Transforming Aging Services: Area Agencies on Aging and the COVID-19 Response. By: Gallo, Haley B; Wilber, Kathleen H. Gerontologist. Mar2021, Vol. 61 Issue 2, p152-158. 7p.

For over four decades, Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) have served as focal points to help older adults remain in their homes and communities. AAAs partner with other organizations to administer services authorized under the Older Americans Act (OAA). AAAs represent loosely coupled systems; they are responsive to guidelines established by the OAA while maintaining flexibility to leverage limited resources, establish partnerships, and create innovative programs to meet community needs. As stay-at-home orders and concern for safety have kept many older adults homebound during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, an important question is how the Aging Network, including the over 600 AAAs, has responded to these rapidly changing needs. Although time and more systematic assessments are required, available information suggests that the loosely coupled network of AAAs has been a key, adaptable resource. This article begins with a description of the Aging Network and its history before turning to how the community-specific, collaborative, and evolving nature of AAAs places them at a unique position to respond to the challenges that arise with COVID-19. It concludes with how AAAs can continue to adapt to meet the needs of older adults and the people who care for them.