Councillor Kate Stephen is Highlands Council's champion for older people and adults with support needs.
She told a lively and interesting meeting in sunny Inverness that it is "important to focus on making sure every pound is spent in the best way possible."
"There are lots of challenges in this area - recruitment of staff is a huge issue as is the quality of care, which is a universal issue," she said.
"In the Highlands we have small scattered communities in a huge geographical area with an ageing population and all the costs associated with that ... especially to do with transport."
Kate praised the work of SOPA and the Highland Senior Citizens Network as important ways of older people getting their voice heard.
"It's my aim to make sure older people participate in every part of society, from community councils, to councils, to the parliaments. There is still a long way to go but events like this meeting and the Assembly take us further on that journey."