The New York State Association of Area Agencies on Aging supports and advocates for New York's 59 mostly county-based Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and works collaboratively with a network of organizations that exist to promote independence, preserve dignity and provide support for residents of New York State as they age, giving them support to continue living independently.
The Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) were established under the Older Americans Act of 1965 to respond to the needs of Americans age 60 and over. They do it by being the "go-to" for home and community-based services -- nutrition counseling, adult day services, home energy assistance, legal assistance, transportation, home care, among other things -- that make it possible for aging Americans to live independently and with dignity in their homes and communities for as long as possible.
Services provided through the New York State Area Agencies on Aging (or Offices for Aging) are funded through the Federal Older Americans Act, New York State, county government, contributions from participating organizations and other sources.
Expanding and extending the Area Agencies on Aging reach and resources is an option for dealing with the high cost of long-term care for New Yorkers. The community-based services they provide with funding funneled through the State Office for Aging allow the oldest members of our communities to live independently for longer -- and delay Medicaid eligibility.
The services-based approach to long-term care can bring balance to New York State's long-term system of care and thereby delay Medicaid eligibility, breaking with the state's traditional model of costly long-term care services.
Area Agencies on Aging already have a lower-cost long-term care model in place that allows seniors and caregivers to obtain service referrals, program application assistance and information and access on a wide range of services locally. It makes sense to build on that.
The community-based services and information and assistance currently provided through the current structure of New York State Offices for Aging (NYSOFA) and Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) reach almost 600,000 older New York State residents, 16 percent of the total 60-plus population.
A population that's rising at a rate never before seen not only because of the Baby Boomers coming of age but also because people are living longer -- a positive trend for all of us.