Building on the past, securing the future: Area agencies on aging and Older Americans Act reauthorization

May 4, 2019


  • Suzanne R. Kunkel

The upcoming reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA) is an opportunity to acknowledge the expanding priorities for that landmark legislation, along with the forward motion of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) in their communities. Previous reauthorizations have done just that, simultaneously establishing new priorities, building on the evolution of AAA roles, and setting the stage for continued growth and impact. Seeking to provide research to inform the complex and multilayered political processes of reauthorization, this paper: (a) provides a brief description of major eras in the life course of the OAA; (b) documents significant changes in the roles that AAAs play in their communities and in the lives of the elders they serve; and (c) summarizes some emerging evidence for the impact of their role.

Public Policy and Aging Report,


  • Aging Network
  • Health/Physical Activity
  • Home and Community Based Services