Aging services network - explained

Mission

To help older people maintain maximum independence in their homes and communities and to promote a continuum of care for the vulnerable elder.

Overview

Consists of federal, state and local agencies which provide services to older adults in the community. These agencies are known collectively as the Aging Services Network (ASN). The federal agency that runs the ASN is the Administration on Aging. Each state has a State Unit on Aging, Area Agencies on Aging as well as tens of thousands of service providers and volunteers. Specific programs for Native American elders are also available.  

Target Audience

Older adults aged 60 and older and individuals with disabilities are served, with priority given to those in greatest need. 


Some programs do provide services to younger populations (depending on the state and the program).

Federal Level: Administration on Aging (AoA)

Provides leadership and funding for programs servicing older adults and their caregivers:

State Level: State Units on Aging (SUA)

Responsible for developing and administering multi-year state plans for older adults and their families, as well as, adults with physical disabilities. These have different names, depending on the State. The one in MA is:

Local Level: Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) & Aging Service Access Points (ASAP)

Provide services to older adults in a specific geographic area. They coordinate and provide services to meet the needs of community dwelling older adults. There are multiple AAA and ASAPs in each state:

Aging Services by sectors - quick search

Health & Mental Health Care

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Often primary care physicians will see older adults, however, geriatricians have specialized training and so can provide care for older patients with more complex medical and social conditions. 

Elder Law

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Elder law can cover a wide range of issues including healthcare, long-term care planning, guardianship, retirement, estate planning, Social Security, and Medicare/Medicaid. 

Home Modifications

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Often simple and non expensive adjustments can be made to the home to prevent potential falls and other accidents through home improvements, modifications and repairs. Such changes can ensure your parent can remain safely and comfortably in their home.

Geriatric Care Managers

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The Geriatric Care Manager advocates for your parent, and connects them with the services they need in order to continue living in their own home.

Long Term Care

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Long Term Care encompasses medical and social services that support the needs of an older adult living at home, all the way through to 24-hour care provided in an institutional facility.