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Active Aging Center

Currently, one in five individuals in Buncombe County are over the age of 65, by 2025 it will  be one in four. 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.  

A recent study has reported that social isolation may impact an older adult’s health the  same as smoking fourteen cigarettes a day. This statistic highlights the importance and  need for an Active Aging Center. The goal would be to serve all of Buncombe County  through this centralized location. Currently COA receives more than 16,000 calls a year  from clients seeking services and support.

The proposed Active Aging Center (AAC) would address Adult Day Health, Care  Management, the social determinants of health including food insecurity, transportation  issues, social isolation, and access to activities for health and wellness. The development of  this center would address many of the issues that older residents in Buncombe County face.  In many counties across the state and the country there is one central building for older  adults to seek assistance. Buncombe County has created a similar concept for individuals  experiencing abuse and sexual assault with the Family Justice Center. This idea of a “one stop shop” has a lot of support from the aging services providers in the county. This concept  has been discussed for years throughout Buncombe County yet there has not been an  agency that has taken the steps to lead the initiative.  

Buncombe County Aging Plan

The Aging Plan is an important piece of guidance for our community processes in serving older adults with important domains and related strategies for overall well-being. The current plan is structure on “Safe – Well – Engaged” principles.

Age Friendly Buncombe

We are proud to be a part of the Age Friendly Buncombe network! We represent COAbc on many of the affiliated working groups, as part of our commitment to service, education & advocacy at the local level.

Age-friendly Buncombe was established in 2017 when the County joined the World Health Organization and AARP’s Network of Age-friendly Communities. This action was a major step toward the Aging Plan goal of increasing the age-friendly capability of Buncombe County.


Age-friendly Buncombe is a big tent, bringing together community collaborations, committees, and working groups committed to the following Common Agenda:


OLDER ADULTS IN BUNCOMBE COUNTY ARE SAFE, WELL AND ENGAGED IN COMMUNITY.

Active Aging Center Steering Committee – The proposed Active Aging Center (AAC) will address adult day health, care management, the social determinants of health including food insecurity, transportation issues, social isolation, and access to activities for health and wellness.

Age-Friendly Buncombe Advisory Group – The Buncombe Aging Services Alliance (formerly the Aging Coordinating Consortium (ACC)) provides networking, collaboration, advocacy, and education for aging service providers.

Blue Ridge Pride Generation Plus – Generation Plus (GP) seeks to enrich the lives of LGBTQ+ and allied community adults in Western North Carolina who are living life’s third act: the years beyond fifty.

Buncombe BIPOC Elders Study Group –– This project aims to study the experiences of BIPOC Elders (age 50+) in Asheville/Buncombe County in order to gain understanding of the unique health and aging concerns, and experiences with the healthcare and community service systems with this population. This knowledge is critical to being able to effectively close health disparities gaps for BIPOC elders and create accessible, equitable, and inclusive services.

Family Caregiver Advisory Committee – The Family Caregiver Support Committee works on a regional level to establish partnerships with caregiver service providers, caregivers, and those who interact with caregivers to leverage resources and improve and expand the available resources and services for caregivers.

Home and Community Care Block Grant Advisory Committee — The Home and Community Care Block Grant Advisory Committee (HCCBG) makes grant recommendations to the Board of Commissioners regarding allocations of Home and Community Care Block Grant funding and County Supplemental Aging Funds.

Housing Options for Aging in Place – The mission of Housing Options for Aging in Place (HOAP) is that all older adults living in Buncombe County have the ability and choice to age in place in order to remain safe, well and engaged in their communities.

Social Bridging Project – The Social Bridging Project pairs older adults who feel isolated at home with trained volunteers who can provide conversation, training on use of technology, and referral to needed and desired resources.

WNC Fall Prevention Coalition – The WNC Fall Prevention Coalition strives to provide communities with descriptions of collaborative resources, including meetings, events, and resource list of local providers with the common goal of decreasing fall related injuries in WNC.

Buncombe County Aging Plan

The Aging Plan is an important piece of guidance for our community processes in serving older adults with important domains and related strategies for overall well-being. The current plan is structure on “Safe – Well – Engaged” principles.

Communities for Older Adult Health (COAH) – Communities for Older Adult Health’s mission is focused on: Identifying opportunities for Asheville-Buncombe County to facilitate healthy aging; and, encouraging communication among its citizens and leaders to determine how to use these opportunities to improve the health of the entire community.

Community Transportation Advisory Board – The Community Transportation Advisory Board (CTAB) assists in the implementation of the Community Transportation Program.

Dementia Friendly WNC – Dementia Friendly WNC (DFWNC) is a group of community members and organizations committed to the well-being of people living with dementia and their families.

Elder Justice Coalition – The mission of Buncombe Elder Justice Coalition (EJC) is to strengthen our community’s capacity to prevent and address elder abuse, neglect and exploitation quickly, effectively, and with respect.

Experienced Workforce Initiative – The Experienced Workforce Initiative (EWI) of Western North Carolina supports and promotes the engagement of adults age 50+ in the volunteer and workforce continuum.

Housing Options for Aging in Place – The mission of Housing Options for Aging in Place (HOAP) is that all older adults living in Buncombe County have the ability and choice to age in place in order to remain safe, well and engaged in their communities.

Social Bridging Project – The Social Bridging Project pairs older adults who feel isolated at home with trained volunteers who can provide conversation, training on use of technology, and referral to needed and desired resources.

WNC Broadband Project – The WNC Broadband Project aims to support communities interested in ensuring access to reliable, truly high-speed internet service.

WNC Fall Prevention Coalition – The WNC Fall Prevention Coalition strives to provide communities with descriptions of collaborative resources, including meetings, events, and resource list of local providers with the common goal of decreasing fall related injuries in WNC.

Housing Options for Aging in Place – The mission of Housing Options for Aging in Place (HOAP) is that all older adults living in Buncombe County have the ability and choice to age in place in order to remain safe, well and engaged in their communities.

Social Bridging Project – The Social Bridging Project pairs older adults who feel isolated at home with trained volunteers who can provide conversation, training on use of technology, and referral to needed and desired resources.

WNC Broadband Project – The WNC Broadband Project aims to support communities interested in ensuring access to reliable, truly high-speed internet service.

WNC Fall Prevention Coalition – The WNC Fall Prevention Coalition strives to provide communities with descriptions of collaborative resources, including meetings, events, and resource list of local providers with the common goal of decreasing fall related injuries in WNC.

WNC Broadband Project – The WNC Broadband Project aims to support communities interested in ensuring access to reliable, truly high-speed internet service.


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.

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