Jackson County Council On Aging

100 County Services Park
Sylva, NC 28779
Phone: (828) 586-8562

President: Martha Chovan
Executive Director: Helen Bryson
Secretary: Karen C. Davis

HISTORY: Early in the 1980s, concerned residents, agency personnel and county commissioners recognized the need to develop systems to address the needs of seniors in the county who needed various types of assistance.

The Jackson County Council On Aging was formalized as a non-profit corporation in 1984 to work with the county government to provide services to seniors in the county. Three vehicles were purchased to provide transportation for various transportion needs. A one room office was set up as part of the Department of Social Services for the Council On Aging.

The Council On Aging staff and volunteers oversaw the development and continuation of various programs for seniors throughout the 1980s. These were:
  • Senior Transportation which later grew to become the Jackson County Transit, a separate county department
  • Project FIRE to provide firewood to low income seniors whose only fuel for heat and cooking is firewood
  • Project CARE to do home building safety repairs for low income seniors and building wheelchair ramps for home bound seniors
  • A Senior Center providing educational, social, cultural, exercise, senior games, writers workshops, health checks and many other activities
  • Congregate and Home Delivered meals to provide noon day nourishment for low income and home bound seniors
  • Jackson Village providing subsidized housing for low income seniors in collaboration with the Cullowhee United Methodist Church
  • The County Commissioners created the Jackson County Department On Aging in 1990 to administer all the programs started and maintained by the Council On Aging prior to that time.

    PURPOSE: The Jackson County Council On Aging works closely with the Jackson County Department On Aging and advises the Jackson County Board of Commissioners on matters pertaining to seniors in Jackson County. The Council initiates new services for seniors, is an advocacy group for seniors, and provides information and referral to seniors.

    OBJECTIVES: The objectives for the Jackson County Council on Aging are:
  • to develop community wide understanding of the purpose and objectives of the Council
  • to develop community understanding of older people and the aging process, potentials of older people, their problems and their needs
  • to promote programs, services, and opportunities for older adults in Jackson County
  • to assist and advise the Jackson County Board of Commissioners in planning for, implementing and coordinating programs and services for seniors
  • to establish a pool of information concerning resources available to seniors and a system of referral to these resources
  • to assist in obtaining funding from federal, state, local sources, and foundations for services and programs for seniors
  • to solicit contributions by any means from any available sources, to receive and expend such contributions for the purposes set forth above
  • The Jackson County Council On Aging Board meets on the third Thursday each month at the Department On Aging Board Room at 3:30 PM, except in December and July.

    The Council On Aging publishes a monthly newsletter, JACKSONIAN, with information about local happenings with Jackson County seniors.

    The Jackson County Council On Aging is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Click here for its IRS Determination Letter. Donations are tax-deductible according to IRS regulations.