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Area Agencies on Aging

The Planning Process

Part of the responsibility of each AAA is the development a four-year Area Plan, which is a strategic plan on aging. The SUA then incorporates these plans into its master plan, which in turn is submitted to the Administration on Aging (AoA). The planning process for the Area Plan is carefully orchestrated. It must include input from the community, older adults, service providers, and any other interested parties. This ensures that the local community is both informed about aging issues and has an opportunity to shape the services provided. In addition, the community has an opportunity to be educated about trends in the aging population, limitations in funding, needs, gaps, and funding shortfalls. Using all the information captured in the public forum process, the AAA creates a draft, which is open for public comment. After community input is gathered, the advisory council and staff make the necessary adjustments to the Area Plan, and it is submitted to the SUA for approval.

It should be noted that the OAA has had insufficient funds for programs since its inception. The shortage was especially apparent from 1980 through 2000. During this period, there was little growth in funding, while inflation and the growth of the over-sixty population actually decreased the per capita dollars available to serve older adults. The lack of funding caused many AAAs to seek new sources of financial support. In 2000, however, with the reauthorization of the OAA, Congress supported the largest increase ever for the OAA and funded $125 million for an Adult Caregivers Program.

The other important component of the AAA is coordination. Even though the OAA does not fund all aging programs, AAAs have the responsibility to coordinate other available sources of revenue to avoid duplication, enhance services, and create a comprehensive service network. For example, if a local United Way concentrates its funding on medical transportation, the AAA can then direct its resources to another priority service.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1Area Agencies on Aging - Creating An Aaa, Function And Responsibility Of An Aaa, The Planning Process, Accessing Services