What is an “Area Agency on Aging?”
In 1965, Congress enacted the Older Americans Act to coordinate community-based programs for older citizens. Amendments to the Act in 1972 and 1973 added a nutrition program for the elderly and required states to establish Area Agencies on Aging to coordinate federal and state programs with local efforts. About 650 area agencies on aging exist nation-wide. Their mandate is to assist seniors in finding the services they need to remain independent and safe in their home as long as possible.
Aging and Adult Care of Central Washington (AACCW) works with and through community organizations to administer a wide range of services for adults 60 and over and people with disabilities. AACCW serves Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Lincoln, and Okanogan Counties in Washington State. The Agency and its programs are funded through a partnership of federal, state and local governments. Federal money is allocated through the Administration on Aging and, along with state funds, is passed through to AACCW through the Aging and Disabilities Services Administration of the Department of Social and Health Services. AACCW is part of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (NA4), and the Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging (W4A).
“Our mission is to enhance a person’s ability to maintain a life of independence and choice.”
The agency serves a six-county area (Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Lincoln and Okanogan Counties) known as Planning and Service Area 8 (PSA8). AACCW receives state and federal funds to develop, support and maintain a comprehensive and coordinated service delivery system for elderly and disabled adults. The objective of these programs is to maintain individuals at the most appropriate (least restrictive) level of service and to minimize premature or unnecessary residential care placement.
Council of Governments
In 1989, the Board of Commissioners of Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Lincoln, and Okanogan Counties entered into an inter-local agreement to form the Columbia River Council of Governments (CRCOG). The purpose of the CRCOG is to provide a local governing structure for AACCW. Membership is composed of one elected county commissioner from each of the six counties in PSA #8.
The CRCOG governs AACCW by assuming responsibility for promoting the development and enhancement of a comprehensive and coordinated system of community-based services. AACCW serves as an advocate and focal point for the senior and disabled population in the six-county service area.
The CRCOG established the AACCW Advisory Committee (AC) to provide advice to AACCW staff and CRCOG on all matters related to developing, administering, planning, coordinating, and opening community-based services for seniors and persons with disabilities in PSA #8.
AC members, five representatives from each of the six counties in PSA #8, serve as advocates, identify needs, and explain to the community the functions of and services available through AACCW.