The Older Americans Act (OAA) was passed by Congress in 1965 as a response to policymaker concerns about the lack of services for older adults.
The OAA is now viewed as the primary vehicle for the organization and delivery of social and nutrition services to seniors and caregivers. The Act authorizes a wide array of service programs through a network of State Units on Aging, 655 Area Agencies on Aging, 244 Tribal organizations, and 2 Native Hawaiian organizations.
There are 33 area agencies on aging designated by the California Department of Aging as the local Planning Services Agencies. Of the 33 area agencies on aging, 19 agencies are part of a county structure and typically are integrated within the local social service system, eight are created by joint power agreements when there are multiple counties involved, and the remaining six are non-profit agencies.
The Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) was established in 1980 by the California Department of Aging. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors serves as the Board of Directors of the Area Agency on Aging. In July 1994, the AAA became a program of the Sonoma County Human Services Department's Adult & Aging Division. The division consolidates the AAA, Adult Protective Services (APS), In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), Linkages, Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP), Public Administrator/Public Guardian/Public Conservator (PA/PG/PC), IHSS Public Authority (PA), and the Veterans Service Office in one location to better serve the community.
The SCAAA and its Advisory Council plan, coordinate, and allocate Older American Act funds for services for persons 60 years of age and older in Sonoma County. Regionally located older adult service providers form the nucleus of diverse agencies serving seniors, caregivers, and adult children of seniors. These agencies and other community partners are the backbone of senior services delivery. SCAAA builds on this foundation to promote the independence and well-being of both current and future Sonoma County seniors.