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

Elder Services of Cape Cod and the Islands
68 Route 134 South Dennis MA 02660
Phone: (508) 394-4630
Elder Services of Berkshire County
877 South Street Suite 4E Pittsfield MA 01201
Phone: (413) 499-0524
Coastline Elderly Services, Inc.
1646 Purchase Street New Bedford MA 02740
Phone: (508) 999-6400
Bristol Elder Services, Inc
1 Father DeValles Blvd Unit 8 Fall River MA 02723
Phone: (508) 675-2101
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)
20 Black Brook Road Aquinnah MA 02535
Phone: 508-645-9265
SeniorCare, Inc.
49 Blackburn Center Gloucester MA 01930
Phone: (978) 281-1750
Greater Lynn Senior Services
8 Silsbee Street Lynn MA 01901
Phone: (781) 599-0110
Elder Services of Merrimack Valley
280 Merrimack Street Suite 400 (ESMV) Lawrence MA 01843
Phone: (978) 683-7747
North Shore Elder Services, Inc.
152 Sylvan StreetDanvers MA 01923
Phone: 978-750-4540
Franklin County Home Care Corporation
330 Montague City Rd., Suite 1 Turners Falls MA 01376
Phone: 413-773-5555
Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc.
66 Industry Avenue Springfield MA 01104
Phone: (413) 781-8800
Highland Valley Elder Services
320 Riverside Drive, Suite B Florence MA 01062
Phone: (413) 586-2000
WestMass ElderCare
4 Valley Mill Rd Holyoke MA 01040
Phone: 413-538-9020
Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging
360 West Boylston Street West Boylston MA 01583
Phone: (508) 852-5539
Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services
61 Medford Street Somerville MA 02143
Phone: (617) 628-2601
Minuteman Senior Services
26 Crosby Drive Bedford MA 01730
Phone: (781) 272-7177
Springwell, Inc.
307 Waverley Oaks Road Suite 205 Waltham MA 02452
Phone: (617) 926-4100
Baypath Elder Services
33 Boston Post Road West Marlborough MA 01752
Phone: 508-573-7200
Mystic Valley Elder Services, Inc.
300 Commercial Street, Suite 19 Malden MA 02148
Phone: 781-324-7705
HESSCO- Health & Social Services Consortium, Inc.
1 Merchant Street Sharon MA 02067
Phone: (781) 784-4944
South Shore Elder Services Inc.
1515 Washington St. Braintree MA 02184
Phone: (781) 848-3910
Old Colony Planning Council Area Agency on Aging
70 School Street Brockton MA 02301
Phone: (508) 583-1833
Chelsea Revere Winthrop Elder Services
100 Everett Avenue Unit 10, P.O. Box 6427 Chelsea MA 02150
Phone: (617) 884-2500
Boston Commission on Affairs of the Elderly
1 City Hall Square Room 271 Boston MA 02201
Phone: (617) 635-4366

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