Elder Justice

The Council on Aging of Buncombe County has a mission to “assure access to resources that help adults age with choice”. They offer a variety of resources to help seniors and caregivers.

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 resources with some highlighted at this link..

Key Allies

The Aging Coordinating Consortium (ACC) “provides a structure for agencies, organizations and individuals to work together to plan, promote community awareness, and advocate for public and private support for services to the older adults of Buncombe County. The ACC serves as an advisory body to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.” the ACC develops and implements a 5-year strategic Aging Plan.

Get involved: For more information on the ACC, contact the chair (Rachel Miller,  daystaymiller@bellsouth.net).  To join the email list, contact the secretary (Stephanie Stewart,  stephanie@landofsky.org).  To be a member of the Public Policy Advocacy Committee, contact the committee chair (Jen Teague, jent@coabc.org).

 

AARP NC in the Mountain Region serves Western North Carolina through advocacy and community outreach efforts and volunteerism.  AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, social welfare 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.

Get involved: Contact Deborah Wagner, Advocacy and Public Policy Volunteer Advisor, at dwjake2@aol.com, (248) 895-7452.

 

Elders Fierce for Justice has three program priorities: racial justice, climate justice and justice for children. It has pursued initiatives in these areas (e.g., a job development initiative for low income African Americans in Asheville and long time service on the Racial Justice Coalition which seeks to improve relationships between the police and communities of color). It also serves as a venue for elders in WNC to discuss what it means to be an elder seeking social and environmental justice.

Get involved: Contact Steve Kaagan at stevekaagan@gmail.com or call (517) 980-6426.