B-1010 Overview

Revision 21-0; Effective January 15, 2021

The Older Americans Act (OAA) authorizes the provision of services to support the independence, health, and well-being of eligible people. Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) decide the type of services to offer to eligible people in their service area through needs assessments and other tools they use to prepare an Area Plan.

AAAs evaluate regional strengths, find local resources and service gaps, and seek input from the people they serve, service providers and other stakeholders about aging issues. AAAs use this information to develop an Area Plan that describes how they will coordinate and provide services during the planning period. They also assess regional characteristics and trends every few years to update the Area Plan. Texas Health and Human Service Commission (HHSC) approves the area plans.

AAAs advocate for people they serve and engage in local and state issues beyond the programs they fund or deliver. AAAs use a variety of approaches to address regional aging issues and collaborate with many organizations to offer comprehensive, broad-based solutions. Those organizations can be:

  • local governments;
  • state agencies;
  • education;
  • health care;
  • social services;
  • faith-based entities;
  • business; or
  • charitable foundations.

These partnerships support and expand the AAAs’ goals.

The AAAs have local decision-making authority to adapt services and supports to the regional circumstances in their Planning and Service Areas (PSAs).

AAAs provide some of their services directly to the people they serve such as information, referral, and assistance, case management, benefits counseling and caregiver support programs. Except for certain services AAAs must get approval from HHSC to provide services directly to eligible people.

AAAs contract with local service providers to offer congregate and home delivered meals, transportation and in-home services.

B-1020 Organization and Staffing

Revision 21-0; Effective January 15, 2021

AAAs must maintain an organizational structure through its Area Plan, job descriptions, staffing plans, and policies and procedures that reflect its ability to effectively administer its OAA programs.

B-1030 Area Plans

Revision 21-0; Effective January 15, 2021

The area plan outlines a comprehensive and coordinated service delivery system for the AAA’s region, based upon a needs assessment using a format provided by HHSC. It identifies planning, coordination, evaluation, and service provision activities for the period of the plan as well as funding and other resources available to the AAA. Measurable objectives allow the AAA to use the plan as a roadmap.

A AAA must proactively perform planning, monitoring and evaluation relating to programs for older people, their families and their caregivers.

A AAA must prepare and develop an area plan for a period of two to four years, as decided by HHSC. The plan must be based on an assessment of the PSA’s documented needs, demographic trends, geographic characteristics, economic variables, and other information that affect people eligible for OAA services. The plan must also incorporate public input and information received from older people, their caregivers, and their families.

B-1040 Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council

Revision 21-0; Effective January 15, 2021

AAAs and their subrecipients must have an advisory council that includes representatives of the following:

  • older people (including people who are minorities and people living in rural areas) who participate or are eligible to participate in OAA programs;
  • family caregivers of those older people;
  • representatives of older people;
  • service providers;
  • business community;
  • local elected officials;
  • providers of veterans’ health care (if appropriate); and
  • general public.

B-1050 Community Engagement

Revision 21-0; Effective January 15, 2021

AAAs are visible advocates engaged in their communities and the place for information on aging issues. They maintain a foundation to support a network for service delivery by working with and through groups of people who share an interest in aging issues. Partnerships and coalitions help the AAA mobilize and leverage resources and influence policy to ensure:

  • they meet the needs of older people in its region to the greatest extent possible;
  • they maximize availability of services for older people and reduce service duplication; and
  • systems are flexible enough to respond to economic, demographic, and social trends.

B-1060 Outreach

Revision 21-0; Effective January 15, 2021

Outreach identifies vulnerable, hard to reach people and their caregivers, and must include information about the aid available to them through the OAA programs. The AAA must conduct outreach to people who may be eligible for OAA services, especially older people:

  • who live in rural areas;
  • with the greatest economic or social need (particularly low-income older people, low-income minority older people, older people with limited English proficiency, and older people who live in rural areas);
  • with severe disabilities;
  • with limited English;
  • with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders with neurological and organic brain dysfunction (and the caretakers of such people);
  • who are at risk for institutional placement, specifically including survivors of the Holocaust; and
  • who are Native Americans, if there is a significant population of older people who are Native Americans in the AAA’s region.

A Native American is a person who is a member of a tribe that is federally recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.