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

Northeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging
815 North Osteopathy Street Kirksville MO 63501
Phone: (660) 665-4682
Northwest Missouri Area Agency on Aging
504 East Highway 136 P.O. Box 265 Albany MO 64402
Phone: (660) 726-3800
Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging
1121 Business Loop 70 East Suite 2A Columbia MO 65201
Phone: (573) 443-5823
Southwest Missouri Office on Aging
1735 South Fort Avenue Springfield MO 65807
Phone: (417) 862-0762
Area Agency on Aging-Region X
531 East 15th Street P.O. Box 3990 (Zip 64803) Joplin MO 64804
Phone: (417) 781-7562
Care Connection for Aging Services
106 West Young Street PO Box 1078 Warrensburg MO 64093
Phone: (660) 747-3107
Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging
1219 North Kingshighway Suite 100 Cape Girardeau MO 63701
Phone: (573) 335-3331
Mid-America Regional Council
600 Broadway Suite 200 Kansas City MO 64105
Phone: (816) 474-4240
Mid-East Area Agency on Aging
14535 Manchester RoadManchester MO 63011
Phone: (636) 207-0847
Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
PO Box 350 Seneca MO 64865
Phone: (918) 666-2435

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