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

West Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging
639 York Street Quincy IL 62301
Phone: (217) 223-7904
Egyptian Area Agency on Aging
200 East Plaza Drive Carterville IL 62918
Phone: (618) 985-8311
Area Agency on Aging of Southwestern Illinois
2365 Country Road Belleville IL 62221
Phone: (618) 222-2561
Northwestern Illinois AAA, Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC)
1111 South Alpine Road, Suite 600 Rockford IL 61108
Phone: (815) 226-4901
Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging
729 34th Avenue Rock Island IL 61201
Phone: (309) 793-6800
Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland
3100 Montvale Drive Springfield IL 62704
Phone: (217) 787-9234
East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging
1003 Maple Hill RoadBloomington IL 61705
Phone: (309) 829-2065
Midland Area Agency on Aging
434 South Poplar PO Box 1420 Centralia IL 62801
Phone: (618) 532-1853
Chicago Department of Family & Support Services
1615 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago IL 60622
Phone: (312) 743-0300
1048 Lake Street Suite 300 Oak Park IL 60301
Phone: (708) 383-0258
Southeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging
516 North Market Street Mount Carmel IL 62863
Phone: (618) 262-2306
Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging
P.O. Box 809 Kankakee IL 60901
Phone: (815) 939-0727
Central Illinois Agency on Aging
700 Hamilton Boulevard Peoria IL 61603
Phone: (309) 674-2071

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