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

Southwest Mississippi Area Agency on Aging
100 South Wall Street Natchez MS 39120
Phone: (601) 446-6044
Northeast Mississippi Area Agency on Aging
619 East Parker Drive PO Box 600 Booneville MS 38829
Phone: (662) 728-7038
North Central Area Agency on Aging
28 Industrial Park Blvd. Winona MS 38967
Phone: (662) 283-2771
Area Agency on Aging of South Delta
124 South Broadway PO Box 1776 Greenville MS 38702
Phone: (662) 378-3831
Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging
75 South Main Street PO Box 690 Pontotoc MS 38863
Phone: (662) 489-2415
Golden Triangle Planning and Development District/Area Agency on Aging
106 Miley Road PO Box 828 Starkville MS 39760
Phone: (662) 324-7860
ECPDD/Area Agency on Aging
280 Commercial Drive P.O.Box 499 Newton MS 39345
Phone: (601) 683-2007
North Delta Planning & Development District, Inc./Area Agency on Aging
220 Power Drive Batesville MS 38606
Phone: (662) 561-4100
Central Mississippi Area Agency on Aging
P.O. Box 4935 1170 Lakeland Dr. Jackson MS 39296
Phone: 601-981-1516
Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District
9229 Highway 49 Gulfport MS 39503
Phone: (228) 868-2311
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
103 N Ridge Industrial Road Choctaw MS 39350
Phone: 601-663-7580

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