What is an Area Agency on Aging and what do they do? Where can I locate the nearest Senior Center?

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Senior Community Centers are community based sites that share a variety of services and opportunities with seniors/elderly who are over 60 years of age. The centers are the perfect place for seniors to meet, greet, exercise the brain and body and dine with others in a safe environment.

Each AAA is required to provide the following categories of service:

  • Legal Services
  • Nutrition–both congregate and home-delivered
  • In-Home Services–which might include homemaker, chore, personal care, or respite
  • Disease Prevention/Health Promotion
  • Access–which includes transportation, information and assistance, advocacy, outreach, and case management at some AAAs

All AAAs also administer the following programs, although it is not required:

  • Ombudsman/Elder Rights
  • Tax Counseling

Each AAA may provide any combination of the following services, according to the identified needs within their service area:

  • Friendly Visiting
  • Housing Assistance
  • Gatekeeper
  • Health Education
  • Minor Home Repair
  • Letter Writing
  • Recreation


The following are definitions for 15 standardized services which are provided by each AAA:

  1. Personal Care – Provision of personal assistance, standby assistance, supervision or cues for persons having difficulty with one or more ADLs, such as eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, and transferring in and out of bed.
  2. Homemaker – Provision of assistance to persons having difficulty with one or more IADLs, such as meal preparation, shopping, light housework, money management, or using the telephone.
  3. Chore – Provision of assistance to persons having difficulty with one or more IADLs, such as heavy housework, yard work, or sidewalk maintenance.
  4. Home Delivered Meals – Provision to an eligible client, or other eligible participant at the client’s residence, a meal that complies with Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and provides at least one-third of the current daily Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  5. Adult Day Care/Adult Day Health – Provision of personal care for dependent adults in a supervised, protective, congregate setting during some portion of a 24-hour day. Services offered in conjunction may include social and recreational activities, training, counseling, meals, medication assistance, rehabilitation, and home health aide services.
  6. Case Management – Assistance in access or care coordination for persons with functional limitations in need of formal services. Activities may include assessing needs, developing care plans, authorizing and arranging services, coordinating provision of services among providers, follow-up and reassessment, as needed. (In some areas of the state, DHSS provides case management services for the AAAs through a cooperative agreement between the two agencies.)
  7. Congregate Meals – Provision to an eligible client, or other eligible participant, at a nutrition site, senior center, or some other congregate setting, a meal that complies with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and provides at least one-third of the current daily Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  8. Nutrition Counseling – Provision of individualized advice and guidance to persons who are at nutritional risk, due to health, medication, or other considerations, about options and methods to improve their nutritional status, performed by a health professional.
  9. Assisted Transportation – Provision of assistance, including escort, to a person who has difficulty using regular transportation.
  10. Transportation – Provision of a means to get from one place to another.
  11. Legal Assistance – Provision of legal advice, counseling, and representation by an attorney or other person acting under the supervision of an attorney.
  12. Nutrition Education – A program to promote better health by providing accurate information and instruction to participants in a group or individual setting, overseen by a dietitian or person with comparable expertise.
  13. Information and Assistance – Provision of current information on opportunities and services available within communities; assess problems and capacities of an individual; link the person to services available; and follow-up as needed.
  14. Outreach – Interventions initiated by an agency or organization for the purpose of identifying potential clients and encouraging their use of existing services and benefits.

Family Caregiver Support Program – Establishes an infrastructure of program resources and assistance to family caregivers. States, AAAs, and local community agencies work together to provide support and services to family

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Aging Information Network (AIN) is a multi-dimensional website providing information resources through listing of providers to care givers who may or may not have time to assist in daily care or locate services for their elderly loved ones.