Area Agency on Aging

The Area Agency on Aging of the South Texas Development Council’s goal is to promote the improvement of the quality of life for our region’s older population. We strive to ensure continuity of care while allowing our older population to remain in their own homes, thus maintaining independence, dignity, and respect while preventing institutionalization.

Although older individuals may receive services under many other Federal programs, today the OAA is considered to be the 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, 629 area agencies on aging, nearly 20,000 service providers, 244 Tribal organizations, and 2 Native Hawaiian organizations representing 400 Tribes.

Aging Statistics

The older population—persons 65 years or older–numbered 44.7 million in 2013 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 14.1% of the US. population, about one in every seven Americans. By 2060, there will be about 98 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2013. People 65+ represented 14.1% of the population in the year 2013 but are expected to grow to be 21.7% of the population by 2040. The information in this section of the AoA website brings together a wide variety of statistical information about this growing population.

Congregate Meal

A hot or other appropriate meal served to an eligible older individual which meets 33% percent of the dietary reference intakes established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and complies with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published by the Secretary of Agriculture, and which is served in a congregate setting. The objective is to reduce food insecurity and promote socialization of older individuals. There are two types of congregate meals:

• Standard meal – A regular meal from the standard menu that is served to the majority or all of the participants.

Home Delivered Meals

Hot, cold, frozen, dried, canned, fresh, or supplemental food (with a satisfactory storage life) which provides a minimum of 33 1/3 percent of the dietary reference intakes established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and complies with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published by the Secretary of Agriculture, and is delivered to an eligible participant in their place of residence. The objective is to reduce food insecurity, help the recipient sustain independent living in a safe and healthfiil environment. There are two types of home delivered meals:

• Standard meal – A regular meal from the standard menu that is served to the majority or all of the participants.

Nutrition Education

The provision of information to older individuals to promote nutritional well-being and to delay the onset of adverse health conditions resulting from poor nutritional health or sedentary behavior.

Unit of Service: one session per participant. A session is counted for each individual attending a nutrition education session which may be conducted in a group or one-on-one.

Homemaker

A service provided by trained and supervised homemakers involving the performance of housekeeping and home management, meal preparation, or escort tasks and shopping assistance provided to older individuals who require assistance with these activities in their place of residence. The objective is to help the recipient sustain independent living in a safe and healthful home environment.

Residential Repair

Services consist of repairs or modifications of dwellings occupied by older individuals that are essential for the health and safety of the occupant(s).

Personal Assistance

Assisting an older individual having difficulty in performing a minimum of two activities of daily living identified in the assessment process, with tasks an individual would typically perform if they were able. This covers assistance in all activities of daily living.

Information, Referral And Assistance

Consists of activities such as assessing the needs of the inquirer, evaluating appropriate resources, assessing appropriate response modes, indicating organizations capable of meeting those needs, providing enough information about each organization to help inquirers make an informed choice, helping inquirers for whom services are unavailable by locating alternative resources, when necessary, actively participating in linking the inquirer to needed services, and following up on referrals to ensure the service was provided.

Legal Assistance – 60 years and older

Services identified as “Legal Assistance Services” are: Benefits Counseling, Money Management, Representative Payee, and Guardianship.

• Advice/Counseling – a recommendation made to an older individual regarding a course or conduct, or how to proceed in a matter, given either on a brief or one-time basis, or on an ongoing basis. May be given by telephone or in person.

• Document Preparation – personal assistance given to an older individual which helps the preparation of necessary documents relating to public entitlements, health care/long term care, individual rights, planning/protection options, and housing and consumer needs.

• Representation – advocacy on behalf of an older individual in protesting or complaining about a procedure, or seeking special considerations by appealing an administrative decision, or representation by an attorney of an older individual or class of older individuals in either the state or federal court systems.

Legal Assistance – Less than 60 years of age

Legal Assistance provided to Medicare enrollees and eligible disabled (as determined by the Social Security Administration) Medicare pre-enrollees who are under age 60. This service may be provided by the AAA only if it receives funding through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Benefits Counseling

Assistance to older persons with obtaining information regarding public benefits, private benefits, and community support programs.

Legal Awareness

Provide accurate, timely, and relevant information about eligibility criteria, requirements, and procedures related to public entitlements, health and long-term care, individual rights, planning and protection options, housing and consumer issues.

The dissemination of accurate, timely, and relevant information, eligibility criteria, requirements, and procedures to older individuals about public entitlements, health/long term care services, individual rights, planning/protection options, and housing and consumer needs

Care Coordination

Assessing, planning, arranging, coordinating, and following-up on services that most appropriately meet identified needs as mutually defined by AAA staff, the older Texan, and where appropriate, a family member or caregiver.

Ongoing process to assess the needs of a caregiver and care recipient, effectively plan, arrange, coordinate and follow-up on services which most appropriately meet the identified needs as mutually defined by the caregiver, the care recipient, and the access and assistance staff, and where appropriate, a family member(s) or other caregiver(s).

Caregiver Support Services

Provides critical support needed by families to help them maintain their caregiver roles.

Ongoing process to assess the needs of a caregiver and care recipient, effectively plan, arrange, and coordinate and follow-up on services which most appropriately meet the identified needs as mutually defined by the caregiver, the care recipient, and the access and assistance staff.

Caregiver Respite Care – In Home

Temporary relief for caregivers including an array of services provided to dependent older individuals who need supervision. Services are provided in the older individual‘s home environment on a short-term, temporary basis while the primary caregiver is unavailable or needs relief. In addition to supervision, services may include meal preparation, housekeeping, assistance with personal care and/or social and recreational activities.

Ombudsman

The Texas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for quality of life and care for residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Federal and state authority mandates ombudsmen to identify, investigate and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, residents and to provide services to help in protecting health, safety, welfare and rights. Information and assistance in choosing the most appropriate living residence is also a valuable service.

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Nutrition Services

These services include congregate and home-delivered meals, as well as nutrition education, counseling and consultation.

Transportation

Taking an older individual from one location to another but does not include any other activity. There are two types of transportation services:

• Demand/Response – transportation designed to carry older individuals from specific origin to specific destination upon request. Older individuals request the transportation service in advance of their need, usually twenty-four to forty-eight hours prior to the trip.

Health Maintenance

• Home health services including, but not limited to, nursing, physical therapy, speech or occupational therapy.

• Provision of medications, nutritional supplements, glasses, dentures, hearing aids or other devices necessary to promote or maintain the health and/or safety of the older individual. Note: this also includes the provision of dosage alert system and the purchase of software, technical support, and materials that connect elegible older individuals to free or reduced cost prescription medication services.

Home Modifications

Provides repairs and/or modifications that are essential for maintaining the health, safety, and independence of its older residents.

Evidence-Based Programs

Diabetes Education Empowerment Program

The Diabetes Education Empowerment Program (DEEP) is a program accredited by the national American Association of Diabetes Educators, and managed by trained Diabetes Educators. The goal of the DEEP program is to empower people to take charge of their diabetes, avoid complications from the disease, and improve self-management skills.

A Matter of Balance – Falls Prevention Program

A Matter of Balance is an 8-week structured group intervention that emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. Participants learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable, set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and exercise to increase strength and balance.

Care Transitions Program

The Care Transitions Intervention model relies on a Transition Coach to help empower patients to take a more active and informed role in their transition from one care setting to another. This role may be assumed by a nurse, social worker or other health care professional.

Albert Rivera, JR.

Director Area Agency on Aging

Toll Free: 1 (800) 292-5426

Albert Rivera, JR.

Director Area Agency on Aging

Toll Free: 1 (800) 292-5426