Background & Recent Work

Background

The rapid rise in the aging population presents opportunities and challenges for the nation’s Aging Network, necessitating a focus on strengthening its operations and expanding its involvement in key health and long-term care activities in order to meet the growing needs of an unprecedented number of older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers for home and community-based long-term services and supports. While health and long-term care systems have been evolving steadily for decades, the pace of change has never been more rapid. The work of the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Tribal Organizations (TOs) of the Aging Network has long been at the core of the systems that support independent community living sought by older people and their families.

To help the Aging Network capitalize on the opportunities at hand and to spur progress that will ensure that older Americans have access to the highest quality long-term services and supports, n4a and Scripps have developed a comprehensive and systematic process for documenting, tracking and reporting AAA and TO data trends on the impact of Aging Network activities and expertise on health and long-term care, as well as capturing, analyzing and disseminating information on best practices and emerging models. Effectively capturing data and information on Network progress, while evaluating the impact of implemented programs will provide a foundation for training and technical assistance plans; enable AAAs and TOs to learn from best practices and emerging models of other AAAs and TOs across the nation; and serve as a vehicle for raising awareness of Aging Network activities among local, state and federal stakeholders and potential partners.

Recent Work

n4a partners with Scripps Gerontology Center to conduct biennial surveys of AAA and Title VI aging programs. These comprehensive surveys assess the evolving role of AAAs in a balanced, long-term care system. The survey key findings also shed light on how the Aging Network is adapting, enhancing and expanding its operations and services to meet the current and future needs of communities nationwide.