Find departments of aging, offices, councils, agencies of aging and adult services. Departments of aging provide information on aging, adult, senior and elder services, elder abuse, care, affairs, assistance, and disabilities.
A Department of Aging is a government agency at the federal, state, county, or local level that delivers, funds, or otherwise provides a vast array of services and programs to promote the health, safety, and independence of the elderly.
The federal Administration on Aging, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was created to administer a range of programs authorized by the Older Americans Act. The Administration on Aging fulfills its duties primarily by awarding funds to states, Native American tribes, counties, and local agencies to support Older Americans Act services. Programs and services are generally available to individuals over the age of 60, though states may impose their own eligibility criteria. Funded services include in-home care and adult daycare programs, family caregiver support, meals delivered to the home as well as those offered in senior and community centers, transportation, and employment services to individuals age 55 and over. The Older Americans Act also funds legal aid services, long-term care ombudsmen, and case management services.
State Departments of Aging are responsible for administering programs funded by the Older Americans Act and may do so by delivering services themselves or by awarding grants and contracts to counties, Area Agencies on Aging, and other local organizations. States are required to match a quarter of the Older Americans Act funding they receive, and many appropriate additional funding above and beyond the required match.
State Departments of Aging integrate federally funded programs with additional services for the elderly. Expanded programs for the elderly may include senior companion programs, health and wellness programs, coordination of care services, and protective services that facilitate the reporting of the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the elderly. State Departments of Aging may also play a regulatory role in services for the elderly such as the licensing of adult daycare providers.
Although relatively few counties and local governments have agencies called Departments of Aging, counties and local agencies are deeply involved in the direct delivery of services to the elderly. Often, a local senior center or senior community is the physical location and focal point for the provision of wide-ranging services to the elderly. Services at the county and local level are likely to be further augmented by recreational and cultural programming.