The Chemung County Office for the Aging was established after the Hurricane Agnes Flood of 1972. The Office was designated a county department on July 1, 1973. Since our inception, we have operated under the principle that we should assist, not direct, people. We encourage and support individual responsibility to plan for life's changes. We believe in the need to recognize and strengthen interdependence among families and generations.
In April 1996, the Office expanded, with the creation of the CARE Unit, to become the central access system for all long term care services. The Care Access and Resource Exchange Unit, now known as New York Connects, provides comprehensive assessments and case management services for all residents seeking community-based long term care services.
In February 2002, the Office assumed responsibility to plan and supervise activities of the Adult Protective Services Unit of the Chemung County Department of Social Services.
In 2006, New York State, through the New York State Office for the Aging, designated our department as Chemung County’s New York Connects, a single point of entry for information and assistance on long term care services and supports. In July 2006, our office was renamed the Department of Aging and Long Term Care to better reflect our responsibilities and functions.
The Department of Aging and Long Term Care is an Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Area Agencies on Aging were established under the Older Americans Act in 1973 to respond to the needs of Americans 60 and over in every local community. By providing a range of options that allow older adults to choose the home and community-based services and living arrangements that suit them best, Agencies on Aging make it possible for older adults to remain in their homes and communities as long as possible.
The Older Americans Act of 1965, and amended in 2006, provides specific objectives for maintaining the dignity and welfare of older individuals, and created the primary vehicle for organizing, coordinating and providing community-based services and opportunities for older Americans and their families. The Act established the Administration on Aging (AoA) as an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The AoA has since been combined with the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Office on Disability to create the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to serve as the Federal agency responsible for increasing access to community supports, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities across the lifespan. The mission of the ACL is to maximize the independence, well-being, and health of older adults, people with disabilities across the lifespan, and their families and caregivers.
Several Titles of the Older Americans Act provide for supportive in-home and community-based services. Title III supports a range of services including nutrition, transportation, senior center, health promotion, and homemaker services. Title VII places emphasis on elder rights programs, including the long term care ombudsman program, legal services, outreach, public benefit and insurance counseling and elder abuse prevention efforts.
AoA awards funds for Titles III and VII to the 56 State Agencies on Aging (sometimes referred to as State units on aging) which are located in every State and Territory. Under Title VI, AoA also awards funds to 246 tribes and native organizations to meet the needs of older American Indians, Aleuts, Eskimos, and Hawaiians. The grantees provide services in keeping with the unique cultural heritage of Native Americans.
Program funding is allocated to each State Agency on Aging, based on the number of older persons in the State, to plan, develop, and coordinate systems of supportive in-home and community-based services. Most States are divided into Planning and Service Areas (PSAs) so that programs can be effectively developed and targeted to meet the unique needs of the elderly residing in that area.
Nationwide some 618 area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) receive funds from their respective State Agencies on Aging to plan, develop, coordinate and arrange for services in each PSA. AAA’s provide services directly and contract with over 27,000 public or private service provider agencies nationwide to offer a wealth of services that help older adults maintain independence and dignity in their homes and communities.