OUR AREA PLAN
Congress passed the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965 in response to concern by policymakers about a lack of community social services for older persons. Although older individuals may receive services under many other federal programs, today the OAA is considered to be a major vehicle for the organization and delivery of social and nutrition services to this group and their caregivers. It authorizes a wide array of service programs through a national network of 56 state agencies on aging, 618 area agencies on aging, nearly 20,000 service providers, 281 Tribal organizations, and 1 Native Hawaiian organization representing 400 Tribes. The OAA also includes community service employment for low-income older Americans; training, research, and demonstration activities in the field of aging; and vulnerable elder rights protection activities.
All Area Agencies on Aging are required by the OAA to create a four-year “Area Plan” that addresses the needs of older adults, adults with disabilities and caregivers in their region. The Area Plan is developed with broad public participation, including input from the Agency Board of Directors, Advisory Council and through public hearings. The plan must to be approved by the State of Maine, Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Aging and Disability Services. Once approved, the plan serves as the basis for planning, development and evaluation of programs, services, and advocacy efforts offered through the OAA locally.