Area Agencies on Aging (Triple A’s/AAAs) are community-based organizations that provide a broad range of assisted living and other services that allow older adults choices. AAAs are making a difference in the lives of seniors – from the frail who can remain at home with the right services to the healthy who need activities and socialization facilitated by senior centers or other community-based programs. Out of the 650 AAAs in the United States, one-third of them are regional councils serving communities and regions. These regional organizations operate centers or administer programs that assure a quality of life for seniors, such as, transportation services, health care, and peer activities.
Aging Policy Brief
- The Older Americans Act (OAA) has been critical for regional councils since its inception in 1965. It has evolved to meet the changing needs of aging America, and last expired in 2011. The OAA aims to keep seniors nationwide healthy and independent using cost effective strategies. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed a bipartisan reauthorization measure (S 1562) in October 2013. There is little effort to reauthorize OAA underway in the House. More information on Older Americans Act reauthorization efforts is available HERE.
NARC Member Case Studies
- Planning for an Aging Community – Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), Denver, CO: DRCOG’s AAA regularly conducts a strength and needs assessment of older adults. The assessment identified the strengths and articulates the needs of older adults; develops estimates of and projections for the cost of meeting the needs of older adults; and provides useful, timely and important qualitative and quantitative information for planning, resource development and advocacy efforts.
- Community Engagement in Aging Services – Green River Area Development District (GRADD), Owensboro, KY:GRADD has been awarded $453,250 in federal grant money to fund 35 AmeriCorps program member slots in Daviess, Hancock, McLean, Ohio, Union and Webster counties. GRADD was notified in early July by the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) that their Senior Connections program will receive a grant for 25 volunteers and their new Disaster Services program will receive a grant for 10 volunteers. Since 1997, GRADD’s Senior Connections program has partnered with local agencies to provide services and counseling to low-income, at-risk senior citizens to improve their quality of life and help them remain independent.
- Supporting Caregivers – Isothermal Planning & Development Commission (IPDC), Rutherfordton, NC:IPDC’s Family Caregiver Support Program provides relief, and/or, support to those taking care of elderly family members in need. In Cleveland County, “Care Solutions” administers vouchers to families seeking respite. These vouchers can be used for two types of services: Adult Day Care and in-home aid services. In addition, the Cooperative Extension office offers a class called “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” which provides the caregiver with tools to take care of him/herself.
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Administration on Aging (AOA): AoA works to ensure that older Americans can stay independent in their communities, mostly by awarding grants to States, Native American tribal organizations, and local communities to support programs authorized by Congress in the Older Americans Act. AoA also awards discretionary grants to research organizations working on projects that support those goals.
National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Aging (NIA): The NIA leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. It provides leadership in aging research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs relevant to aging and older people.
Federal and Other Resources for Senior Adults
- Web Portal: Find government resources for seniors on money, housing, health, consumer protection, and more
Select Information on Aging-Specific Federal Agency Programs
- Cooperation for National and Community Service (CNCS): CNCS helps more than 5 million Americans improve the lives of their fellow citizens through service. Serving more than 70,000 locations across the country, they deliver results-driven service where its needed most. CNCS multiply the impact of their investment by generating hundreds of millions of non-federal dollars, mobilizing millions of additional volunteers, and operating with a high degree of accountability and efficiency.
- Social Security Administration (SSA): SSA administers the retirement, survivors and disabled social insurance programs, which can provide monthly benefits to aged or disabled workers, their spouses and children, and to the survivors of insured workers.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): HUD provides housing options for senior citizens and aging relatives or friends. They provide financial assistance resources and guides for making the right choice for the kind of assistance or living arrangement needed.
Non-Profit Organizations and Resources
- Alliance for Aging Research: The leading non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health.
- American Association of Retired Persons (AARP): AARP addresses issues affecting older Americans through a multitude of initiatives. With a membership of more than 37 million, AARP helps strengthen communities and works on issues such as healthcare, employment security and retirement planning. They advocate for consumers in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name.
- American Society on Aging: An association of diverse individuals bound by the common goal to support the commitment and enhance the knowledge and skills of those who seek to improve the quality of life of older adults and their families. The membership of ASA is multidisciplinary and inclusive of professionals who are concerned with the physical emotional, social, economic and spiritual aspects of aging.
- National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a): n4a builds the capacity of its members to help older persons and persons with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities as long as possible. It is the leading voice on aging issues for Area Agencies on Aging and a champion for Title VI Native American aging programs. Through advocacy, training and technical assistance, they support the national network of AAAs and Title VI programs.
- National Council on Aging (NCOA): NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently, and remain active in their communities. They bring together nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions to achieve these goals.
- The Gerontological Society of America (GSA): GSA is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. GSA’s principal mission is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decisions makers, and the general public.
- Senior Service America (SSAI): SSAI is committed to making it possible for low-income and other disadvantaged older adults to participate fully in determining their own future and the future of their communities. For over 40 years, they have operated the federal Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), their largest program, through a network of local subgrantee organizations.