History of the Older American Act & Caddo Council on Aging
The Area Agency on Aging of Caddo Council on Aging, Inc. (CCOA) is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit agency serving seniors and their caregivers in Caddo Parish since 1972
Designated by the Department of Elder Affairs as the Area Agency on Aging for Planning and Service (PSA), the agency’s focus is on funding, advocacy, services and programs for seniors in the Caddo Parish.
The mission of the Caddo Council on Aging/Area Agency on Aging (CCOA) is to provide support services to persons age 60 and over which help maintain their independence and quality of life in a home environment and to serve as a focal point on issues affecting the health and welfare of the aging population. All seniors 60+ are eligible with special emphasis on low-income individuals.
Today, one in every six Americans, or 44 million people, are 60 years of age or older. While older Americans are active members of their families and communities, others are at risk of losing their independence. These include four million Americans aged 85 and older, those living alone without a caregiver, those living in nursing homes or other institutional settings, members of minority groups, older persons with physical or mental impairments, low-income older persons, and those who are abused, neglected or exploited.
To meet the diverse needs of the growing number of older persons in the United States, the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965, as amended, provides the primary vehicle for organizing, coordinating and providing community-based services and opportunities for older Americans and their families. All individuals 60 years of age and older are eligible for services under the Older American Act (OAA), although priority attention is given to those who are in greatest need. The Senior Community Service Employment program, a part of the Older American Act (OAA) currently administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, offers part- or full-time employment to low-income persons who are 55 years of age or older.
The Older American Act (OAA) established the Administration on Aging (AoA), which is headed by an Assistant Secretary for Aging and is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Administration on Aging (AoA) is the federal focal point and advocacy agency for older persons, as mandated by the Older American Act (OAA), and administers most Older American Act (OAA) programs at the federal level.
Administration on Aging’s (AoA) elder rights protection programs include the long-term care ombudsman program, which investigates and resolves complaints that are made by or on behalf of residents of nursing, board and care, and similar adult care homes; elder abuse prevention programs; legal services; and outreach and pension counseling programs. In addition to these critical elder rights programs; Administration on Aging (AoA) is an active partner in the Administration’s ongoing efforts to combat fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Through Administration on Aging (AoA), more than 600 ombudsmen across the country have been trained to recognize Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse.
Administration on Aging (AoA) focuses its efforts in the priority areas of community-based long-term care; consumer protection and empowerment; fraud and abuse detection and education; and outreach to and information for older Americans, their families, policy makers and the general public. By allowing older Americans to remain in their own homes–thus ensuring their dignity and independence–and enhancing their opportunities to contribute to their communities and the nation, AoA continues to ensure that its mandate is being fully realized for present and future generations.
Administration on Aging (AoA) provides leadership, technical assistance and support to the national aging network. Headed by Administration on Aging (AoA)’s central office in Washington, D.C., and its regional offices across the country, the aging network comprises 57 State Units on Aging (SUAs); more than 661 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs); 222 tribal organizations, representing 300 tribes; and thousands of service providers, senior centers, caregivers and volunteers. Working in close partnership, the members of the aging network plan coordinate and develop community-level systems of services designed to meet the needs of older persons and their caregivers.
Administration on Aging (AoA) awards funds for supportive home and community-based services to the State Unit on Aging’s (SUA), which are located in every state and U.S. territory. In addition to funding critical nutrition and supportive services, funds are awarded to the States Units on Aging’s (SUA) for elder rights programs, including the long-term care ombudsman program, legal services, outreach and elder abuse prevention efforts. Funding for programs is allocated to each State Units on Aging (SUA) based on the number of persons over the age of 60 in the state. Most states are divided into planning and service areas, so that programs can be tailored to meet the specific needs of older persons residing in those areas. Nationally, more than 661 Area Aging on Aging (AAA) receive funds from their State Unit on Aging (SUA) to plan, develop, coordinate and arrange for services to assist the older persons who are in greatest need in each planning and service area. The Area Agency on Agings (AAA) also work closely with senior advisory groups made up of older members in each community.
In Louisiana, the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs (GOEA) is the sole State agency designated by the Governor and the State Legislature to serve as “State Agency on Aging.” Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs’s (GOEA) mission is to be the leader relative to all aging issues on behalf of all older persons in the State. Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs (GOEA) actively carries out a wide range of functions related to advocacy, planning, coordination, interagency linkages, information sharing, brokering, monitoring and evaluation, designed to lead to the development or enhancement of comprehensive and coordinated community based systems in, or serving communities throughout the State. Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs (GOEA) administers several statewide programs including the adult protective services program, the long term care ombudsman program, and the long term care assistance program.
Title III of the Older American Act (OAA) requires the State agency on Aging to award federal funds to the designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for the following types of services:
- Access Services — information and assistance; outreach; transportation and escort (assisted transportation); and case management
- In-Home Services — home-delivered meals; chores; home repair; modifications and rehabilitation; homemaker-home health aides; and personal care
- Community Services — congregate meals; senior center activities; adult day care; nursing home ombudsman services; elder abuse prevention; legal services;
Employment and pension counseling; health promotion; and fitness programs
- Caregiver Services — respite; adult day care; counseling and education. AAA’s also work to assist older persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. They support caregivers by improving coordination between health care and community service systems.
All such funds are for the purpose of assisting Area Agency on Aging’s (AAA) to develop or enhance comprehensive and coordinated community based systems for older persons in, or serving, communities throughout the planning and service area. Except where a waiver is granted by the State Unit on Agency, Area Agency on Aging’s (AAA) are required to award funds by contract to community services provider agencies and organizations.
In 1954, an executive order Chapter 7 of Title 46(46:931- 940) ,under the Governor Huey P. Long, created a new agency of the state to be known as Louisiana Commission on Aging. The duty of this commission was to collect facts and statistics and make special studies of conditions pertaining to employment, health, financial status, recreation, social adjustment, or other conditions affecting the welfare of the aging people in the state and to make recommendations to the legislature.
In 1964, under the administration of Governor John J. McKeithen, Chapter 16 of Title 46 (46:1601) was amended and re-enacted to create Parish Voluntary Councils on the Aging. At this time the Caddo – Bossier Council on Aging was created. It was duty of this council to collect the same facts and statistics for their parishes that were set forth in 1954 and to make appropriate recommendations to the legislature. The functions of these councils had to comply with the objectives of state laws and governed by the policies and regulations established by resolutions of the Louisiana Commission on the Aging. The Louisiana Commission on Aging could revoke the charter of any parish voluntary council.
In 1972, the Area Agency on Aging was established by amendment to the Older American Act. In 1972, the Caddo Council on Aging was incorporated. In 1978, the corporation was amended. The Caddo Council on Aging is designated as the Area Agency on Aging by the Federal Administration and the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs. As such, the Area Agency on Aging has served as the primary parish agency charged with administering a comprehensive multi-year plan designed to meet the needs of its older adult residents.
It has served in this role since its formal designation in 1976. The Council on Aging is governed by a board of directors consisting of 17 directors. Each director serves two terms (3 years in each term). They are elected by the members of the Caddo Council on Aging. A membership drive is conducted each year.
There is no fee associated with the membership. An annual meeting of the members is held in January of each year. At this time, the board is elected. Every board member must be a member of the Caddo Council on Aging/Area Agency on Aging.
There is also an Advisory Council for the Caddo Council on Aging. The function of the Advisory Board is to develop and administer the area plan, conduct public hearings, represent the interests of older person and review and comment on all community policies, programs and actions which affect older persons. The Advisory Board was established and serves in accordance with Section 1321.93 Pg. 21156, Vol 45, No. 63 Monday May 31, 1980 of the federal Register with duties outlined in Section 1321.97,Vol. 45, No. 63. Members on this Advisory Board represent older persons and include older persons with greatest economic and social needs, local elected officials and the general public. They meet on a quarterly basis.
The Area Agency on Aging is supervised by an Executive Director and directly answers to the Advisory Board and the Caddo Council on Aging Board.
These are the services of the Caddo Council on Aging/Area Agency on Aging: Information and Referral, Outreach and Assessments, Transportation, Congregate Meals, Home Delivered Meals (commonly called Meals on Wheels), Homemaker Services, Personal Care, Family Caregiver Respite, Telephone Reassurance, Medical Alert Program, Nursing Home Ombudsman (7 parishes), Aging and Disability Resource Center(9 parishes), Senior Center & Senior Wellness.