Building Capacity


As America ages and the social service and health care sectors evolve to meet the growing needs of the population, it is critical that the Aging Network has adequate information and tools to respond to these changes. With funding through the Administration for Community Living, n4a supports the Aging Network by systematically tracking and analyzing the evolving roles, services, and trends of the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Title VI Native American aging programs and widely disseminating this information. The Capacity Building initiative is implemented by n4a as the lead agency and in partnership with Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Oxford, OH.
Through the Capacity Building initiative, n4a conducts a survey of the AAAs every two years and conducts a survey of the Title VI grantees, in addition to periodic surveys and/or key informant discussions on special topics. Information gathered through these initiatives is developed into reports, fact sheets, webinars and trainings. AAAs and Title VI agencies are encouraged to use the information in their own efforts, such as strategic planning, advocacy, research, or benchmarking. 

Highlights from recent surveys have included:
  • The average number of volunteers  increased by nearly ten individuals in the  four years from 2010 to 2014
  • Transportation is an area where AAAs are evolving—many are expanding transportation services to individuals under the age of 60, including veterans.
  • More AAAs are offering consumer-directed services or forming partnerships with managed care organizations and other health organizations.
  • AAAs are developing new funding mechanisms, such as private pay options
  • There is increasing AAA involvement in elder abuse prevention coalitions and multi-disciplinary teams.
  • The number of AAAs that also function as Aging and Disability Resource Center continues to increase and now exceeds 70 percent.
  • Some AAAs have taken an innovative approach to information technology development and data-sharing by forming statewide or regional networks such as LLCs.
  • More than two-thirds of Title VI programs have completed or are making progress to develop collaborations with AAAs
Issues Briefs (2017) Publications Partner Organization
Scripps Gerontology Center of Excellence at Miami University
Meredith Eisenhart, Director, Community Capacity Building