About the Office on Aging

The CAC Office on Aging is a public nonprofit agency. It has the major responsibility in Knoxville and Knox County of planning for services for senior citizens; assessing needs of older citizens and developing resources to meet those needs; coordinating services for the elderly to minimize duplication and avoid overlap–whether provided by public, nonprofit, or for-profit organizations; providing information about services and programs to older citizens and their families and connecting them to those services; and advocating on behalf of older citizens.

We are charged with serving all seniors, regardless of life situation, but are mandated to concentrate on those for whom aging often presents the greatest hardship: women and minorities and all who are in frail health or poor.

History of CAC and Office on Aging

The Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) is a public not-for-profit agency with the general mission of helping individuals and families break the cycle of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency. Created in 1965 by the Knox County and Knoxville City governments, CAC is governed by a board of up to 33 citizens representing government, the community at large, and the people served by the organization and its programs.

Annual funding, totaling more than $29 million, comes from federal, state, and local governments, as well as private foundations, businesses, churches, individual donors and contributions from individuals receiving services.

Operating within CAC, the Office on Aging has the mission of assisting Knox County’s older residents to achieve the highest possible level of independence, maintaining a high quality of life, and avoiding unnecessary institutionalization. It has served older citizens of Knox County since 1975 through more than 20 programs. The Council on Aging is the advisory body to the Office on Aging. Hilton Bolton was the first Office on Aging director. In 1977, Barbara Monty became the second director of the office. When she retired in May of 2013, Susan Long became the director of the Office on Aging. When Ms. Long retired in 2019, Dottie Lyvers became the fourth director of the Office on Aging.

Note: client confidentiality

Being respectful of our clients and preserving their dignity while providing them with the services they need to remain independent in their own homes is of the utmost concern to the staff of the CAC Office on Aging. For that reason, the names used in the stories on the following pages have been changed or abbreviated to protect our clients’ identities. All of the stories in this report reflect the real-life situations that our staff members encounter daily; any alterations to those stories are only to make identification of a specific individual impossible. Likewise, any photos that accompany the stories are not necessarily associated with the people in the stories.


What is the Office on Aging? We are a group of dedicated people–people who serve other people. We are a staff of 55 men and women; a collection of about 25 programs. Because we are part of the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) we benefit from its well-deserved reputation for cost effective and efficient service as well as for compassionate and caring staff.

That tells you part of what we are. It tells you less about what we do. And it tells you almost nothing about how and why we do what we do. Read more