So many abbreviations! What do they all mean?

Government is famous for using too many abbreviations. Do you know what organizations each abbreviation represents, and how these agencies are related or differ? Read on to brush up your knowledge.

CSL: California Senior Legislature

The California Senior Legislature is a volunteer body whose mission is to propose and advocate for legislation at the state and federal levels. The body holds a four-day model legislative session each October in Sacramento during which legislative proposals are prioritized. It is composed of 40 Senior Senators and 80 Senior Assembly Members who are selected in elections supervised by advisory councils in the 33 Planning and Services Areas in California that were established by the federal 1965 Older Americans Act.

CDA: California Department of Aging

The California Department of Aging administers programs that serve older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and residents in long-term care facilities throughout the state. The Department administers funds allocated under the federal Older Americans Act, the Older Californians Act, and through the Medi-Cal program.

The Department contracts with and provides leadership and direction to the network of Area Agencies on Aging that coordinate a wide array of services to seniors and adults with disabilities at the community level and serve as the focal point for local aging concerns.

CDA also contracts directly with agencies that operate the Multipurpose Senior Services Program through the Medi-Cal home and community-based waiver for the elderly, and certifies Adult Day Health Care centers for the Medi-Cal program.

AAA: Area Agencies on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging is a network of approximately 620 organizations nationwide that serve the elderly populations (60+) of their local areas. Most agencies serve a specific geographic area of several neighboring counties, although a few offer services statewide. This is especially true in smaller or less densely populated states.

All AAAs receive federal funding under the Older American Act and most supplement that funding with additional state and local revenues. The Older Americans Act requires AAAs to submit an Area Plan every four years, with subsequent annual updates, which reflect strategies and activities to best serve the needs of older adults and family caregivers in their designated Planning and Service Area.

Marin County Aging and Adult Services (AAS) acts as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for Marin County. View the 2018-29 area plan.

AAS: Aging and Adult Services

The Marin County Aging and Adult Services acts as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for Marin County. AAA is the leading planner, administrator, and funder of services for persons over 60 and family caregivers in Marin County.

To create a well-coordinated, community-based system of care in Marin, the AAA provides services directly from its offices as well as contracts with a network of private and non-profit agencies. The AAA receives approximately $1,000,000 annually in Older Americans Act monies to fund critical services for older adults, family caregivers, and adults with disabilities in Marin. More than two-thirds of these funds are contracted to community-based agencies. Aging Action Initiative (AAI) is one of the recipients of this funding.

COA: Commission on Aging

The Marin County Commission on Aging is a federally mandated advisory council to the Board of Supervisors. The COA works closely with Aging and Adult Services on behalf of Marin’s older adults. The mission of the Commission is to promote the dignity, independence and quality of life of older persons through advocacy, information, programs, and services.

Commissioners are appointed to three-year terms by the Board of Supervisors: one from each of the incorporated cities, two elected from Marin County to the California Senior Legislature (CSL), and, if applicable, one Marin County resident appointed by the Governor to the State Commission on Aging. In addition, Marin County’s Senior Assembly Member and Senior Senator, representatives of the California Senior Legislature (CSL), also serve as ex-officio members for a four-year term.

Aging Action Initiative (AAI) is a collective effort of over 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commission and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin, collaborating for an age-friendly environment. For more information visit or connect with us on Facebook.

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Age Friendly Fairfax Submits Plan to WHO

May 1, 2017 | This April, the Age Friendly Fairfax Task Force submitted a five-year plan to the World Health Organization (WHO). The plan is the culmination of several years effort meet the challenge of growing older with dignity and in comfort in the Marin County Town of Fairfax.

In the summer of 2014, Fairfax volunteers and elected officials began discussing how the town might enhance services for older adults and improve their lives. Given that Marin County has the state’s fastest growing senior population, the group felt an imperative to move quickly to better accommodate the town’s beloved elders.

According to the American Community Survey, 24% of Fairfax residents were projected to be 60 years or older in 2015.

With the support and encouragement of both the Town Council and the Marin County Board of Supervisors’ Commission on Aging, the Town of Fairfax formed an Age-friendly Task Force and applied to the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities in December. It was granted admission into the global network in March 2015.

In 2015, the WHO granted age-friendly status to the Town of Fairfax, and it became the second Marin County municipality to join the network.

All network members share a commitment to promoting healthy and active aging and a good quality of life for older residents. The network aims to advance programs that foster healthy aging and the full participation of elders. It also provides a resource roadmap for cities and communities to become more supportive of older people.

The WHO network requires a commitment to participate in a five-year continuing cycle of community assessment, planning, improvement and evaluation of eight environmental and social domains of livability that contribute to active and healthy aging.

The five-year cycle begins with a two-year planning process, which the community can design itself. Typically, the process begins with an assessment of the community’s current and desired age friendliness, followed by strategic planning and an action plan.

The town is expected to implement the plan over the next three years, between 2017 and 2019, then will evaluate progress and submit a report to the WHO network.

The WHO requests communities examine eight areas during the assessment and planning process:
1. Outdoor spaces and buildings
2. Transportation
3. Housing
4. Social participation
5. Respect and social inclusion
6. Civic participation and employment
7. Communication and information
8. Community support and health services

To read the Age Friendly Fairfax Community Assessment 2015 – 2016 and Strategic Action Plan 2017 – 2019, click here.



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Update of County of Marin’s Area Plan for Aging Released

March 31, 2017 | Department of Aging & Adult Services has just released the first update to Live Long, Live Well: Marin County Area Plan for Aging 2016-2020. This is the current four-year plan for the Marin County Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

The four-year plan and this update will inform policy makers, funders, service providers, and members of the community about the needs of older adults in Marin County while engendering opportunities to improve their quality of life and sustain their independence.

Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Update of Live Long, Live Well: Marin County Area Plan for Aging 2016-2020 is the first update of the four year planning cycle, as determined by the Older Americans Act. The Older Americans Act requires Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) to submit an Area Plan every four years, with subsequent annual updates, which reflect strategies and activities to best serve the needs of older adults and family caregivers in their designated Planning and Service Area (PSA).

The planning process, including a needs assessment, undertaken in 2016 to develop this four-year plan identified priority areas and established goals for the AAA and the Commission on Aging. These are:

  • Enhance quality of life, safety, and security for older adults
  • Support and promote local efforts to create livable communities for all
  • Improve visibility and usability of information, services, and resources
  • Encourage innovative approaches to policy and services through community collaboration and advocacy

To read the Area Plan Update, click here.


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Senior Corps RSVP – Notice of Funding Opportunity

DEADLINE: April 4, 2017 | The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) seeks to increase the impact of national service in one or more counties across the country.

CNCS intends to fund RSVP grants that support volunteers age 55 years and older in activities that serve community needs and respond to the National Performance Measures in the following focus areas: disaster; education; economic opportunity; environment; healthy futures; and veterans and military families. In addition to addressing one or more of the Focus Areas above, which is a requirement, CNCS is particularly interested in supporting applications that propose to include one or more of the priorities listed below.

Elder Justice: Applicants focus on the Elder Justice Act priorities by placing volunteers in assignments that mitigate the potential that clients and caregivers served by RSVP volunteers will be victims of financial fraud, abuse, and/or neglect and/or that provide assistance and support services to victims of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Education—Intergenerational Programming: Applicants address ways to increase older adult engagement with young people in the areas of school readiness and K-12 success.

Access to Care—Opioid Abuse: Applicants address ways to increase access to care and participation in health education, including prevention activities, related to opioid abuse.

Aging in Place—Transportation: Applicants focus on the access to preventive/medical appointments or other services that allow them to live independently.

Economic Opportunity—Housing: Applicants contribute to the provision of services for individuals who are economically-disadvantaged, including individuals who are homeless, to transition into safe, healthy, affordable housing.

To learn more about this funding notice, including a list of funding opportunities by State, visit the CNCS website.

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