What are Area Agencies on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) is a network of approximately 622 non-profit organizations nationwide. They serve the elderly population (60+) of their local areas.  Most agencies serve a specific geographic area of several neighboring counties. Although a few offer services statewide.  This is especially true in smaller or less densely populated states. All the AAAs receive federal funding under the Older American Act. And most supplement that funding with additional state and local revenues.  

Agencies may use the phrase “Area Agency on Aging” in their name, such as the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Arkansas. Or they may simply call themselves the County Office on Aging.

What AAAs Do

Each Area Agency on Aging provides a different suite of services although there are basic services that are provided by nearly all AAAs.  These include:

  • Nutrition – counseling, home delivered meals, and congregate (group) meals
  • Caregiver Support – respite care and caregiver training / education
  • Care Management – in-home care assessments and care plan development
  • Information & Referral – information about home and community based assistance programs, such as Medicaid, and referrals to administrators
  • Long Term Care Ombudsmen – information about long term care facilities and investigation of complaints
  • Insurance Counseling – assists seniors in understanding and maximizing the benefits of their insurance, especially Medicare
  • Transportation – assistance understanding and coordinating shared, non-medical transportation services

A lesser, but still significant, percentage of AAAs also provide families with help completing applications for assistance programs, such as Medicaid, respite care, and certain veterans’ programs.  Finally, case management is a much valued option, though offered more selectively than other types of help. 

What AAAs Don’t Do

When planning for long term care, it is equally important to know the services with which the AAAs cannot or do not help families.  

  • Hands-On Care – Except in very rare instances, AAAs do not provide hands-on care themselves.  However, some may sub-contract hands on services to local providers.  
  • Medicaid Planning – Medicaid has very restrictive financial eligibility requirements. AAAs can help explain the requirements. But they will not and cannot offer any assistance in helping families comply with or meet those requirements.
  • Veterans Benefits Planning – Similar to Medicaid, many VA programs have restrictive financial eligibility rules. AAAs cannot advise families on how to structure income and assets to meet those requirements.

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Alternative Assistance Options

Public Alternatives

Aging and Disability Resource Centers – ADRCs serve as a single point of entry for families to learn about the long term care support services available to them through federal, state, and other programs. The ADRCs provide free and objective counseling services. While very helpful, the ADRC system is still being developed and is not available nationwide.  In addition, in many cases, the ADRC Agency is same agency as the Area Agency on Aging.  However in some states these are separate entities.  

Private Assistance

Medicaid Planners – Medicaid planners offer families assistance with the complicated Medicaid application process.  More importantly, they help families structure their finances to meet Medicaid’s financial requirements.  Read more.

Veterans Benefits Planners – VA benefit planners help families to understand the different, and sometimes conflicting, benefits which they may be due. They also help to calculate and re-structure income and assets to meet program requirements. Read more.

Select Your State & County to Find Your Local Area Agency on Aging

Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
320 W. Willoughby AvenueSuite 300Juneau AK 99801
Phone: (907) 463-7168
Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association
1131 E. International Airport Road Anchorage AK 99518
Phone: (907) 276-2700
Alaska Federal Health Care Partnership
1919 S Bragaw Street Anchorage AK 99508
Phone: 907-729-4480
1840 S. Bragaq Srett Anchorage AK 99508
Phone: (907) 562-4155
Kuskokwim Native Association
PO Box 127 Aniak AK 99557
101 Dunkel Street, Ste #135 Fairbanks AK 99701
Phone: (907) 456-5827
Tanana Chiefs Conference
201 First Avenue, Suite 200 Fairbanks AK 99701
Phone: 907/452-8251 ext. 3443
Hoonah Indian Association
419 Sixth Street Juneau AK 99801
Phone: (907) 463-6154
Ketchikan Indian Community
1016 Water Street Ketchikan AK 99901
Phone: (804) 225-6578
Klawock Cooperative Association
419 6th Street Juneau AK 99801
Phone: (907) 463-6192
Organized Village of Kake
419 Sixth Street Juneau AK 99801
Phone: 907-463-6154
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
150 Third Street 103, P.O. Box 110693, Juneau
Phone: (907) 465-4879
Native Villiage of Savoonga
PO Box 120 Savoonga AK 99769
Phone: (907) 984-6440
Native Village of Gambell
Gambell Elder Nutrition Program P.O. Box 90 Gambell AK 99742
Phone: 907-985-5346
Native Village of Unalakleet
P.O. Box 8 Unalakleet AK 99684
Phone: (907) 624-3622
P.O.Box 109 Point Hope AK 99766
Phone: (907) 368-2342
Native Village of Point Hope
PO Box 109 Point Hope AK 99766
Phone: (907) 368-2342
Native Village of Barrow
P.O. Box 1130 Barrow AK 99723
Phone: 907-852-4411
Maniilaq Assocation
PO Box 1073 Kotzebue AK 99752
Phone: (907) 442-7917
Sitka Tribe of Alaska
419 6th Street Juneau AK 99801
Phone: (907) 463-6192
Asa'carsarmuit Tribe
P.O. Box 32249 Mt. Village AK AK 99632
Phone: 907-591-2814
Yakutat Tlingit Tribe
419 6th Street Juneau AK 99801
Phone: (907) 463-6192

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