North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services
Inventory of State Resources for Older Adults
This is an inventory of services and programs administered for older North Carolinians by agencies within state government. The Governor’s NC Open Book and DHHS Open Window provide detailed listing of programs and assistance programs across multiple state government agencies.
NC OpenBook is an effort to bring more transparency and accountability to North Carolina state government. NC OpenBook is a searchable database of state contracts, and grant disbursements from grants and assistance programs. The site is developed and maintained by the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) with substantial help from the Department of Administration (DOA), the Office of the State Controller (OSC), and the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS). To located specific services for older North Carolinians, search by programs and use the keywords aging, elderly, or seniors.
Open Window captures important information on all DHHS services, programs, and the contracts that support those services. Through Open Window, services, programs, and contracts information are provided, how they are funded; and whether our performance is producing results for our customers. To located specific services for older North Carolinians, search by services and click on common searches; older adults.
The Department of Administration
The Department of Commerce
The Department of Insurance
The Commission of Indian Affairs was created in 1971 by the North Carolina General Assembly in response to requests from American Indian citizens, regarding the unmet needs of American Indian and their communities. The Commission was established pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes 143B-404 through 143B-411. The Commission was created to deal fairly and effectively with Indian Affairs and to bring local, state and federal resources into focus for and the implementation or continuation of meaningful programs and services in Indian communities. The Commission administers a Community Services Program that provides in-home aide services and/or volunteer transportation for eligible older adults and disabled persons in the counties of: Bladen, Columbus, Halifax, Warren, Cumberland, Sampson, and Harnett. The Commission also administers a meals program for older adults and physically challenged senior citizens residing in Sampson County.
The North Carolina Council for Women is the official state advocacy agency for women. Its mission is to advise the Governor, the legislature, and the principal state departments on the special needs of women in North Carolina. It also develops and administers programs of special relevance to women. Two(Three) such programs of particular value to older women are the Displaced Homemakers Program, which helps women returning to the work force after many years of unpaid employment, and the Domestic Violence Program And the Sexual Assault Programs which addresses safety issues, health, education, of women with a special emphasis on prevention of violence against women. The N.C. Council for Women collaborates with various statewide networks such as N.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, N. C. Coalition Against Sexual Assault, N. C. Governor’s Conference for Women and N.C. Women United in an effort to provide training and technical assistance to its grantee programs.
The Division of Veterans Affairs assists veterans and their families in the presentation, processing, proof, and establishment of claims, privileges, rights, and benefits as they may be entitled to under federal, state, or local laws. The division also cooperates with the various governmental units and veterans’ organizations in seeking to serve veterans. Its work is meant to supplement and augment the efforts of others. As an example of this, the division constructed the state’s first nursing facility for veterans with support from the NC General Assembly and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. This 150-bed state veterans’ home, located in Fayetteville near the VA Medical Center, started admitting residents in 1999.
The mission of the Employment Security Commission (ESC) is to promote and sustain the economic well being of North Carolinians in the world marketplace by providing high quality and accessible workforce-related services. The ESC provides employment services, unemployment insurance, and labor market information to the State’s workers, employers, and the public. These services promote economic stability and growth, development of a skilled workforce, and a world class economy for North Carolina.
About 43 percent of the state’s prison population as of February 2002 were baby boomers or older. One result of the aging of the prison population is the increasing demand for health care. An example of the Department of Correction's response is the 54-bed health ward for male inmates with special needs at the Randolph Correctional Center, whose unique population includes inmates who are in wheelchairs, some who have cancer, and others who have multiple heart problems. The prison psychologists started an anger–stress management program for inmates 65 years and older, many of whom are veterans who were heavy alcohol or substance abusers. A large number of the older inmates are in prison on their first offense. Many have no family, or their children may be aging and unable to visit because of medical problems of their own. Especially because of the needs of its prison population, this center values community volunteers.
The Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program, known as SHIIP, was established in 1986 by North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Jim Long in response to an increased number of calls, letters, and complaints from older North Carolinians confused by their health insurance options. SHIIP’s primary objective is to educate the public on seniors’ health insurance, concentrating on Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and long-term care insurance. SHIIP achieves this by training volunteer counselors in all 100 counties, by operating a toll-free hotline from the state SHIIP office (1-800-443-9354), and by developing educational materials for use by consumers. SHIIP creates a number of consumer publications on a yearly basis. It serves as a clearinghouse for many publications of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It has served as the state’s primary resource for educating Medicare beneficiaries about Medicare Part D and the other recent Medicare changes. SHIIP is coordinated in each county through an existing human service agency such as an area agency on aging, council or departments on aging office, a senior center, or a cooperative extension office. These agencies serve as sponsors that provide important continuity, an available point of access, and model interagency cooperation.
Continuing care facilities (CCRCs) provide a living alternative for retirement-aged people. The Continuing Care Facilities Section provides the financial oversight and licensing of continuing care facilities, as well as additional safeguards for facility residents and prospective residents. This authority applies only to facilities that furnish lodging or independent living together with health-related services under a contract for the life of the individual or for a period in excess of one year. Current laws provide for facility disclosure of all material facts and financial data; departmental authority to intervene in the event of insolvency or the imminent danger of financial impairment; departmental authority to audit the books and records of facilities; and the establishment of a nine-member advisory committee to advise the Insurance Commissioner.
Consumer Protection Division. This division works to protect the public from unfair and deceptive business practices. Common complaints involving seniors include home repair, annuity sales, telemarketing, sweepstakes, foreign lotteries, work at home, and predatory mortgage lending. Victims of a fraud or scam can seek help from Consumer Protection by calling 1-877-5 NO SCAM (877-566-7226). Consumer Protection also assists consumers on utility, antitrust, and health insurance issues.
Victim and Citizen Services. Victims and Citizens Services section promotes crime prevention programs around the state and connects citizens with community resources. Subjects of interest to seniors include scams and frauds, financial exploitation, elder abuse, identity theft, open government, victims’ rights, and confidentiality.
The Attorney General’s Elder Fraud -- Prevent Re-Victimization Project has developed a Victims Assistance Program (VAP) with the Division of Aging & Adult Services, NC DHHS. VAP places specially trained local volunteers with older consumers who have been victimized repeatedly by scam groups, helping them to break the cycle of fraud. VAP volunteers work with victims to cut off calls, visits and mailings from scam artists and to prevent them from debiting victims’ bank accounts further. They also work with victims to help them look for the telltale signs that a pitch is a prelude to fraud and to counter the false friendships the scammers try to create. Originally designed to help elderly Telemarketing Fraud victims, VAP is being offered to repeat victims of home repair, precious metals, sweepstakes and other repeat victimization scams.
Our national reputation as the “good roads state” stems from NC’s large state highway system—the second largest in the country. There are over 6 million licensed drivers in the state, 20 percent of whom are age 60 and older. Increasingly DOT’s traffic engineers are applying federal guidelines for accommodating older drivers and pedestrians, as crash statistics and other analysis help to determine the factors that make crash locations hazardous for older drivers.
The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) operates a Driver Medical Evaluation program to determine whether to grant or renew drivers’ licenses when medical conditions affect a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Referrals to the program come from DMV license examiners, as well as family members, physicians, law enforcement officers, and the courts.
When older drivers are no longer able to fulfill all their transportation needs with their own vehicles, they seek alternative ways of getting around. There are 105 systems providing transportation services in all 100 NC counties: 21 urban or small urban transit systems, 2 regional urban systems, 71 single-county community transportation systems, 7 regional community transportation systems, and 4 systems that provide human service transportation only. Operating statistics for these systems indicate that more than 50.5 million rides are provided each year with a combination of federal, state, local, and fare-based funding.
AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps is a yearlong commitment for men and women age 18 and older from all backgrounds who commit themselves to building communities. Across the state, AmeriCorps members tutor and mentor school-age youth, work with preschool children in childcare centers, build houses for homeowners with low income, protect the environment, and provide new North Carolinians with interpretation and translation services. Full-time, part-time, and minimum-time positions are available. Members are paid a small living allowance. Members also receive an educational award at the conclusion of their service, which can pay for college, professional school, or student loans. Full-time members are also eligible for health care benefits and childcare coverage.
Disaster Preparedness and Response and Citizen Corps. Citizen Corps coordinates volunteers to help make our communities better prepared to respond to emergencies. Currently, there are 87 local county and municipal Citizen Corps Councils serving 72 percent of the state’s population. Citizen Corps is composed of five programs.
NC Mentoring Partnership. A mentor is an adult who provides young people with support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement, and constructive example. Mentors work with students at a variety of places including schools, churches, and organizations. A list of mentoring programs by county is available on the Commission’s website.
NC Volunteer Awards. The NC Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service is a statewide program that honors the spirit of volunteerism by recognizing individuals, groups, teams, and businesses that make a significant contribution to their community through outstanding volunteer service. County coordinators and local selection committees receive and evaluate the nominations. A new award was added to this program in 2006. The NC Medallion for Outstanding Volunteer Service is designed to recognize 20 of the top volunteers in the state. Counties nominate one volunteer whose service is evaluated by a panel of community service leaders from across the state.
The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency operates a variety of programs to finance home ownership for first-time homebuyers with low or moderate incomes, provide affordable rental housing for renters with low or moderate incomes, and rehabilitate substandard owner-occupied and rental housing. Funding for agency programs and operations comes from program fees, earnings from tax-exempt bond sales, federal funds, and the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund.
North Carolina’s colleges and universities have distinguished themselves in the field of aging through their research; interdisciplinary professional and postgraduate programs; undergraduate degree programs; community-oriented service and technical assistance activities; and their clinical programs in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, social work, and other disciplines. Institutions of higher education in our state also offer continuing education programs for older people and those who work with people in this age group. Some of these institutions have opened their doors to provide special programs offering access to resources and lifelong learning opportunities for older adults in our state.
The AHEC program seeks to improve the supply, distribution, and quality of health care professionals in North Carolina through its ten regional centers. AHEC works with the state’s four university medical centers to sponsor a wide range of educational activities related to health manpower development, including community training for health science students, medical residency training programs in primary care, continuing education, and information services. AHEC was created in 1972 by the School of Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill and funded with a federal grant. In 1974, the General Assembly expanded the AHEC program and took over its funding. Today the program is funded about equally from state and local sources and is administered by the Dean of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Program activities fall into three broad categories: community-based and medical residents; health professions continuing education; and information services for health care agencies and professionals. An example program is the Geriatric Medicine Program at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) located in Asheville. MAHEC is a partner with UNC-Asheville and Western Carolina University in the development of the State supported North Carolina Center for Health and Aging. This Center’s mission is to identify and promotion healthy lifestyles and successful aging among all population groups.
Human Services Technologies Programs. Through these programs, NC Community Colleges prepare students for entry-level positions in institutions and agencies that provide social, community, and educational services. Along with core courses, students take courses that prepare them for specialization in specific human areas including developmental disabilities, gerontology, mental health, social services, and substance abuse. Graduates seek employment in mental health, child care, family services, social services, rehabilitation, correctional, and educational agencies. Graduates work with children, older adults, people with disabilities, families, groups, organizations, and communities in providing care.
The North Carolina Literacy Resource Center (NCLRC) fosters networking among organizations concerned with basic skills and education for adults, assists North Carolina’s literacy community in providing quality services to adults in the state, and serves as a link between the National Institute for Literacy and North Carolina’s literacy community. Two of the center’s initiatives include participation in Equipped for the Future, the National Institute for Literacy’s system reform initiative, and the encouragement of local basic skills/literacy programs to access the Internet, establish home pages on the World Wide Web, and use Internet-based resources in designing lessons. Literacy and basic skills development are both areas of concern for a number of seniors.
The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service is an educational organization supported by federal, state, and county funds. It serves 100 North Carolina counties and the Cherokee Reservation. Extension agents, serving as field faculty of land grant universities, deliver research-based informal educational programs addressing the priority concerns selected by each county’s advisory system. Extension Specialists at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A & T University develop educational materials as well as train and support the county agents. The Extension Service offers a wide range of educational programs and resources on aging issues. One statewide program called Aging with Gusto! is designed to give adults research-based information to help them plan for and get the most out of their later years. Specific programs are available on such topics as caregiving, developing positive attitudes, home modification, retirement planning, estate planning, and nutrition and wellness in later life.
The UNC Institute on Aging (IOA) was created by the NC General Assembly in August 1996. The mission of the IOA is to enhance the well-being of older North Carolinians through statewide collaboration in research, education, and public service. The IOA works through its statewide linkages to promote collaborative, applied and basic gerontological research, develop innovative programs of interdisciplinary education and practice, and provide state-of-the-art information to policy makers, program managers, service providers, clinicians, and the general public.
Corporation for National and Community Service (State Office)
Senior Companion Program. This is a service initiative through which people age 60 and older provide assistance and friendship to older adults who are homebound and, generally, live alone. Senior Companions receive a modest hourly stipend for their service. They usually serve two to four clients through 20 hours of weekly service.
Foster Grandparent Program. (FGP) This program offers people age 60 and older opportunities to serve as mentors, tutors, and caregivers for children and youth with special needs. They provide 20 hours of weekly service to community organizations such as schools, hospitals, and youth centers.
North Carolina Senior Games is a statewide, year-round health promotion and education program for people age 55 and “better” .This wellness and prevention program focuses on keeping seniors healthy and independent and involved in personal fitness. There are 52 local Senior Games that serve the entire state. In addition to the games, the organization offers SilverArts, a literary, heritage, visual, and performing arts program; SilverLiners, a senior line-dancing association; SilverStriders, a national award-winning walking program; statewide workshops; leadership training for professionals; educational material such as exercise posters; and health information. North Carolina Senior Games is supported by the state, several corporate sponsors, and many coordinating and endorsing agencies such as the Division of Aging and Adult Services, Division of Public Health, Parks and Recreation, AARP NC, and the medical profession.
Last updated October 2, 2012