So many acronyms! What do they all mean?


In your work and the work of Aging Action Initiative (AAI) you may encounter these government acronyms. Do you know what organizations they represent, how each is releated or different? Read on to test your knowledge.


California Senior Legislature (CSL)

The California Senior Legislature is a volunteer body whose primary mission is to gather ideas for legislation at the state and federal levels, craft the ideas into formal proposals, prioritize the proposals, present them to members of the Legislature or the Congress, and advocate for laws implementing the ideas.

The CSL is established in state statute: Welfare and Institutions Code sections 9300-9305. Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 18721-18724 provide for the California Fund for Senior Citizens using funds designated on California individual tax returns.


California Department of Aging (CDA) 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.


Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)

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 (PSA).


Aging and Adult Services (AAS)

The Marin County Aging and Adult Services acts as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for Marin County. This can be confusing because the terms are interchangeable. 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.


Commission on Aging (COA)

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 and coordinated by MARINSPACE, collaborating for an age-friendly environment. For more information visit or connect with us on Facebook.

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