In 1965, the Older Americans Act (OAA) was passed by Congress in response to concern about a lack of community social services for older persons. The OAA established the Administration on Aging as the federal point of contact for all issues concerning older persons. Reauthorized in 2016, the OAA acts as the primary vehicle for the delivery of social and nutrition services to older adults and their caregivers, which are provided by a national network of state agencies on aging, Area Agencies on Aging, and community service providers, among other organizations.
The OAA stipulates that a multi-year, comprehensive Area Plan be developed for each planning and service area. This plan is submitted to the California Department of Aging. The White House Conference on Aging, Census data, need assessment surveys, service delivery waiting lists, and current service levels are all used to project the need for service. The Area Plan also requires that staff coordinate with other service organizations, engage in program development when needed, provide training and technical assistance to service providers, and serve as the quality assurance component for contracted services. The Riverside County Advisory Council on Aging participates in the Area Plan development process. A public hearing is conducted to solicit comments from the community on the Area Plan and the methods used for developing the Area Plan.