Advocacy for Older Adults

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed it's the only thing that ever has."

- Margaret Mead

Advocacy is the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal. Through the direction of the Older Americans Act, Area Agencies on Aging are charged with advocating for the needs and wellbeing of older adults. Our advocacy work includes informing constituents of current issues and policy, communication with elected officials about the needs of older adults, and coordination of advocacy events and outreach.

advocacy groupYou can stay connected by following the advocacy alerts of the n4a and AARP. Let your voice be heard, by reaching out to your elected officials about issues that you find important.

  • USAging Advocacy Updates: Current updates on national policy and legislative issues
  • AARP Action: State and national policy updates and automatic templates for advocacy letters to elected officials

Find your elected officials:

Senior Tar Heel Legislature

STIHL logoThe North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature (STHL) was established in 1993 by the North Carolina General Assembly as a way to provide direct involvement for older adults in the legislative process. The purpose of the STHL is to:

  • Provide information and education to senior adults on the legislative process and matter being considered by the NC General Assembly
  • Promote citizen involvement and advocacy concerning aging issues before the NC General Assembly
  • Assess the legislative needs of older adults by convening a forum modeled after the NC General Assembly

The Senior Tar Heel Legislature is a single legislative body (unicameral), in which each of the 100 counties in North Carolina is entitled to one delegate and one alternate. Delegates and Alternates must be sixty (60) years of age or older. The statewide STHL meets three times per year in the months of March, June, and October. At the conclusion of the Annual Session, a report is submitted to the General Assembly of the STHL's proceedings and priorities to pursue at the statewide meetings.

The NC Division of Aging and Adult Services provides staff support for the STHL in cooperation with the High Country Area Agency on Aging, who is responsible for staffing and assisting each county in the selection of their delegate and alternate.

For additional information about the NC Senior Tar Heel Legislature and our regional delegates, contact Zack Green at 828-265-5434 ext. 122 or


High Country Falls Prevention Coalition

women walking on a track

Falls are not an inevitable aspect of aging. However falls occur at an alarming rate, impacting one-third of Americans aged 65+ each year. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older Americans. Falls threaten safety, independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. The High Country Falls Coalition believes that together we can greatly reduce the impact of falls in our communities through providing resources for awareness, education, physical activity, and clinical-community partnerships. Our coalition is built on the foundation of community collaboration and is comprised of dedicated community agencies, community members, clinical practitioners, nurses, care managers, educators & volunteers.


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Click here to Join Our Coalition!

Our coalition is built on the foundation of community collaboration and is comprised of dedicated community agencies, clinical practitioners, nurses, care managers, educators and volunteers. Our work consists of the following:

Falls Prevention Plan of Care

In the falls prevention plan of care you will find information and assistance with the following:

  • How to overcome the fear of falling
  • Home Safety Assessment
  • Fall Prevention Programs in our Region
  • Where to Exercise
  • Information of Personal Emergency Response System

Community outreach and education

Community screening and referrals

Care transitions

  • Continuation of care
  • Rehabilitation support
  • Family support

Take control of your future: Six easy and important steps to prevent a fall

  • Find an enjoyable exercise program that focuses on strength, balance, and flexibility. We can help you find a program in your community that meets your needs and schedule. Balance focused programs such as tai chi are wonderful for fall prevention.
  • Talk to your health care provider and ask for an assessment of your risk of falling. Be sure to share your history of recent falls and any concerns or fears you would like to address.
  • Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Make sure you are taking all medications as prescribed and none of your prescriptions have side effects that are increasing your risk of falls.
  • Get your vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses or contacts when you have vision changes. Your eyes and ears are essential for keeping you safe and alert.
  • Keep your home safe. Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make walk ways safe and install grab bars.
  • Talk to your loved ones. Make them aware of you concerns and how they can help. Falls affects us all!