Administration on Aging

The Older Americans Act of 1965 (P.L. 89-73) (OAA) created AoA as the agency with primary responsibility to implement the law. In addition, OAA authorized grants to states for community planning and services programs, as well as for research, demonstrations, and training projects in the field of aging. Subsequent amendments to OAA added grants to area agencies on aging for local needs identification, planning, and funding ofservices, including but not limited to nutrition programs in the community as well as for those who are homebound; programs that serve Native American elders; services targeted at low-income minority elders; health promotion and disease prevention activities; in-home services for frail elders; and those services that protect the rights of older persons, such as the long-term-care (LTC) ombudsman program.

In 2000, OAA was amended and reauthorized AoA through 2005. The amendments established the National Family Caregiver Support Program,

Figure 8.1 Organization Chart of the Administration on Aging

Figure 8.1 Organization Chart of the Administration on Aging

which is intended to help people who are caring for older family members who are ill or who have disabilities. Family caregivers have always been the mainstay underpinning LTC for older persons in the United States. Among noninstitutionalized persons needing assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), two-thirds depend solely on family and friends and another one-fourth supplement family care with services from paid providers. Only a little more than 5 percent rely exclusively on paid services (AoA 2005).

Figure 8.1 is an organization chart for AoA. The fiscal year (FY) 2006 budget request for AoA is $1.369 billion, including the following components (AoA 2005):

• $1,250 million for state- and community-based services, the same as the FY 2005 level;

• $32.7 million for services for Native Americans, the same as the FY 2005 level;

• $19.4 million for protection of vulnerable older americans, $72,000 more than the FY 2005 level;

• $48.9 million for innovation and demonstration, $19.4 million less than the FY 2005 level; and

• $17.9 million for program administration, $422,000 less than FY 2005 level.

The Real World of Health Policy: Administration on Aging (AoA) describes the mission and core functions of AoA. As Figure 8.1 shows, AoA is managed by the Assistant Secretary for Aging at DHHS, who is a presidential appointee.

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