" us to find out more!

We hope that our Facebook page will be utilized as a place where the public can communicate their ideas and concerns to WVPEL and our partners and supporters. It's where you will find news on topics of interest to elders and caregivers and commentaries from WVPEL. You can also find information about upcoming WVPEL events, as well as information about our partners' events and posts there. Remember to "Like" our page to see all our posts.

To visit us on Facebook, click the link provided.