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

Heart of Georgia Altamaha RC Area Agency on Aging
331 West Parker Street Baxley GA 31513
Phone: (912) 367-3648
Southern Georgia Area Agency on Aging
1725 South Georgia Parkway, WestWaycross GA 31503
Phone: 912-287-5888
SOWEGA Council on Aging
1105 Palmyra Road Albany GA 31701
Phone: (229) 432-0994
Middle Georgia Area Agency on Aging
175 Emery Highway Suite C Macon GA 31217
Phone: (478) 751-6160
Legacy Link
508 Oak Street Suite 1 PO Box 2534 Gainesville GA 30501
Phone: (770) 538-2650
Northeast Georgia Area Agency on Aging
305 Research Drive Athens GA 30605
Phone: (706) 369-5650
NW GA Regional Commission Area Agency on Aging
1 Jackson Hill Drive P.O. Box 1798 Rome GA 30162
Phone: (706) 295-6485
Coastal Regional Commission Area Agency on Aging
1181 Coastal Drive SW Darien GA 31305
Phone: (912) 437-0800
CSRA Area Agency on Aging
3023 Riverwatch Parkway Suite A, Bldg 200 Augusta GA 30907
Phone: (706) 210-2018
Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging
13273 GA Highway 34 P.O. Box 1600 Franklin GA 30217
Phone: (866) 854-5652
River Valley Area Agency on Aging (formerly Lower Chatahoochee)
1428 Second Avenue Columbus GA 31902
Phone: (706) 256-2910
Atlanta Regional Commission
40 Courtland Street NE Atlanta GA 30303
Phone: (404) 463-3333

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