In 1965, the Older Americans Act was passed, increasing federal, state, and local support and programs for older adults. In addition to Departments on Aging, a number of other government agencies provide direct and indirect services supporting older adults and their families. Below is an overview of the government agencies most commonly providing support to older adults. Please note that the types of agencies and services available may vary depending on the city, county, or state in which you live.
Department on Aging
Departments on Aging provide support and services that protect the interests and welfare of older adults and their caregivers. These can include but are not limited to: multipurpose senior centers (offering nutrition programs, transportation, health education, and recreational activities); housing and homeless resources; legal assistance and advocacy; evidence-based programs; elder abuse resources; emergency preparedness; health insurance counseling and advocacy; and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program (providing representatives who assist residents of long-term care facilities with reporting issues and complaints).
Consulate General of Japan
The Consulate General of Japan has 16 offices in the U.S., each with its own jurisdiction to provide support to Japanese citizens living in the U.S. as well as U.S. citizens interested in visiting Japan. Information provided by the Consulate includes but is not limited to: travel to Japan (such as short-term stays and visa fees), passport resources, customs and quarantine policies, culture and education, and current bilateral relations between Japan and the U.S.
Department of Mental Health
Departments of Mental Health provide support and services to individuals diagnosed with mental illness. These can include but are not limited to: field clinical services for older adults; counseling and therapy; prevention and early intervention programs; symptom maintenance programs; and education.
Department of Public Health
Departments of Public Health provide support and services to protect and improve the health of the communities they serve. These can include but are not limited to: public health centers (managing and report disease); inspection of public spaces; information on current disease outbreaks; reporting programs (such as environmental health complaints or animal bite reports); and regulatory oversight and inspection of certain types of health care facilities.
Department of Social Services
Departments of Social Services provide support and services to vulnerable individuals, including older adults. These can include but are not limited to: financial assistance; food nutrition programs; case management and care planning; accessing social safety net programs; and in-home supportive services.
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration provides support and services to qualified retired persons and their families. These include but are not limited to: applying for and managing benefits, disability benefits, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs, and Medicare benefits; programs to assist survivors of eligible individuals (such as widows and dependents); retirement estimators; and information on accessing benefits outside of the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides support and services to eligible military veterans and their families as they transition out of military service. These include but are not limited to: applying for VA benefits; health care services; disability services; and pensions, housing assistance, burials, memorials, and life insurance.