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Thursday, October 09, 2003 Contact: AoA Press Office
(202) 401-4541

The Administration On Aging Awards $3.5 To Improve Access To Services And Consumer Assistance For Older Americans

The Administration on Aging (AoA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded grants totaling over $3.5 million to increase access to services and programs and enhance consumer assistance for older Americans. Josefina G. Carbonell, Assistant Secretary for Aging, said “The demand for community-based services for older persons will rise significantly in the coming decades.

HHS and AoA are committed to coordinating access to care to better serve older Americans.” Enhancing consumer services for aging Americans is also an AoA priority. “AoA is working hard to improve consumer services dedicated to helping older Americans and their caregivers find the programs and services that can help them retain independence and dignity in their own homes and communities,” Assistant Secretary Carbonell said. “We are committed to shifting the balance of care from institutional to home and community-based services that meet people where they are with the kind of help they want,” she continued.

Eldercare Locator Consumer Assistance

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, in partnership with the National Association of State Units on Aging, received $1,174,979 for a cooperative agreement to continue and expand the Eldercare Locator, a nationwide service connecting older Americans and their caregivers with information on senior services. This project will focus on increasing awareness and usage of the Eldercare Locator and explore future directions for the program. The new award will also continue operation of the National Aging Information & Referral Support Center, which provides technical assistance and training to the aging network to improve and enhance aging information and referral systems. Information about the Eldercare Locator is available at or by calling 1-800-677-1116.

Alzheimer’s National Call Center

AoA awarded $993,500 in a cooperative agreement to the Alzheimer’s Association for the establishment of an Alzheimer’s National Call Center. The Center will serve as an information, counseling and assistance program coordinated through a national network of community-based organization that have the capacity to serve persons affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Working closely with AoA, the Alzheimer’s Association will implement and operate the call center, accessible 24/7 and capable of providing professional care consultation and crisis intervention around the clock.

Native American Resource Centers

These Centers will focus on issues and concerns affecting older Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. The University of North Dakota’s National Resource Center on Native American Aging received $345,000 for three years to improve the quality of life of American Indian elders through research, technical assistance and training.

The Center will develop practices that make it easier for all older American Indians to access an integrated array of health and long term care services; to help older American Indians stay active and healthy, and to support families in their efforts to care for their loved ones at home and in the community. The National Resource Center for American Indian, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiian Elders at the University of Alaska Anchorage received $344,155 for one year and will focus on local problems and issues of Alaska Natives because of the unique challenges that are distinct from other Native Americans.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at