The Critical Role of Area Agencies on Aging During COVID-19

A recent Journal on Aging and Social Policy research article highlighted the critical role of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, built on their ability to quickly assess, coordinate, and respond to the local needs of older adults. Based on a study of AAAs across the country, the article found that the agencies were quick to adapt to the changing environment; creative and resilient in service provision – rethinking meal delivery, limited contact for in-home services, and new approaches to volunteer coordination; and a strong partner to local health system and support networks. Such a combination makes AAAs critical response and recovery partners in the effort to preserve the health and well being of older adults in their local communities.

These findings come as no surprise to TJCOG-ers, who witness the innovative and adaptive-ness of the Triangle J Area Agency on Aging and its network of local service partners, and to federal legislators, who invested over a billion dollars in the network of AAAs to provide nutrition, home and community-based services, and support for caregivers, through their COVID-19 response bills.

Previous research suggests these partnerships between AAAs and health networks help to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and nursing home admissions. Building upon this existing hub of service delivery and support for older adults is critical as communities seek to limit unnecessary admissions during COVID-19.

Read the full article on the innovative role of AAAs during COVID-19 here