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

Allegany County Area Agency on Aging
125 Virginia Avenue Cumberland MD 21502
Phone: (301) 777-5970
Baltimore City Health Department Office of Aging and CARE Services
417 E. Fayette street, 6th floor Baltimore MD 21202
Phone: (410) 396-4932
Anne Arundel County Department of Aging & Disabilities
Heritage Complex 2666 Riva Road Annapolis MD 21401
Phone: 410-222-4464
Baltimore County Department of Aging
611 Central Avenue Towson MD 21204
Phone: (410) 887-2594
Calvert County Office on Aging
450 West Dares Beach Road Prince Frederick MD 20678
Phone: (410) 535-4606
Upper Shore Aging, Inc.
100 Schauber Road Chestertown MD 21620
Phone: (410) 778-6000
Carroll County Bureau of Aging and Disabilities
125 Stoner Avenue Westminster MD 21157
Phone: (410) 386-3800
Senior Services and Community Transit
200 Chesapeake Blvd.Suite 2550Elkton MD 21921
Phone: (410) 996-8435
Charles County Department of Community Services
8190 Port Tobacco Road Port Tobacco MD 20677
Phone: 301-934-0109
Maintaining Active Citizen
909 Progress Circle Suite 100 Salisbury MD 21804
Phone: (410) 742-0505
Frederick County Department of Aging
1440 Taney Avenue Frederick MD 21702
Phone: (301) 600-1605
Garrett County Community Action - AAA
104 East Center Street Oakland MD 21550
Phone: (301) 334-9431
Harford County Office on Aging
145 North Hickory AvenueBel Air MD 21014
Phone: (410) 638-3025
Howard County Office on Aging
6751 Columbia Gateway Drive Suite 200 Columbia MD 21046
Phone: (410) 313-5980
Montgomery County Area Agency on Aging
401 Hungerford Drive 4th Floor Rockville MD 20850
Phone: (240) 777-3000
Prince George's County Department of Family Services
6420 Allentown RoadCamp Springs MD 20748
Phone: (301) 265-8450
Queen Anne's County Department of Aging
104 Powell Street Centreville MD 21617
Phone: (410) 758-0848
St. Mary's County Department of Aging
41780 Baldridge StreetP.O. Box 653Leonardtown MD 20650
Phone: (301) 475-4200 ext:1050
Washington County Commission on Aging (Maryland Access Point)
140 W. Franklin Street4th floorHagerstown MD 21740
Phone: (301) 790-0275

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