What Are Community Resources?
On July 14, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Older Americans Act. This act established the Administration on Aging and authorized grants to the states to establish agencies on aging to research, plan, and set up services for the aging population. In 2000, the Older Americans Act Amendments of 2000 was signed into law, reauthorizing the act and adding a very special amendment known as the National Family Caregiver Support Program.
The Older Americans Act was updated again in 2006 and addressed such issues as greater flexibility to states to create programs specific to the needs of their citizens; a greater focus on mental health; an emphasis on planning for the growing number of aging Americans; and enhanced coordination of efforts to protect elders from abuse, exploitation, and neglect.
All of these programs were set up to help provide such basics as nutrition and health promotion as well as disease prevention for the elderly. It also established the long-term-care ombudsman program to oversee standards of care in nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities.
The Caregiver Support Program has established grants to state agencies on aging to develop programs to educate, assist, counsel, and provide respite and support to family caregivers who provide the majority of care to the elders in this country. Under this act, there is also a special provision for the grandparents who are the caregivers to their grandchildren when the parents are not able to care for their children.
Community services are more abundant and accessible in larger cities, but even in rural areas there are services available to the elderly. Among these are transportation services, nutrition services such as Meals-on-Wheels, adult day-care centers, and senior centers.
Your local area agency on aging also supports health fairs, flu-shot clinics, and other health-screening services. It may also provide information and referral services, telephone reassurance programs, respite care, friendly visitor or companion programs, and homemaker chore services.
Area agencies on aging can be known by myriad other names such as senior concerns, center for elder affairs, eldercare center, bureau on aging, and so on. You can locate your state and local offices by calling the Elder Locator at 800-677-1116. Their website is