Area Agency on Aging

Our Mission

The mission of the Region A Area Agency on Aging is to assure that every older person in the region has the opportunity to live life to the fullest in the least restrictive setting possible.

Our Purpose

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 of July 1,2020 to June 30, 2024. Through surveying the community and gathering input from aging services providers, we make a plan for how we want to serve the region. The goal of these plans is to enable older adults to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. View the current plan here: Region A Aging Services Plan 2020-2024

Our Service Area

Our region covers southwestern N.C including the counties of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Education and Publications

Educating the public is an important part of what we do. Each year we host a Spring Aging Conference. You can view recordings of past conferences by clicking here.

In partnership with the Mountaineer Publishing Company, we also produce the region’s Senior Resource Guide. Each resource guide is jammed packed with information relevant to seniors in Western NC and includes a resource listing for the seven southwest counties in the back. Check out the Region A Senior Resource Guide here.

Direct Services


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.  Click for more information.

Family Caregiver Resource Coordinator
Kellie Dula 828.565.1826

[email protected].


The Regional Long Term Care Ombudsman works closely with Community Advisory Committees for Long Term Care to serve as a link between the local communities and the long-term health care facilities in each county. Click for more information. 

Long Term Care Ombudsman 
Anna Rogers

828.586.1962 ex. 223
[email protected].


The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) is a preventive educational program whose goal is to reduce Medicare error, fraud, and abuse.  Click for more information.

Family Caregiver Resource Coordinator
Kellie Dula

[email protected].


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 well-being. Click for more information.

Health and Community Educator
Lisa Allen

828.586.1962 ext. 221
[email protected]                                                          


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.  Click for more information.

Aging Programs Assistant
Pat Baker

828-586-1962, ext. 209
[email protected]


SHIIP counsels Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers on the following topics: Medicare, Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and Long-term Care Insurance.  

Click for more information.

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

Contracted Services

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
Denise Cross, Director
[email protected]

Cherokee County Transit
Jennifer West, Director
[email protected]

Cherokee County DSS
In-Home Aide – Level I
Daunita Maennle, Adult Services Supervisor
[email protected]

Clay County Senior Center
Nutrition Services: Congregate and Home Delivered Meals; Supplemental Meals
Becky Grindstaff, Director
[email protected]

Clay County Transportation
General Transportation
Marie Gunther, Director
[email protected]

Clay County DSS
In-Home Aide – Level I
Deborah Mauney, Director
[email protected]

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

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

Mountain Projects, Inc.
Information, Assistance, and Options Counseling; Housing and Home Improvement; General Transportation; In-Home Aide Level I; Senior Companion; Nutrition Services; Congregate Meals
John Chicoine 
[email protected]

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
[email protected]

Jackson County Transit
General Transportation
April Alm, Director
[email protected]

Disability Partners

In Home Aide, Level I & II

Macon County Senior Services
Nutrition Services: Congregate and Home Delivered Meals; Adult Day Care; Information, Assistance, and Options Counseling
Jennifer Hollifield, Senior Services Director
[email protected]

Macon County Transit
General Transportation
Darlene Asher, Director
[email protected]

State of Franklin Services to Senior Citizens
Nutrition Services: Congregate and Home Delivered Meals; General Transportation
Lisa Loftis, Director
[email protected]

Swain County Health Department
Cheri Cloer
[email protected]
828.488.3198 ext. 2008

Eastern Band Services to Seniors
Nutrition Services: Congregate and Home Delivered Meals
Monica Wildcatt, Manager
[email protected]

Volunteer With Us!

Join Our Volunteer Community and Make a Difference!

At the Area Agency on Aging, volunteers are the heart of our mission. Community members who generously offer their time and skills play a vital role in supporting older adults in our region. If you’re looking for meaningful ways to give back, we have several rewarding volunteer opportunities available:

1. Community Advisory Committee for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (CAC):
CAC volunteers are champions for the rights of residents in long-term care facilities. By spending time visiting facilities, engaging with residents, and advocating for quality care, volunteers make a tangible impact on the lives of seniors in our community.

2. Area Agency on Aging Regional Advisory Committee (RAC):
Join the RAC to provide valuable direction and input for programming and services aimed at the population aged 60 and over in our region. Your insights and contributions will help shape initiatives that enhance the well-being of older adults and their families.

3. Senior Tar Heel Legislators (STHL):
Become an advocate for older adults by joining the STHL, a group that advises and informs the NC General Assembly on issues affecting seniors. Gain deep knowledge of the needs of older adults and use your voice to advocate for positive change at both local and state levels.

4. Health Promotion Class Leaders:
Lead groups of older adults in health promotion topics and empower them to live healthier, more active lives. Check out our health promotion and disease prevention tab for a complete list of classes where you can make a difference.

If you’re passionate about serving older adults and making a meaningful impact in our community, we’d love to have you on board! To learn more about these volunteer opportunities and how you can get involved, please contact Lisa Allen at 828-586-1962 ext. 221.

Education and Trainings

Let the Area Agency on Aging be your trusted hub for comprehensive trainings and additional resources focusing on aging and its various aspects. Our mission is to empower individuals and groups with valuable insights and tools to navigate the aging process confidently and with vitality.

Explore our diverse range of trainings covering a wide spectrum of aging-related topics, including health and wellness, caregiving, financial planning, legal considerations, and more. Whether you’re an individual seeking personal enrichment or a professional aiming to expand your expertise in elder care, our trainings provide practical knowledge and skills to support you on your journey.

In addition to our extensive training programs, we offer a library of assorted resources that further elaborate on our services, events, and offerings.

Ready to dive in? Click the button below to access our comprehensive list of trainings and explore our additional resources. Whether you’re seeking information for yourself, a loved one, or your organization, we’re here to assist you in navigating the aging process with confidence and compassion.

CLICK HERE to access our trainings and educational resources.