Are you serving aging adults or individuals with disabilities in your community? If so, it may be helpful to get connected to your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). AAAs, not to be confused with the travel club, are entities established by federal law to provide information and resources for older adults and caregivers. An AAA serves every county in every state – find your local AAA based on your zip code using Eldercare Locator.
Area Agencies on Aging administer federal, state, and local funds to provide support services, a unique funding structure that helps them be attune to local needs as well as responsive to emerging state and national trends and issues. AAAs, in conjunction with their Aging and Disability Resource Center counterparts, identify the needs of older adults and individuals with disabilities and create plans for meeting those needs through a system of in-home and community services to enable individuals to maintain their independence and dignity.
Top 3 AAA Services for Extension Professionals Working with Aging Populations
An AAA offers a variety of support services for providers, family caregivers, and care-receivers including:
- In-Home Services: Home-delivered meals, home health services, respite care, etc.
- Community-Based Services: Adult day care, senior center programs, legal services, elder abuse prevention, long-term care ombudsman, caregiver classes, etc.
- Access Services: Information and Assistance and Care Management to help individuals locate appropriate services and evaluating choices of care.
Additional Resources on Aging
There are many untapped resources at the local, state, and national levels that are available to address public needs. Extension professionals can support underserved populations such as those within the aging and disability community by understanding what is available in your area. In additional to AAA, below are additional resources for your Extension toolbox.