Elder Justice


The Council on Aging of Buncombe County has a mission to “promote the independence, dignity and well-being of adults through service, education, and advocacy”. They offer a variety of resources to help aging adults, adults with cognitive impairments, caregivers and families. Their Social Workers and Service Navigators provide care consultation, resource coordination, information and assistance for persons that have concerns about elder abuse, such as frauds and scams, abuse, neglect and self-neglect, and/or exploitation. They serve Buncombe County, primarily for those age 60 and over and their care partners. They assist with filing police reports, connecting consumers to legal services and assisting with community resources. They are not a legal, medical or healthcare provider. Call (828) 277-8288 to receive information and assistance from their community services team.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has a division for Aging and Adult Services. They offer a variety of data reports and resources here.

The Area Agency on Aging is part of Land of Sky Regional Council. The link lists a variety or resources including this link to the Buncombe County Aging Plan.  Their Ombudsman is an important resource for those with older adult issues.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNCA is the “Center for Creative Retirement” in WNC. Many people join to take classes, but there are opportunities to advocate on issues that are important to seniors. OLLI’s Civic Engagement Committee “seeks to identify, define and develop a sustainable plan of action which addresses signature social issues in Greater Asheville that engage and provide a significant volunteer experience among the OLLI membership community.”

AARP NC serves the Mountain Region of North Carolina. In addition to advocacy work noted below, they provide a variety of activities with some highlighted at this link.

The Senior Law Project at Legal Aid of NC provides free civil legal help for North Carolinians 60 years of age and older. They provide help with elder abuse and neglect, fraud and scams, sexual assault in nursing homes, and other elder justice issues. They operate a toll-free helpline: (877) 579-7562.

SeniorHousingNet.com is a website that offers resources for those seeking senior housing and care. Simply enter your zip code to identify the facilities near you. The website also covers a variety of options that can be helpful.

A Guide to Medicare Benefits is offered by Caring.com. They offer a list of Medicare benefits that many may not be aware of. 


Key Allies

The Buncombe Aging Services Alliance (BASA) gives providers space to learn how to work with greater continuity when serving the multi-faceted needs of older adults living in Buncombe County. BASA develops and implements the Age-Friendly Action Plan. Here is the link to get to the Action Plan and other info about Age-Friendly Buncombe

Get involved: For more information on BASA or to attend monthly meetings, contact Heather Bauer, heatherb@coabc.org.


AARP NC in the Mountain Region serves Western North Carolina through advocacy, community outreach, and volunteerism.  AARP is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization with a membership of 1.2 million in NC and a total of nearly 38 million nationwide.  AARP helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities, and fights for the issues that matter most to families — such as health care, employment, and income security, and protection from financial abuse. AARP NC in the Mountain Region provides advocacy on local, state and federal public policy issues that impact the 50 year+ population. On the federal level, you can find opportunities to affect public policy on those elder issues at this website.  

Get involved: Contact Rebecca Chaplin, Associate State Director, at rchaplin@aarp.org, (828) 380-6242.


The Buncombe Elder Justice Coalition is a community-wide collaboration and includes older adult volunteers and professionals from various disciplines including social work and human services, elder law, law enforcement, criminal justice, healthcare, care/case management, aging services, and many others. The mission of Buncombe Elder Justice Coalition is to strengthen our community’s capacity to prevent and address elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation quickly, effectively, and with respect. The focus of the Buncombe Elder Justice Coalition includes: 1) Elder-centered supportive services; 2) Community awareness and prevention; 3) Professional collaboration and coordination, and 4) Civic and legal protection and offender accountability. The Coalition is affiliated with Age-friendly Buncombe County

Get involved: For more information, email Laurie Dotson at laurie.dotson-taylor@buncombecounty.org.