Iowa Department on Aging
The 2010 U.S. Census found that 20 percent of Iowa’s population is currently 60 years of age or older. By 2030, 20 percent of the population in 88 of Iowa’s 99 counties will be aged 65 or older.
Brief History of the Department
The Iowa Department on Aging is the designated State Unit on Aging and was established as a result of The Older Americans Act (OAA), enacted by Congress in 1965. The OAA promotes the well-being of older adults and assists them in remaining independent and in their own homes and communities. The U.S. Administration for Community Living distributes federal OAA funds to State Units on Aging which, in turn, designate Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) at the local level to provide information and services to older Iowans. Title III of the OAA provides funds to help states organize and pay for meals and a broad range of home and community based services through the AAAs and hundreds of service providers throughout the state; this structure is commonly called the "aging network." All persons who are 60 and older are eligible to receive services, but states are required to target assistance to persons with the "greatest social or economic need."
The Department Today
The Iowa Department on Aging is currently charged with an aggressive restructuring of the aging network. On March 29, 2012, Governor Terry Branstad signed House File 2320 mandating a reduction in the number of Area Agencies on Aging. Frequently referred to as the “modernization of the aging network,” this initiative effectively reduced the number of AAAs from 13 to six in an effort to create a more efficient network that provides all Iowans a greater continuity of services.
The mission of the Iowa Department on Aging is to develop a comprehensive, coordinated and cost-effective system of long-term living and community support services that helps individuals maintain health and independence in their homes and communities.
Advocate for changes in public policy, practices and programs that empower older Iowans; facilitate their access to services; protect their rights; and prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation. Activities may include legislative advocacy, information dissemination, outreach and referral, research and analysis and coalition building.
Planning Development and Coordination
Conduct planning, policy development, administration, coordination, priority setting and evaluation of all state activities related to the objectives of the Federal Older Americans Act.
Support policies, programs and wellness initiatives to empower older Iowans to stay active and healthy and improve their access to affordable, high quality home and community-based services.