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

Region 9 Area Agency on Aging
2375 Gordon Road Alpena MI 49707
Phone: (989) 356-3474
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians - Elders Dept.
7500 Odawa Circle Harbor Springs MI 49740
Phone: (231) 242-1422
Upper Peninsula Area Agency on Aging
2501 14th Avenue South PO Box 606 Escanaba MI 49829
Phone: (906) 786-4701
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewas - Elder Services Program
2076 Shunk Rd Sault Ste. Marie MI 49783
Phone: (906) 635-4971
Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan Inc.
3215 Eagle Crest Drive North East Grand Rapids MI 49525
Phone: (616) 456-5664
Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan
P.O. Box 5946 1609 Park Drive Traverse City MI 49686
Phone: (231) 947-8920
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
Rte 1, Box 7 Baraga MI 49908
Phone: (906)-353-7691
Region 3B Area Agency on Aging
200 West Michigan Avenue Suite 102 Battle Creek MI 49017
Phone: (269) 966-2450
Region VII Area Agency on Aging
1615 SOUTH EUCLID AVENUE Bay City MI 48706
Phone: (989) 893-4506
Region IV Area Agency on Aging
2900 Lakeview Avenue Saint Joseph MI 49085
Phone: (269) 983-0177
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians - Senior Center
PO Box 180 Dowagiac MI 49047
Phone: (269) 782-0765
Branch/St. Joseph Area Agency on Aging Region 3C
570 Marshall Road Coldwater MI 49036
Phone: (517) 278-2538
Bay Mills Indian Community
12140 West lakeshore Drive Brimley MI 49715
Phone: (906) 248-3354
Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan
2956 Ashmun Street suite A Sault Ste. Marie MI 49783
Phone: (906) 632-6896
Tri-County Office on Aging
5303 South Cedar Street Suite 1 Lansing MI 48911
Phone: (517) 887-1440
Valley Area Agency on Aging
225 East Fifth St. Suite 200 Flint MI 48502
Phone: (810) 239-7671
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians
845 Business Park Drive Traverse City MI 49686
Phone: 231-534-7762
Region 2 Area Agency on Aging
102 N. Main Street PO Box 189 Brooklyn MI 49230
Phone: (517) 592-1974
Region IIIA Area Agency on Aging
3299 Gull Road Kalamazoo MI 49048
Phone: (269) 373-5147
Area Agency on Aging 1-B
29100 Northwestern Highway Suite 400 Southfield MI 48034
Phone: (800) 852-7795
Senior Resources of West Michigan, an Area Agency on Aging
560 Seminole RoadMuskegon MI 49444
Phone: (231) 739-5858
Detroit Area Agency on Aging
1333 Brewery Park Boulevard Suite 200 Detroit MI 48207
Phone: (313) 446-4444
The Senior Alliance - Area Agency on Aging 1-C
3850 Second Street Suite 100 Wayne MI 48184
Phone: (734) 722-2830

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