Older Americans Act
In 1973, an amendment to the federal Older Americans Act (OAA) required states to separate their aging planning and service areas and to designate Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) to implement programs and services for older Americans at the local level. The local Area Agencies on Aging offices serve certain counties and implement the elder service programs within their geographic boundaries. The quickest way to find out what services a senior may qualify for and what senior programs are available is to contact the Area Agency on Aging office serving the county where the senior lives. A few states have websites which provide information for the entire state and other states provide a county lookup on their website to find the correct area office to contact for senior services.
What State Senior Services are Provided?
Area Agencies on Aging provide assistance with senior benefit programs, social security, Medicare, eligibility for low-income senior programs including home and community services (some states will provide part-time caregiving in the home through their home and community services program), along with:
- Home-delivered Meals
- Prescription Drug Programs
- Healthy Aging Programs
- Case Management
- Caregiver Training
- Senior Activities
- Support Groups
What services are offered by the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)?
SHIP is a free counseling service for seniors and pre-retirees and is part of a federal network of State Health Insurance Assistance programs located in every state. SHIP counselors answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid along with prescription coverage and low-income assistance. You local Area Agency on Aging will have information on SHIP and many provide SHIP counselors to give group presentations.
Find Your Local Area Agency on Aging Office
New Jersey Area Agencies on Aging: http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/home/saaaa.html
State Senior Services Help Line: 877-222-3737
State Senior Services Email Contact: Contact local Area Agency on Aging Office
Elder Abuse Hotline: 800-792-8820 or 609-943-3473