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

Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Inc.
1414 MacArthur Rd Suite A Madison WI 53714
Phone: (608) 243-5670
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa - Red Cliff Elderly Program
88385 Pike Road, Highway 13 Bayfield WI 54814
Phone: (715) 779-3720
Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin
2907 S. Overland Road P.O. Box 365 Oneida WI 54155
Phone: 920-869-2448
St. Croix Tribal Aging Unit
24663 Angeline Avenue Webster WI 54893
Phone: (800) 236-2195
Area Agency on Aging of Dane County
2865 N Sherman Ave Madison WI 53704
Phone: (608) 261-9930
Forest County Potawatomi Community
5456 Kak Yot Lane P.O. Box 340 Crandon WI 54520
Phone: 715-478-7214
Ho-Chunk Nation Committee
W8825 Decorah Road P.O. Box 430 Black River Falls WI 54615
Phone: 715-284-0811
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
P.O. Box 910 N 2222 White Cedar Road Keshena WI 54135
Phone: 715/799-5271
Milwaukee County Department on Aging
1220 West Vliet Street Suite 302 Milwaukee WI 53205
Phone: (414) 289-5950
Lac Courte Oreilles
13394 W. Trepania Road, Bldg. 1 Hayward WI 54843
Phone: 715/634-8934
Stockbridge-Munsee Community-Elderly Services (Mohican)
N8651 Maplewood St. Bowler WI 54416
Phone: (715) 793-4236
Stockbridge-Munsee Community
P.O. Box 70 N 8651 Maplewood Street Bowler WI 54416
Phone: 715-793-4236
Superior Chippewa Elderly Nutrition & Support Serv
P.O. Box 67 Lac du Flambeau WI 54538
Phone: 715-588-4388

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