For nearly 50 years, USAging (formerly n4a, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging) has represented Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) as they work to ensure every American can age with maximum health, well-being, independence and dignity. AAAs were established in 1973 as part of a reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA). In 1978, funding targeted to Native American Tribes was added, thus creating Title VI of the OAA. The association, n4a, was formed in 1975 to advocate and represent AAAs in Washington, DC; Title VI Native American aging programs became eligible n4a members in 1988. Advocacy remained the association’s primary mission until 1992, when n4a was awarded a grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging to establish a national call center to connect older adults and their caregivers to needed services at the community level; the Eldercare Locator remains administered by USAging today.
Since the early 2000s, USAging has also grown its work in research, training and technical assistance—conducting landmark surveys, and operating several national resource centers that are building the capacity of AAAs and other aging and disability entities at the local level. These include the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, the Aging and Disability Business Institute, the engAGED Resource Center, and the USAging-administered Dementia Friendly America and Dementia Friends USA. Our work continues to evolve to support our members in new and emerging areas, to help them better serve older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers, now and in the future