We are always adding to our web page! Check back often for our blog, updates, stories from the staff and important information!

About Us

Front of COABC building
Home » About Us

Trust the Council on Aging of Buncombe County to provide personal, caring support and to assist you with the challenges of growing older. At the Council on Aging of Buncombe County you will find referrals and help. Whether you are learning the Medicare system, looking for services to help you stay healthy and independent at home, or need support in taking care of others, the Council on Aging of Buncombe County can help you to make the right connections.

Making a Difference in our Community

Our Vision:

A community where everyone has the opportunity to age successfully.

Our Mission:

Promote the independence, dignity, and well-being of adults through service, education, and advocacy.

The Council on Aging of Buncombe County is a licensed charitable organization 501(c)(3), established in 1964. The Council’s programs have evolved as the needs of the older population have changed. The Council on Aging receives funding from local, state, and federal governments, through contracts with other organizations, private foundations, sponsors, individual donors and corporate sponsors. As a non-profit, the Council depends upon direct community donations to enhance and sustain all programs and services. 

Currently, one in five individuals in Buncombe County are over the age of 65, approximately 65,000 older adults and by 2025 it will be one in four. There are 75,000 adults aged 60 and over. Buncombe County is one of the fastest growing older adult populations in the state. North Carolina ranks as the 9th state in the nation that has the oldest population. The 65+ population exceeded 53,000 in Buncombe County in 2019 and is expected to reach 75,000 by 2030. By 2050 Nearly 20,000 residents in the Asheville MSA will require special care due to chronic illness. View our profile on Guidestar.


  • Established in 1964 as Buncombe County Committee on Aging, Inc.
  • Renamed in 1973 as Buncombe County Council on Aging, Inc.
  • Renamed in 2003 as Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Inc.
  • In 2014, the Council On Aging of Buncombe County celebrated its 50th anniversary!
  • Secured more than $2 million dollars in benefits for clients in 2017.
  • We provide more than 10,000 services a year to individuals.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Council on Aging of Buncombe County (COAbc) is committed to a culture of diversity and inclusion. For over 50 years, our organization has recognized the value of equity and anti-discrimination in the health and well-being of our community. Our mission to promote the independence, dignity and well-being of adults through service, education, and advocacy describes our investment in Buncombe County and the tremendous impact that we believe unbiased access to support has on the individuals and families we serve. Did you know that older adults are THE MOST diverse group of people in our society?

We are committed to equity beyond the physical presence of people of different backgrounds and perspectives, enabling this diverse population with diverse solutions that set them up for success in a culture where all are welcomed, valued and respected. We believe that equity means fair and just treatment, using intentionality to address how to build and sustain an environment where all people can thrive. We know that systemically individuals have vastly different access and experiences of opportunity, that all people therefore need different tools to succeed.

All are welcomed. All are included. All are invited to participate.

We believe that equity is a process – an ongoing commitment – that involves listening and getting uncomfortable with systems of oppression and micro-aggressions, anti-blackness, anti-semitism, xenophobia, model minorities and white supremacy. We believe equity means that race and other constructs should not predict or determine resources, opportunities and burdens. We stand against dehumanization, myths and stereotypes. Equity is a practice.

The way that equity specifically plays out for us is shaped by our commitment to our vision where everyone has the opportunity to age successfully. This term “successful” is unique from person to person. We aim to address what matters most to the individual – ensuring access to resources and providing unbiased support in a person-centered model of care for aging well in community.



The Board of Directors directs the overall vision of COA.  The Board consists of volunteer leaders in the community who care deeply about COA’s mission. The Executive Committee of the Board will consist of the President, the Vice President, the Secretary/Treasurer, the Past-President, and additional members as determined by the Executive Committee.


The Executive Committee manages key leadership decisions with the Executive Director. Committees of the Board are sub-groups focused on Finance, Strategic Planning and Development. The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the COA and an advisory member of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and other designated committees. 


The COA Leadership Team is composed of program directors who exemplify the leadership qualities to build our capacity through effective program operations, engage and develop program staff and volunteers, and demonstrate the philosophy aligned with our mission and values. Members of the Council on Aging of Buncombe County leadership team oversee a group of representatives (staff/volunteers/subcontractors) and motivate them to do the work assigned to them efficiently. They provide clear objectives, develop systems for productivity, provide ongoing development and communicate any issues with the Executive Director to reach strategic goals effectively. This team is traditionally the Director of Community Services, Director of Medicare Services, Affordable Care Act Program Director, Director of Congregate Nutrition and Director of Finance Administration. 


Every Program Team consists of a diverse group of professionals with a wide array of skills and experience relevant to the  position they hold. Staff are responsible for following all programmatic guidelines for compliance, being dignified representatives of the organization, and tending to clients, participants, and consumers as assigned. As a nonprofit, changes may be made each fiscal year and throughout the year to programs and positions based on grant accountabilities and available funding. Staff include social workers, certified insurance specialists, service coordinators and navigators, administrators, support professionals and care managers. Staff are carefully selected for their passion, talent and perceived commitment to the organization’s mission. They must care deeply about older adults. Social workers adhere to the NASW code of ethics, which are adapted to all of our human service staff.


Strategic Objective Framework
Service: To build, sustain and thrive as a mission-driven organization that provides and influences robust, equitable, accessible and appropriate community-based programs and services for aging adults and their families across the continuum of care.


Education: To increase awareness and provide aging-in-place resources that address social determinants of health through community programming and collaborations with clients, partners, funders, staff and volunteers.


Advocacy: To promote dynamic solutions for and raise awareness about the rapid population growth among older adults, and to serve as a resource to community stakeholders and policymakers for key aging issues.




The Executive Director (ED) is the visionary for the organization. They are responsible for workforce development, general human resources, seeking grants and writing grant proposals, general administration of contracts, board engagement, strategic planning, policy, and general press. Any requests for COA to submit media statements, press releases, or any other verbal or written communication on behalf of the organization must come from the Executive Director. All general media inquiries, including calls from reporters, must also be directed immediately to the Executive Director. COA staff and volunteers are not permitted to engage with the media on behalf of the organization without written consent from the Executive Director. The Director of Finance Administration (DFA) is responsible for employee benefits, payroll, ongoing grant reporting and tracking, our overall budget and financial viability. The Director of Development oversees fundraising and development efforts in conjunction with the ED and DFA. 

Care Management and Resource Coordination: 

The Director of Community Services directly oversees the care management team, including two Service Coordinators in HUD housing, the In-Home Aide Care Manager, Family Caregiver Support Specialist and Elder Justice Navigator. They also are responsible for the oversight of the Lead Resource Coordinator, who is the team lead of Service Navigators assigned to coordinating resources for the County by zip code. Service Navigators provide resource coordination, information and assistance, and other services to adults age 60 and over in Buncombe County.

These programs are funded largely through the Home & Community Block Grant (HCCBG), County funds, Land of Sky Regional Council and foundations. Program-specific HCCBG manuals and guidance are provided through DAAS through Land of Sky Regional Council and Buncombe County DHHS (our program monitors). Please contact your supervisor for additional requirements and details about service standards, as performance and compliance are key to sustaining these programs. These manuals are found here

The majority of these services are provided within Buncombe County, but we offer family caregiver support services in Madison County and can provide Elder Justice navigation regionally as resources allow. Subservices of Resource Coordination (RC) include Minor Home Repair, Homebound Food Delivery, Call A Ride (CAR), as well as seasonal programs, such as Heat Relief. The Minor Home Repair (MHR) Specialist completes jobs as assigned, once clients are screened and approved by RC. For homebound food delivery, volunteers deliver and distribute food as assigned, once clients are screened and approved by RC.  Call A Ride volunteers provide transportation to approved clients within Buncombe County.

Care Management (CM) staff assist in connecting their clients to RC services for “wraparound” provisions (eg a family caregiver receiving respite will then get connected to Call A Ride for volunteer transportation, or referred to a church for a ramp installation). Please consult with your supervisor for workflow and procedures.

Medicare Services: 

The Director of Medicare Services works with the Medicare Program Assistant to provide Medicare counseling and community education about Medicare and its parts in Buncombe and Henderson counties as a Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) coordinating agency. 

Additionally, we offer benefits enrollment to low-income Medicare beneficiaries (including dual eligibles) through our Benefits Enrollment Center (BEC). The Benefits Enrollment Specialist provides assistance with core means-tested programs, such as Senior Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Low Income Subsidy (LIS) and Medicare Savings Programs (MSP). 

The Medicare Center is located at 1 Vanderbilt Park Drive, Suite 115, Asheville, NC 28803. SHIIP is our largest volunteer program. SHIIP counselors complete a state certification before they can provide counseling to consumers and are required to complete ongoing training. SHIIP counseling is provided over the phone and in person. 

The Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) program supports outreach and assistance to eligible Medicare beneficiaries to apply for benefit programs that help to lower the costs of their Medicare premiums and deductibles. We provide MIPPA outreach, in Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania and Madison counties. 

Senior Dining & Wellness:

The Director of Congregate Nutrition oversees the health and wellness programming assigned to four different senior dining sites throughout the county. They create menus that are approved by Registered Dieticians and ensure services are provided according to program standards. They oversee host sites and dining site managers at four different locations where participants receive meals, exercise programming and other resources. Sites are located at: Senior Opportunity Center, Linwood Crump Shiloh Center, Weaverville First Baptist Church and Lakeview Center for Active Aging. This is an HCCBG funded program. Each site has a staff site manager who is responsible for meeting program criteria and reporting to COA’s Director of Congregate Nutrition. The motto is “more than a meal”, as in addition to the nutrition component participants receive exercise and wellness classes, education and socialization. 

Affordable Care Act (ACA): 

The Affordable Care Act Program Director oversees two paid Affordable Care Act navigators, volunteer navigators, and subrecipient teams in 9 different counties: Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, Yancey, Avery, Mitchell, Polk, Transylvania and McDowell. Navigators assist adults of any age with marketplace health insurance options through the Legal Aid of North Carolina consortium and together with CareReach, Inc. The ACA program is designed to connect consumers with marketplace coverage and ensure that they receive unbiased eligibility and enrollment services, including complex and comprehensive assistance for appeals and ongoing support. This is a federal program and all assisters receive certification prior to working with consumers. ACA appointments are provided virtually and in person. 

Volunteer Services

Volunteers are a valuable resource to the agency, its members, staff and clients. We are committed to involving volunteers in much of COA’s service delivery. COA recognizes that without the skill, generosity and commitment of our volunteers, it would be impossible to maintain the range or quality of our services.

The volunteer program is designed to support our internal programs that include volunteer opportunities, such as Homebound Food Delivery (HBFD), Call a Ride (CAR), SHIIP counseling, ACA navigation, Benefits Enrollment, and general administrative support. Additionally, volunteers will be engaged for special events and opportunities based on skills, interests, organizational and community needs. We engage older adults in these opportunities as well as work within our community to identify other appropriate volunteer options that are Age Friendly within the broader network. 


Council on Aging provides equal volunteering opportunity for everyone regardless of age, sex, race, creed, national origin, religious persuasion, marital status, sexual orientation, political belief, or disability that does not prohibit performance of essential job functions. All matters relating to volunteering are based on ability to perform the job, as well as dependability and reliability. Volunteers have the right to be given meaningful assignments, to be treated as equal co-workers, to receive effective and ongoing supervision, to be fully involved as members of the agency, and to receive ongoing support and recognition for their contributions to COA. In return, volunteers agree to actively perform their duties to the best of their abilities, be accountable to COA and to remain faithful to the philosophies, policies and procedures of the agency.

You will find information about our programs and services on this site.


Scroll to Top