Ashe Services for Aging's Mission is to provide services, intergenerational activities, and opportunities to the elderly and disabled adults of Ashe County that enhance their dignity and help them maintain their independence at home.
What do our Clients think about what we do? Click HERE
To see photos of our facilities, services, and clients, please Click HERE.
Our mission, "to provide services and intergenerational opportunities to elderly and disabled adults of Ashe County that enhance their dignity and help them maintain their independence at home," and our reputation to provide quality service, is validated by our three-year certificate of accreditation, dated January, 2008, from the Accreditation Commission for Home Care, Inc. for achievement in complying with the standards for home care services developed to recognize programs of superior quality.
We are also licensed by the North Carolina Division of Facility Services. We were also awarded the Ernest B. Messer Award, presented by the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services, in recognition of an organization that has excelled in addressing the needs of its older citizens. In January 2001, Ashe Services for Aging was determined, through certification by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services, to be a Senior Center of Excellence and is considered one of the finest centers in the state. On June 1, 2007, the Senior Center received its second recertified as a Center of Excellence. The Division of Aging and Adult Services recognizes it as a "model" multipurpose senior center.
The Senior Center offers a wide variety of programs and classes that are of interest to older adults. Programs are provided by Hospice, New River Mental Health, the Ashe County Health Department, NC Extension Service, the Department of Social Services, SHIIP Training, Social Security Administration, NC Highway Patrol, Ashe Memorial Hospital, and many others. The focus of these programs include food safety, nutrition updates, driving safety, Medicare issues, insurance coverage, home security, as well as a variety of health issues affecting older adults. A number of support groups are also available at the Senior Center. These groups currently include Low Vision, Diabetes, and Grief Counseling. Participants are given up-to-date information, offered family retreats, teleconferences and special training. In acknowledgement of the import contributions of family caregivers, Ashe Services for Aging has conducted caregiver retreats and recognition ceremonies.
With an emphasis on maintaining the healthy status of older adults, through prevention and early detection, the Senior Center provides the following health screenings: Glaucoma, Diabetes, Hearing, Podiatrist, Vision, Oral Cancer, Cholesterol, and Stoke. An exercise room, complete with exercise equipment and pool table, along with daily games of bingo and cards, keep seniors active both physically and socially. In the past five years, usage of the exercise room has increased over forty percent. Currently, over forty individuals utilize the exercise facilities on a daily bases. That percentage will drastically escalate as aging baby boomers, with their interest in remaining active and maintaining their health, connect with our Senior Center. Our health emphasis at the Center also includes weight control and healthy eating. ASA has contracted with Weight Watchers to provide classes at the Center during the day. That way, our participants who are unable to drive have an opportunity to attend these classes.
Ashe Services for Aging is also one of four designated public access centers in Ashe County. We have a computer lab with 10 computers to offer seniors as well as other community members internet access. ASA works with Wilkes Community College as well as volunteers to provide computer classes and assistance. The computer lab is well utilized by Senior Center participants and the community at large.
Social issues of older adults are addressed through the provision of a variety of opportunities for interaction. Trips to historic sites, outdoor dramas, and picnics are regularly arranged. Ashe Services for Aging has an earth quilt and herb garden on site where participants are encouraged to experience the joy of gardening. Older adults are encouraged to participate in, and are transported to, Senior Games. ASA has been actively involved in the Senior Games program for several years and has a large number of lively participants. Special events provided at the Center include our annual Harvest Days Celebration, where participants can come to the Center in old-fashioned costume and sell their home-baked goods and crafts. We also sponsor an annual fashion show and encourage our participants to serve as models. This event serves to involve our participants with the business community, which provides the clothes, and has been regularly attended by the citizens of Ashe County not normally utilizing our services. This type of programming allows older adults the opportunity to remain an integral part of the community.
In addition to providing exemplary services through our Senior Center which include regularly scheduled activities and programs, exercise classes and an exercise room, billiards, cards, rook games, bingo, bible study, a walking trail, blood pressure screenings, Adult Basic Education classes, craft classes, support groups, and trips, we also provide an array of services to meet the needs of our elderly population.
Two unique projects that distinguish Ashe Services for Aging from other agencies are the Intergenerational Day Care Center and the construction of twenty-four single unit apartments to house low-income elderly. Generations Intergenerational Day Care Center, which is one of only a few such facilities state-wide, offers socialization and day/health care services for disabled/elderly adults and children from infant to five years of age.
Our five-star rated Child Day Care Center allows us to accommodate children with special needs as well as typically developing children. Our Center provides programs that give typically developing children and children with disabilities the opportunity for daily interaction with seniors in a multiple purpose intergenerational facility. Our agency has been able to reach our target population with an innovative service that enriches the lives of adults as well as children. Both formal and informal intergenerational programming has proven to benefit all ages and enhances the experience of all who participate at the agency. Generations allows both children and adults to enjoy the pleasure of a grandma rocking an infant and a child holding the hand of a grandpa on a nature walk. It offers unique companionship opportunities that brighten both the child and adult’s life.
Adult Day Care/Day Health Care participants, as well as Senior Center participants, have a unique opportunity for intergenerational socialization as well as access to resources from the Senior Center. This allows for a smooth transition for participants to move from one service to another. Several seniors who attended the Senior Center in the past have declined in their abilities, due to a progression of an illness, or in their cognitive functioning. They now benefit from a more supervised setting in the Adult Day Care/Day Health Care Center. Due to the ongoing interaction between the Adult Day Health Center and the Senior Center, this has been an easier transition. Our Intergenerational Day Care Center fills a gap in the continuum of care which includes a multi-service facility providing congregate and home delivered meals specifically designed to meet the dietary needs of elderly adults, CAP/DA services, CAP/C services, in home aide services, respite care, transportation, and health and wellness programs.
Ashe Services for Aging began providing in-home aide services in 1981, and was one of the first agencies in the state of North Carolina to provide this service. We have a highly qualified team of nurses who are proficient in recruitment, training and supervision of in-home aides in a community setting and a staff of over 150 certified nursing assistants. In 1983, Ashe Services for Aging was one of five sites selected as a pilot program in North Carolina to participate in the CAP/DA program. Today, we are the lead agency for the CAP/DA program in Ashe County and have a strong and viable program with over 170 participants, RN’s, Case Managers, and Certified Nursing Assistants who utilize a team approach in providing optimal care and services.
With an increasing inward migration of retirees to Ashe County and a rapidly aging "Baby Boomer" population, the need for safe, affordable housing for our county’s elderly is a major concern. In May 1999, Ashe Services for Aging, Inc. conducted a market feasibility study and determined there was a need for supportive housing for at least 240 seniors in Ashe County. The Ashe County Planning Department also conducted community meetings throughout Ashe County and determined that there was a need for affordable, quality housing for seniors. Two community meetings were held at the Senior Center to discuss location, design and other items of interest to seniors. With the support of county and town government, local industries, agencies and businesses, Ashe Services for Aging applied to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for funding. Ashe Services for Aging participated in a competitive bid process and received $1.7 million dollars in funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to construct twenty-four (24) single housing one-bedroom units for low-income elderly adjacent to the Senior Center. Construction began in March 2001 and was completed in May 2002. This complex provides elderly and handicapped persons with housing facilities and services specifically designed to meet their physical, social and psychological needs, and to promote their health, security, happiness, and usefulness. The proximity of the complex to the Senior Center provides housing residents with the opportunity to participate in all Senior Center activities, including congregate meals, educational programs and classes. Acknowledging our proven ability to operate a 26,000 square foot multi-function facility, with an annual operating budget of $3.69 million dollars, HUD has also gave Ashe Services for Aging permission to be the management company for the apartment complex and thus coordinate supportive services for residents as needed. Our affiliation with HUD as a Management Agent for a Section 202 Housing Project, has given us invaluable experience with senior housing. We created a Management Entity within Ashe Services for Aging, Inc. that supervises the hiring of staff, management of budgets, and development of policies for Ashe Senior Village, Inc. Staff training in the management of a HUD 202 Housing Project has given us tremendous experience and knowledge.
Ashe Services for Aging continues to promote awareness of our services in the community in a variety of ways. Staff members promote our services when attending meetings with other agency personnel. We receive our referrals from the local hospital, DSS, area physicians and High County Health Care System. Many of our clients hear about our services from other disabled adults or caregivers who are currently using, or have used, our programs in the past. We continue to maintain an open relationship with the medical community; one of our local physicians attends our Long-Term Care Advisory meetings and shares news about our services with other physicians. Continuing referrals and on-going contact with other human service agencies in Ashe County provides information to help ensure that the needs of the low-income population are being served. Ashe Services for Aging continues to refer individuals to other agencies for service as is appropriate and necessary. All possible efforts are made to assist every older adult, minority or otherwise, who is eligible for and in need of services.
Information regarding programs, services and delivery has been made, and continues to be made, available to all local newspapers, radio stations and other helping agencies and local businesses. Radio station, WKSK, provides Ashe Services for Aging a weekly public service spot to furnish information on issues and promote services for senior citizens. The staff also makes presentations, when asked, to local civic groups, churches, and the ministerial association. Brochures are made available and distributed to all businesses, doctor’s offices, and human service agencies in the county to identify and receive referrals of individuals in the greatest economic and social need.
As a non-profit agency, Ashe Services for Aging is always open to opportunities to initiate new programs and services, or enhance current ones, through grants or fundraising activities. The tremendous support of local businesses, industries and individuals, as well as prominent foundations and charitable trusts, is a tribute to the agency’s reputation for quality care. During construction of our current facility, over $250,000 was donated by local businesses and individuals. When expansion of our Intergenerational Day Care Center was required, to meet a growing demand for services, over $53,000 was contributed by local businesses for this expansion. In addition, Ashe Services for Aging has been diligent in seeking grant opportunities. Over $3,600 in grant awards, through Wal-Mart and the Grassroots Arts Program of North Carolina, have been acquired for Senior Center projects and activities. The Department of Health and Human Services awarded Ashe Services for Aging $600 to start and expand a Senior Education Corp. Microsoft Corporation presented a grant for software and licensing in the amount of $4,500. In 2001 Ashe Services for Aging received a two-year grant from the Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation in the amount of $61,258 to support the general operating expenses that would impact the Meals-on-Wheels, Adult Day Health Care, and Personal Care programs, and in 2004 received an additional three-year grant from Sisters of Mercy for $93,000 to continue these services. In 2002 we received a two-year $7,500 grant from Altria Group, Inc. for our Meals-on-Wheels program. The Kate B. Reynolds Foundation, in 2004, awarded ASA a three-year grant of $90,000 to provide In-Home Respite services to low-income elderly adults. The knowledge that caregivers play a crucial role in providing daily care and in delaying institutional placement of elderly and disabled adults, and that support for caregivers is essential in continuing their services, is widely understood. It is also recognized that there is a tremendous deficit in services and programs for adults with developmental disabilities. In 2004, the North Carolina Council for Developmental Disabilities awarded four grants across the state to provide services and programs for adults with developmental disabilities and respite for their caregivers. Ashe Services for Aging received two of those three-year grants in the amount of $100,000 each. With this funding, ASA provides in-home aide services to homebound adults with developmental disabilities and respite for their caregivers. ASA also provides an Adult Day Health Care program for adults with developmental disabilities. These two programs have markedly enhanced the lives of adults with developmental disabilities through socialization and community inclusion as well as provided respite and stress reduction for their caregivers. In June 2004 we received a three-year grant from the Sisters of Mercy Foundation in the amount of $93,000 to provide personal care services, meals to homebound senior citizens, and funding for adult day health care. In June 2006 we received a grant from The Cannon Foundation in the amount of $25,000 to assist with the renovation of our kitchen. Funds will be used to purchase new equipment and remove structural walls. In October 2006 we received a grant from the Grassroots Arts Program of the North Carolina Arts Council in the amount of $400 to provide a juried art competition (Art of Aging) to encourage older adults to become involved with the arts. Food Lion Charitable Foundation awarded ASA, in March 2007, a grant in the amount of $2,000 to support our home-delivered meals program. In October 2007 we received a grant from the Grassroots Arts Program of the North Carolina Arts Council in the amount of $500 to provide a second annual "Art of Aging" to encourage older adults to become involved with the arts. In November 2007, Blue Ridge Electric’s Community Foundation awarded ASA a $2,000 grant to purchase equipment for the Child/Adult Day Care Center playground. Ashe Services received, in November 2007, a grant in the amount of $10,000 to expand our Medicare Part D Insurance Program.
Looking toward the future, we are aware that the need for our services will increase, but financial support may vary. Therefore, the Ashe Services for Aging Foundation was established in 2005 to help sustain and expand services and programs offered by Ashe Services for Aging through advocacy and fundraising activities. The Foundation’s goals are to educate, cultivate, involve, and solicit support from the Ashe County community regarding the needs of our elderly and disabled citizens to assure continued and expanded access to vital services. The community support afforded Ashe Services for Aging was evident in the Foundation’s first annual campaign. The campaign goal was nearly doubled, and thirty-four percent of all those contacted made a contribution to the campaign.
The Ashe Services for Aging Board of Directors are also supportive and dedicated to the mission and goals of the agency. There was a 100% participation of Board members in the Foundation’s annual campaign. Members are actively involved in seeking new programs and services that will enhance the health and well-being of our senior citizens.
For over thirty (30) years Ashe Services for Aging has been the primary provider of senior services to the citizens of Ashe County. We maintain a staff of 200 employees that includes administrative, human resources, maintenance, housekeeping, department supervisors, RNs and certified nursing assistants. Ashe Services for Aging serves 170 CAP clients, 2 CAP/C clients, 208 clients receiving personal care and home management services, 40 Adult Day/Health Care participants, 42 children in Child Day Care, 190 congregate meals participants with a daily attendance of approximately 40, 72 home delivered meal clients, and approximately 100 daily participants in senior center activities.