• December 29, 2020

Our Council on Aging's Board of Directors holds their annual public meeting next Thursday, January 7, 2021, at 5:30 pm. It will be conducted virtually using Zoom. If you are interested in providing comments at the beginning of the meeting, contact Dennis Streets at [email protected] or call 919-542-4512. The Board will also be electing their officers for 2021. 

Share the Love with Seniors This Holiday Season

  • December 10, 2020

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Exciting news! For the 13th year running, the Meals on Wheels network is participating in the 2020 Subaru Share the Love Event. Over the past twelve years, Subaru and its retailers have helped Meals on Wheels to deliver more than 2.3 million meals nationwide to seniors in need.

Why does Subaru support Meals on Wheels? Too many seniors are struggling to stay independent and healthy. One in four seniors lives alone in isolation and one in seven seniors might not know from where their next meal is coming. This is simply unacceptable, which is why The Chatham County Council on Aging provides the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to the seniors of Chatham County, NC. This vital support keeps seniors in their own homes, where they want to be.

We’re incredibly grateful to Subaru and its Retailers for supporting our organization and the seniors we serve. With that in mind, we thought you might want to learn a little bit more about the Subaru Share the Love Event


This November 19, 2020, through January 4, 2021, for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased, Subaru will donate $250 to the customer’s choice of participating charities.* Meals on Wheels is one of four national participating charities and has been since the inception of the event. Through this event, as a member of Meals on Wheels America, the Chatham County Council on Aging will receive a share of the donation from Subaru vehicles sold at participating Subaru Retailers.

You might not be in the market to purchase a new car, but if you are, please look into the Subaru Share the Love Event to learn more. If you’re not shopping for a new vehicle, you can still help by spreading the word to your family and friends. A few quick and easy ways to do that:

And remember: this holiday season you can ensure our senior neighbors are not forgotten, when you purchase or lease a new Subaru and select Meals on Wheels as your charity of choice.

*Disclaimer: Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased from November 19, 2020, through January 4, 2021, to four national charities designated by the purchaser or lessee. Pre-approved Hometown Charities may be selected for donation depending on retailer participation. For every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased during the campaign period, participating retailers will donate a minimum of $50 in total to their registered Hometown Charities. Purchasers/lessees must make their charity designations by January 15, 2021. The four national charities will receive a guaranteed minimum donation of $250,000 each. See your local Subaru retailer for details or visit All donations made by Subaru of America, Inc.

Council on Aging Continues Extensive Programming While Keeping Its Centers Closed to Inside Programming through March

  • December 4, 2020


December 4, 2020

Contact: Krista Westervelt, 919-579-7413, [email protected]

Council on Aging Continues Extensive Programming While Keeping Its Centers Closed to Inside Programming through March  

Pittsboro, NC – The Board of Directors and management of the Chatham County Council on Aging have decided to keep the interior facilities of the Council’s Eastern and Western Senior Centers closed to the public through March 2021, when it will reassess the situation. At the same time, the Council remains committed to assisting Chatham County seniors and their families. 

“While we are encouraged by emerging news about the vaccines, we remain very concerned for the health and safety of participants, staff and volunteers as the COVID-19 pandemic still constitutes a serious threat,” remarked Larry Ross, President of the Council’s Board. 

The resolution of the Council on Aging’s Board of Directors reads as follows:

Out of concern for the continued health and safety of participants, staff and volunteers, the Board of Directors of the Chatham County Council on Aging authorizes keeping the Council’s Eastern and Western Senior Centers closed to in-facility programming through March 2021. In March, the Board and Council management will reassess the status of COVID-19 and consider recommendations from the Chatham County Public Health Department and relevant others to inform conditions and timing for resumption of in-facility programing. In the meantime, the Board supports having the Council continue its ongoing work to meet the service needs of participants, offer virtual programming, and explore additional ways to safely assist those experiencing the effects of social isolation and loneliness. Along with the rest of the community, the Board looks forward to the introduction of safe COVID-19 vaccinations and supports having the Council’s two centers serve as parking lot drive-through sites for Chatham County Public Health to offer these vaccinations.

In making this decision, the Board considered several factors. These included the number of cases and positivity rate within Chatham County and North Carolina. 

According to North Carolina’s county alert system, Chatham is currently listed as having “Substantial Community Spread.” In recent weeks, North Carolina has seen record levels of hospitalization for COVID-19.

The Board considered the advice of local Public Health officials as well as the State. The Board noted Governor Cooper’s recent message, “With a vaccine so close on the horizon, we need to keep doing what we know works to slow the spread of this virus and help save lives these next few months.”

“As much as we wish we could reopen our two centers to in-facility programming, the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 is higher in indoor settings where air does not circulate freely and people are less likely to maintain social distancing,” noted Dennis Streets, director of the Council. “Because we know how much it means to folks to come to our centers for meals, exercise, education and recreational activities, counseling, volunteering, fellowship and so much more—this was a difficult but correct decision,” Streets added.     

In the meantime, the Council is continuing its extensive efforts to assist Chatham County seniors and their families. Ever since the Centers were closed to in-facility programming in early March, the Council has remained committed to its mission as a nonprofit organization, established 46 years ago. 

For example, from March 16th to November 13th, the Council provided 9,616 frozen meals and 14,565 shelf-stable meals to seniors sheltering in place. This will continue. Along with meals, the Council is providing incontinence supplies, assistive equipment, reading materials and much more to help older adults and family caregivers during this trying time.

The Council’s staff are also doing frequent friendly, check-in calls with participants and then responding in other ways to offer needed assistance. In addition, the Council is continuing its provision of in-home aide personal care, family caregiver respite, emergency assistance, minor home repair, and transportation. It is also offering a wide array of virtual programming for exercise and social engagement. For a calendar of these activities, go to

Two additional priorities of the Council on Aging over the next few months will be partnering with Public Health to promote and provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine and continuing to combat the risk of isolation and loneliness over winter. 

“While the pandemic has certainly brought anxiety and hardship to many, it has also spurred us to think creatively about our delivery of services and programs. In addition, it has reinforced the importance of the support we receive from the community,” cited Streets. “As we move forward into a new year of service, we remain committed to doing the absolute best we can to assist Chatham County seniors and their families.”

For information about the Council on Aging, visit or call its Eastern Center at 919-542-4512 or Western Center at 919-742-3975. 


Chatham County Public Health Department Partners with StarMed Healthcare to Host Weekly COVID-19 Testing Events

  • October 21, 2020

PITTSBORO, NC – The Chatham County Public Health Department is working with StarMed Healthcare and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) to host two weekly and recurring COVID-19 testing events in Chatham County as the public health department continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

StarMed will offer nasal swab PCR tests for no cost and optional rapid blood antibody tests for $50 at each. Testing events will be held the following days and location, beginning Thursday, October 22nd:

- Mondays (beginning October 26th): 12:30-4:30 p.m., Chatham Central High School, 14950 N.C. Highway 902, Bear Creek (PDF flyers: English, Español)

- Thursdays (next event October 22nd): 12:30-4:30 p.m., Northwood High School, 310 Northwood High School Road, Pittsboro (PDF flyers: English, Español)

The PCR test tells individuals whether they currently have COVID-19. These tests are available at no cost to individuals and are covered either by their insurance or NC DHHS through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Results are sent in three days on average via text message and/or e-mail.

The rapid blood antibody test tells individuals whether they have been infected with COVID-19 in the past. Results will be available within 15 minutes of being administered. Individuals are charged $50 for antibody tests at the time of testing.

Text the word “COVID” to (704) 850-6996 to pre-register and complete your virtual visit to reduce wait time for testing. Patients can also register onsite and be screened by a provider.

“We are grateful for this partnership with NC DHHS and StarMed to expand no-cost COVID-19 testing in Chatham County. Testing is an important component of our response efforts, and this initiative complements other testing options in our community,” said Mike Zelek, Chatham County Interim Public Health Director. “I have participated in one of these testing events myself, and encourage residents, particularly those who have been exposed to the virus or have symptoms, to take advantage of these resources and get tested.”

In addition to testing, the Chatham County Public Health Department urges all to continue to consistently practice the 3 Ws: Wear a face covering, wait six feet apart from others and wash your hands often.

“Just last week, our state hit record highs in the number of new daily cases. This is very concerning, but we have the tools to keep ourselves healthy while doing the activities we enjoy: Practice the 3 Ws, get tested and stay home if you are ill or have been exposed to the virus, and get your flu shot,” added Zelek.

A full list of Chatham County’s testing sites, along with information on the types of COVID-19 tests, the role of contact tracing and more resources, can be found online at Learn more about Chatham County’s response to the coronavirus pandemic in English at, in Spanish at and

The COA Brings Birthday Cheer to Local Nonagenarians

  • October 12, 2020
The Chatham County Council on Aging took the show on the road to bring birthday celebrations to local seniors celebrating their 90th+ birthdays. These birthday parades offered a bright, cheerful surprise to seniors. Check out some highlights below!

(Special thanks to the Chatham Sheriff's Office for joining us for the festivities!)

SHIIP Pre-enrollment forms now available

  • October 7, 2020
The Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counsels Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers about Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and long-term care insurance. The counselors offer free and unbiased information regarding Medicare health care products. Open enrollment is October 15-December 7 every year. Call Tydelia Hunt, Chatham County’s SHIIP Volunteer Coordinator, for general information and appointments at 919-742-3975.

Open enrollment is October 15-December 7

Due to COVID 19, procedures have changed for Open Enrollment for 2020. If you need help comparing and/or changing your Part D Drug Plan, please see the Pre- Enrollment form linked below. You may complete the form on your own and fax it or drop it off at one of the two Senior Centers. You may also call one of the two Senior Centers and ask for SHIIP and a staff member to help you complete the form over the phone. Complete directions are on the top of the form. Once the form has been completed and received at the Senior Centers, a SHIIP volunteer counselor will call you and schedule your phone session. If you prefer an in person counseling session, the COA will help you connect with trained SHIIP counselors at Piedmont Health in Siler City or Moncure.

Insurance Commissioner Reminds Medicare Beneficiaries to Compare Plans During Open Enrollment

  • October 5, 2020

RALEIGH — Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey reminds Medicare beneficiaries to compare and evaluate their current plans and make necessary changes during the annual Open Enrollment Period. Medicare plans and prices change. It is important for Medicare beneficiaries to take advantage of the Open Enrollment Period by contacting local Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselors to save money, improve your coverage or both.

The Open Enrollment Period begins on Oct. 15, 2020 and runs for eight weeks to give you enough time to review and make changes to your Medicare coverage. Changes must be made by Dec. 7, 2020 to guarantee your coverage will begin without interruption on Jan. 1, 2021.

It’s important to contact your local SHIIP counselor before making a decision about coverage because you may be able to receive more affordable and better Medicare health and/or drug plan options in your area. For example, even if you are satisfied with your current Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, there may be another plan in your area that covers your health care and/or drugs at a better price.

SHIIP is a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance and offers free, unbiased information about Medicare, Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medicare Advantage, long-term care insurance and other health insurance issues. In addition to helping Medicare beneficiaries compare and enroll in plans during the Open Enrollment Period, SHIIP counselors can help people find out if they are eligible for Medicare cost savings programs.

Here are some of the ways to review and compare plans available for 2021:

• Get one-on-one help from your local SHIIP office by calling the Western or Eastern Chatham Senior Centers at 919-742-3975 or 919-542-4572.
• Get one-on-one help from SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, by calling 1-855-408-1212, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also request in-person assistance in your home county.
• Visit to compare your current coverage with all of the options that are available in your area, and enroll in a new plan if you decide to make a change.
• Review the Medicare & You handbook. It was mailed to people with Medicare in September.
• Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

For more information about SHIIP and the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, call 1-855-408-1212 or visit

COA Survey for Chatham Residents age 50+

  • August 11, 2020

Dear Council on Aging Friends,  

The Chatham Council on Aging is conducting a survey to inform our programming and outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.  We currently provide programming available online and over the phone.  We want to hear your thoughts about our programming, what else you would like to see, what technology you have to access the programming, and how else you would like to stay connected.    

This survey is open to those age 50+ in Chatham.  Most of our programming serves people age 60+, but some programming serves those over 50 and we want this survey to be as inclusive as possible.    

Please share this survey link broadly!  Even if you have not yet participated in Council on Aging/Senior Center programming, please complete the survey so we know what seniors in Chatham want.   

You can take the survey online here    It should take 10-15 minutes.  

If you have questions or need assistance with this survey, please contact: Liz Lahti at (919) 542-4512 x 228 or [email protected] 

Please take the survey by August 20th.  If you complete the survey and share your contact information, we will have a drawing and you might be the lucky one to receive 1 of 2 gift cards provided by a donor (each worth $25.)  

Enter your text here...

It has never been easier to prepare a Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will.

  • July 28, 2020

It has never been easier to prepare a Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will. Through Friday, July 31st, documents may be prepared with a Notary Public without witnesses. Emergency laws make that possible, but time is short. 

Under ordinary circumstances, we recommend that adults--especially those at greater risk--share values and preferences, what they want and don't and whom they designate to speak for them if they cannot. Present circumstances are far from ordinary.

Seeking Your Help for a Study about Discharge from the Emergency Room

  • May 6, 2020

A nursing research student, Karen Valcheff, from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro is interested in your discharge experience from the emergency room.

You can be in this study if you are:
 65 years of age or older
 Have been discharged from the emergency room within the past one to four weeks to home, a skilled nursing facility or an assisted living placement.

Being in the study involves a 30-45-minute telephone interview. Mrs. Valcheff would like to talk to you about your experience with your discharge plan. Participation is voluntary and strictly confidential.

To learn more about the study, please call her at (814) 619 6085 or email her at [email protected]. If you choose to participate you will receive a $25 gift card.