Providing Innovative Services for Seniors

In North Carolina and South Carolina, the number of people aged 65 and older is growing rapidly, and experts predict the upward trend will continue. The dramatic increase will present new challenges, but also create new opportunities. To address the needs of an aging population, The Duke Endowment has awarded grants to provide innovative services for seniors in the Carolinas.


According to the Administration on Aging, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the older population numbered 39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available), representing nearly 13 percent of the U.S. population. By 2030, that population will grow to 72.1 million – more than twice their number in 2000.

The U.S. Census projects a steady growth for the number of seniors in North Carolina and South Carolina. There were nearly 1 million seniors in North Carolina in 2000; by 2030, that number is expected to reach 2.1 million. In South Carolina, the number of seniors totaled more than 485,000 in 2000; by 2030, the population may increase beyond 1.1 million.


Over the years, The Duke Endowment has awarded grants to organizations in the Carolinas that are looking for innovative ways to help older adults remain healthy to manage as independently as possible.

Grants from the Endowment’s Health Care and Rural Church program areas include:

  • $990,470 to Greenville Hospital System to develop a memory disorders program.
  • $300,000 to Randolph Hospital in Asheboro, N.C., $250,000 to CarePartners in Asheville, N.C., $300,000 to Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, N.C., $300,000 to CaroMont Health in Gastonia, N.C., $300,000 to Methodist Oaks in Orangeburg, S.C., and $300,528 to Alamance Regional Medical Center in Burlington, N.C., to implement PACE, a nationally-recognized program of all-inclusive care for the elderly.
  • $266,500 to MemoryCare in Asheville, N.C., to improve caregiver education and training for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • $187,355 to Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir, N.C., to help establish a memory care center for the early identification of at-risk patients and those with memory impairment.
  • $996,900 to the Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, N.C., to develop and implement a care management program for seniors.
  • $596,820 to Duke University Health System in Durham, N.C., to increase the number of geriatric nursing faculty.
  • $98,000 to Mills River United Methodist Church in Mills River, N.C., to provide exercise, recreation, health information and screenings, as well as lunchtime meals, to senior citizens.
  • $225,000 to the Waynesville District, Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, to help build affordable housing for the elderly, with consideration for retired United Methodist clergy.
  • $356,331 to Medical University of South Carolina to expand geriatric education in the medical school curriculum in concert with the University of South Carolina.


Area of Work

  • Quality and safety of health care

  • Congregational outreach

Program Area

  • Health Care
  • Rural Church

Grantmaking Status

Areas of Work

  • Prevention and early intervention for at-risk children

    To equip children and families with skills to ensure that children reach developmental milestones to lead successful lives.

  • Out-of-home care for youth

    To drive child welfare systems toward greater accountability for child well-being.

  • Quality and safety of health care

    Improving the quality and safety of health care delivery

  • Access to health care

    Improving health by increasing access to comprehensive care

  • Prevention

    Expanding programs to promote health and prevent disease

  • Academic excellence

    Enhancing academic excellence through program and campus development

  • Educational access and success

    Increasing educational access and supporting a learning environment that promotes achievement

  • Campus and community engagement

    Promoting a culture of service, collaboration and engagement among schools and communities

  • Rural church development

    Building the infrastructure and capacity of United Methodist churches to enhance ministry and mission

  • Clergy leadership

    Strengthening United Methodist churches by improving the quality and effectiveness of church leadership

  • Congregational outreach

    Engaging United Methodist congregations in programs that serve their communities