Area Agency on Aging

The Area Agency on Aging ( AAA) works on behalf of older adults and their caregivers in the seven southwestern counties of North Carolina. The Southwestern Commission Area Agency on Aging was established in 1980 as mandated by the 1977 Amendments of the Older Americans Act in order for a Planning and Service Area (PSA) to receive funds from the Act. The AAA prepares a four year work plan, the latest covering the period July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020. The AAA assists counties as they study the needs of older adults and plan to meet those needs. The goal of all these plans is to enable older adults to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.



The goal of the Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP) is to provide caregivers with the needed support to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress and enable them to provide care longer, thereby avoiding or delaying the need for costly institutional care.  Among the services that FCSP offers are information, referrals and help accessing available services, as well as confidential caregiver counseling, support groups and training.  We also provide reimbursement-based vouchers for respite care and supplemental services (subject to available funds).  If you are a family caregiver (or know of a family caregiver), who could benefit from a confidential consultation regarding these services, please contact the Family Caregiver Resource Coordinator, Jeanne Mathews at 828.586.1962, ext.217 or by email at

Download Caregiver Program Forms:
Private Respite Care Provider Agreement
Record of Respite Services-Respite Voucher


The Regional Long Term Care Ombudsman works closely with the Boards of Commissioners from each of the counties in the region in the development of Community Advisory Committees for Long Term Care.  These committees consist of volunteers, appointed by the Boards of Commissioners, to serve as a link between the local communities and the long term health care facilities in each county.  The members of the committees receive specialized training that enables them to understand the issues that surround placement in long term health care facilities, the living conditions of the facilities as they regularly visit them, and to serve as resources for those in the communities seeking information about long term health care.  In addition, these committees work closely with the Regional Long Term Care Ombudsman as advocates for the residents of the facilities, seeking to ensure that the rights of the residents are honored, and that they are protected from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.  Through the efforts of the Regional Long Term Care Ombudsman and the Community Advisory Committees for Long Term Care, many grievances and complaints concerning the lives of the residents of the facilities can be resolved on a local level, with the overall goal of improving the quality of life for the residents as the primary objective. For more information regarding this program, please contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman Larry Reeves, at 828.586.1962 ex. 223, or by email to


The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) is a preventive educational program whose goal is to reduce Medicare error, fraud and abuse.  Part of a nationwide, grassroots education and assistance program, SMP works to empower seniors and caregivers to protect personal information and Medicare benefits.  By providing education to Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers, SMP equips them to understand their Benefits Summary Notices and ensure they are accurately billed for the services and equipment they receive.  In this way, beneficiaries and caregivers are better prepared to identify and resolve claim errors and report potential fraud and abuse. For additional information on the SMP program, please contact the Aging Programs Coordinator Mandy Thomas, 828.586.1962 ext. 221, or by email to


The Legal Program provides vouchers to eligible seniors age 60 and over, which are valid for the preparation of either a durable Power of Attorney or a simple Last Will & Testament. The AAA contracts with an attorney in each county of our region, who will accept the vouchers.  To download the simple, one-page application, click the link below (Application for the Legal Program Voucher).  In addition, the Legal Program makes available Advance Directives (Living Will) and Health Care Power of Attorney (Health Care Surrogate) forms at no charge.  Use the links below to download the Advance Directives and/or Health Care Power of Attorney forms.  For more information regarding the Legal Program, please contact the Aging Programs Assistant, Pat Baker, at 828-586-1962, ext. 218 or by email to

Download Legal Program forms:
Application for Legal Assistance
Health Care Power of Attorney Form
Advance Directive - Living Will Form


Chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or cancer are, unfortunately, often a part of the aging process and can create challenges that affect every aspect of a person’s life.  Ninety-two percent of people over age 65 live with at least one chronic health condition; seventy-seven percent live with two or more such conditions. However, learning to manage those conditions enables people to stay healthy, active, and engaged in their communities. The Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Programs provide adults with evidence-based techniques and strategies to delay and/or manage chronic health conditions and include activities that promote:  improved nutrition, emotional and social well-being, physical fitness and fall prevention to help older adults and their caregivers better manage their health. 

*For more information about any of the services listed contact the Region A Area Agency on Aging at 828.586.1962


By law the AAA contracts out most of the actual operation of the services to Human Service Agencies in the area. The major portion of the services provided to meet the goal of keeping seniors independent and in their own homes are funded through the Home and Community Care Block Grant (HCCBG). This Block Grant consists of approximately 60% Federal Older Americans Act Funds and 40% State appropriated funds. Below is a list of HCCBG providers contracted with the Area Agency on Aging and the services they provide.

Cherokee County Senior Services
Nutrition Services: Congregate and Home Delivered Meals; Housing and Home Improvement
Winfield Clonts, Director

Cherokee County Transit
Mike Catuto, Director

Cherokee County DSS
In-Home Aide - Level I
Bebeie McClure, Adult Services Supervisor

Clay County Senior Center
Nutrition Services: Congregate and Home Delivered Meals; Supplemental Meals
Kathy Tant, Director

Clay County Transportation
General Transportation
Marie Gunther, Director

Clay County DSS
In-Home Aide - Level I
Deborah Mauney, Director

Graham County Senior Center
Nutrition Services: Congregate and Home Delivered Meals
Wanda Hill, Director

Haywood County Health & Human Services
Nutrition Services: Home Delivered Meals; Adult Day Care and Adult Day Health
Stoney Blevins, Director

Mountain Projects, Inc.
Information, Assistance, and Options Counseling; Housing and Home Improvement; General and Medical Transportation; In-Home Aide Level I; Senior Companion; Nutrition Services; Congregate Meals
Patsy Davis, Director

Jackson County Department on Aging
Nutrition Services: Congregate and Home Delivered Meals; Supplemental Meals; Housing and Home Improvement; Adult Day Care; Information, Assistance, and Options Counseling
Eddie Wells, Director

Jackson County Transit
General Transportation
Chuck Norris, Director

Disability Partners
In-Home Aide Level I & II
Barbara Davis, Executive Director

Interim Healthcare
In-Home Aide Level II
Sara Spivey

Macon County Senior Services
Nutrition Services: Congregate and Home Delivered Meals; Adult Day Care; Information, Assistance, and Options Counseling
Sheila Jenkins, Senior Services Director

Macon County Transit
General Transportation
Kim Angel, Director

State of Franklin Services to Senior Citizens
Nutrition Services: Congregate and Home Delivered Meals; General Transportation
Marlene Vinson, Interim Director

Swain County Health Department
In-Home Aide Level I & II
Suzanne Smith

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Nutrition Services: Congregate and Home Delivered Meals; Housing and Home Improvement; General Transportation
Debbie West, Manager