Your local Area Agency Aging Council is a very important part in a much larger network, which is known as the National Network on Aging. This National Network begins with Congress at the top and ends with the consumers of the services at the end of the chain.
Key Components of the National Network on Aging
Congress: The Congress has responsibility for enacting legislation to assure the dignity and worth of older Americans. The OAA is the authority at the federal level.
State Units on Aging: An agency of state government designated by the governor and/or state legislature as the state level focal point for all activities related to the needs of and services for older persons. In Kentucky, the official agency is the Office of Aging Services, Cabinet for Health Services.
Area Agencies on Aging: An agency designated by the State Unit on Aging in a planning and service area to develop and administer an Aging Area Plan providing for the development of a comprehensive coordinated service delivery system for older persons. In Kentucky, the Area Development Districts are designated Area Agencies on Aging. There are 15 Area Agencies on Aging in the state. They are all located in the Area Development Districts.
Service Providers: Local service providers are at the bottom of the administrative ladder but are key components of the actual service delivery. These are the agencies that are in direct one-on-one contact with the older persons. Technically, they are defined as an entity that is awarded a sub-grant or contract from an Area Agency on Aging to provide services under the current Aging Area Plan for that specific Development District.