As a follow-up to our article on Medicare and whether it will cover the cost of stairlifts and wheelchair ramps, we’d like to bring attention to another potential source of funding. We’ve recently learned that some of our customers are receiving grants through the local office of aging. In this article, we will go into more detail about what an office of aging is, and how you can get in touch with the office closest to you.
What is a Local Office of Aging?
A local area agency on aging, also referred to as a local office of aging, is responsible for ensuring seniors, people with disabilities, and their caregivers have access to long-term services and supports. An office on aging in NJ is also responsible for developing a coordinated system of community-based activities for older adults in each of NJ’s 21 counties.
Seniors and individuals with disabilities can turn to their local office of aging as a central source for information and referral for services and programs. Office of aging services include:
- Preparing an Area Plan on Aging: This includes an analysis of individuals’ needs and which services exist to satisfy those needs. A plan is then developed for delivering needed services to seniors.
- Acting on Area Plan on Aging: After analyzing the Area Plan on Aging, an office of aging will advise local governments and the Division of Aging and Community Services of unmet needs. It will also recommend legislation if deemed appropriate.
- Administering Allocation of Funds: An office of aging administers the annual allocation of federal funds from the Older American Act and state funds from the New Jersey Division of Aging and Community Services. Funding goes toward projects and services within the county.
- Post-Funding Evaluation: Monitoring and evaluating projects funded under the Area Plan on Aging.
- Advocacy: An office of aging serves as an advocate to increase public understanding of the nature of aging individuals and the aging process.
Now that you know what an office of aging does, let’s discuss what it’s like visit an office of aging and procure services.
Visiting a Local Office of Aging
When visiting an office of aging you will be paired with a caring professional to manage your individual case. A case manager will work with you to provide assessment, guidance, counseling, information, and referral.
In addition to seeking funding for mobility equipment, seniors can visit their county’s office of aging to locate resources for any of the following services:
- Adult Day Care
- Home-Delivered Meals
- Statewide Respite Services
- Legal Services
- Residential Maintenance
- Caregiver Assistance Services
- Home Care Services
- Housing Assistance
- Senior Center
- Adult Protective Services
Each of NJ’s 21 counties has its own office of aging. Contact information can be found by navigating to the official website of your county and looking for the Department of Human Services. If you don’t see “office on aging” it may also be referred to as “division of intergenerational services,” “division of senior services,” or “division on aging.”
If you have received funding through your office on aging, please contact Williams Lifts to see how we can help.