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Celebrating Older Americans Month

Older Americans Month

This May, Buncombe County is shining a spotlight on our over 75,000 residents over age 60 in celebration of Older Americans Month. Known for its natural beauty and slow-paced lifestyle, Buncombe County is a desirable place for many seniors to call home. Buncombe County Health and Human Services and community partners have worked for years to improve the lives of our older adult residents by increasing access to services, prioritizing older adult health, advocating for elder justice, and responding to claims of elder abuse. Older adults make up about 28% of the overall Buncombe population, a concentration that is expected to continue to over 32% by 2040 as noted in the County Aging Profiles of 2020.  

Based on data from the 2020 County Aging Profiles, North Carolina ranks 8th nationally in the number of people 65+ and Buncombe County’s older adult population is one of the fastest-growing in the state. Jen Teague, Program Manager for Aging and Adult Services with Buncombe County Health and Humans Services says “It is an exciting time to be working with older adults.  We have the opportunity to build upon existing services and supports that help keep older adults safe, well, and engaged in their community.”  The Buncombe County Commissioners have a long-standing commitment to making life better for all residents, specifically our older adult residents. In fact, the Buncombe County Commissioners are partnering with many organizations and community leaders on several high-impact projects aimed at improving opportunity and well-being for older adults. Current projects include-

Supporting the efforts of the Age-Friendly Buncombe County initiatives: buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/dss/adults/age-friendly.aspx 

Providing financial support of $500,000 for aging services programs across the county: buncombecounty.org/governing/community-investment/grants/aging-services-funding.aspx 

Serving as a thought-leader on addressing one of the 2025 Buncombe County Strategic Plan initiatives of protecting older residents’ ability to age in place: buncombecounty.org/governing/commissioners/strategic-plan/focus-areas/educated-capable-community/default.aspx 

These initiatives solidify Buncombe’s commitment to the older adult population. However, even before these initiatives were conceived, our mountains hosted some incredible opportunities and resources for seniors. Here are just a few community service providers and programs available to older adults in Buncombe County-

Council on Aging of Buncombe County: Their vision is a community where everyone has the ability to age successfully: coabc.org

MountainCare: Provides supportive and enriching Adult Day Services enabling older adults to age in place: mountaincareservices.org

Land of Sky Area Agency on Aging: Promotes the highest level of well being for older adults and their families by partnering with organizations to provide a comprehensive system of opportunities, services, and protective supports: landofsky.org/aaa.html 

For more information about additional aging service providers check out the Aging Services Directory: coabc.org/aging-services-directory.

During their next meeting on May 19, the Buncombe County Commissioners’ will declare the Month of May Older Americans Month. This meeting will be live-streamed on Facebook @BuncombeGov and will be available after the meeting on the Buncombe County Government youtube channel. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. on May 19th. Tune in to show support for the aging population in Buncombe County.

On the coattails of Older Americans Month, comes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).  Elder Abuse Awareness Day closes out Elder Abuse Awareness Month which runs each year from Mother's Day to Father’s Day. Health and Human Services and community partners will be hosting an in-person event on Wednesday, June 15th at Carrier Park.  The event will feature tabling opportunities for community partners to share about their services and will allow opportunities for attendees to talk with providers and learn about services.  The event will run from 5-7 p.m.  

In addition to the event, Health and Human Services is asking the community to consider submitting a photo of you, your family, your business, your agency, or your pets showing support for Elder Abuse Awareness.  These photos will be shared in a social media campaign to highlight the importance of this month.  Photos should be submitted to elderabuseawareness@buncombecounty.org by May 31st.

Join the community in showing support for Elder Abuse Awareness Day by joining the many organizations, agencies, providers, and community leaders at the upcoming WEAAD event on June 15th from 5-7 p.m. 

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Updated May 20, 2022 11:14 AM
Published May 16, 2022 12:00 PM