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
[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:  improved nutrition, emotional and social well-being, physical fitness and fall prevention to help older adults and their caregivers better manage their health.  Click for more information.

Health and Community Educator                                                               Lisa Allen                                                                                             828.586.1962 ex.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
Patsy Davis, Director
[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
In-Home Aide Level I & II
Alison Cochran
[email protected]

Volunteer with us!

We are always in need of volunteers. Community members who volunteer to serve in any capacity are a critical resource. We have several volunteer opportunities:

  • Community Advisory Committee for the Long- Term Care Ombudsman Program- CAC volunteers assist in promoting and protecting the rights of residents in long term care facilities. Volunteers spend time visiting facilities, engaging with residents and advocating for quality care.
  • Area Agency on Aging Regional Advisory Committee- the RAC assists AAA staff by providing direction and input for programing and services for the population aged 60 and over in our region.
  • Senior Tar Heel Legislators- the STHL advise and inform the NC General Assembly on issues affecting older adults. Members gain a deep knowledge of what older adults need and use that knowledge to advocate for older adults at local and state levels.
  • Health Promotion Class Leaders- these volunteers help lead groups of older adults in health promotion topics. For a complete list of these classes, visit our health promotion and disease prevention tab.

Contact Lisa Allen 828.586.1962 ex. 221 if you are interested in joining us.