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

Piedmont Triad Regional Council
1398 Carrollton Crossing Drive Kernersville NC 27284
Phone: (336) 904-0300
WPCOG Area Agency on Aging
734 4th Street SW PO Box 9026 Hickory NC 28602
Phone: (828) 322-9191
High Country Area Agency on Aging
468 New Market BlvdBoone NC 28607
Phone: (828) 265-5434
Centralina Area Agency on Aging
525 N Tryon Street, 11th Floor Charlotte NC 28202
Phone: 800-508-5777
Mid-East Commission Area Agency on Aging
1385 John Small Avenue Washington NC 27889
Phone: (252) 946-8043
Lumber River Area Agency on Aging
30 CJ Walker Road Pembroke NC 28372
Phone: (910) 618-5533
Cape Fear Council of Governments
1480 Harbour Drive Wilmington NC 28401
Phone: (910) 395-4553
Land of Sky CRC
339 New Leicester Hwy, Suite 140 Asheville NC 28806
Phone: (828) 251-6622
Albemarle Commission Area Agency on Aging
512 South Church Street PO Box 646 Hertford NC 27944
Phone: (252) 426-5753
Eastern Carolina Council Area Agency on Aging
233 Middle Street, Suite 300 P.O. Box 1717 New Bern NC 28560
Phone: (252) 638-3185
Triangle J Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging
4307 Emperor Blvd Suite 110 Durham NC 27703
Phone: (919) 558-9398
Southwestern Commission Area Agency on Aging
125 Bonnie Lane Sylva NC 28779
Phone: (828) 586-1962
Isothermal Planning & Development Commission
111 West Court Street Rutherfordton NC 28139
Phone: (828) 287-2281
Mid-Carolina Area Agency on Aging
130 Gillespie Street P.O. Drawer 1510 Fayetteville NC 28302
Phone: (910) 323-4191
Upper Coastal Plain Area Agency on Aging
121 West Nash Street PO Box 9 Wilson NC 27893
Phone: (252) 234-5959
Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments
1724 Graham Avenue P.O. Box 709 Henderson NC 27536
Phone: (252) 436-2040
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians - Elderly Nutrition Program
PO Box 455 Cherokee NC 28719
Phone: (828) 497-2771

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