By Clare Absher RN BSN Last Updated 1/31/2019
Area Agencies on Aging (AAA’s) are “on the ground” organizations. They help seniors and their families attain assistance, based in their local communities, that enable them to live more independently and with dignity. AAA’s primary undertaking is to help older adults age in place. They coordinate multiple services to honor the preference of seniors who want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. Although AAA’s do not provide the actual care, their expertise ensures that seniors and their families are referred to reputable and competent agencies. AAA’s recommend services such as Meals on Wheels, homemaker assistance, and health insurance counseling (to name a few).
Area Agencies on Aging are a nationwide network of over 600 non-profit organizations that serve older adults age 60+ (some locations serve age 55+ and some also serve younger adults with disabilities). AAA’s receive federal funding under the Older Americans Act of 1965 and are also supplemented by state and local revenues. “Area Agency on Aging” is a generic term; some AAA’s use the term while others elect to go by other names.
Area Agencies on Aging are not “one size fits all”. Each AAA focuses on getting to know the unique needs and offerings of their local community. They furnish a wide range of options that address seniors in a specific area and at the same time adapt services to accommodate family caregivers too.
AAA’s acknowledge that the far-reaching services rendered by unpaid caregivers make it possible for seniors to age in place. Support for overwhelmed caregivers (who make up 30% of the general population) is in demand due to the heavy emotional, physical, and financial toll caregivers endure. AAA’s provide respite, caregiver education, and training along with emergency caregiver assistance.