[Title 45 CFR C]
[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) - October 1, 1996 Edition]
[Subtitle B - Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued)]
[Subpart C - Area Agency Responsibilities]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

                 Subpart C--Area Agency Responsibilities

Sec. 1321.53  Mission of the area agency.

    (a) The Older Americans Act intends that the area agency on aging 
shall be the leader relative to all aging issues on behalf of all older 
persons in the planning and service area. This means that the area 
agency shall proactively carry out, under the leadership and direction 
of the State agency, a wide range of functions related to advocacy, 
planning, coordination, inter-agency linkages, information sharing, 
brokering, monitoring and evaluation, designed to lead to the 
development or enhancement of comprehensive and coordinated community 
based systems in, or serving, each community in the planning and service 
area. These systems shall be designed to assist older persons in leading 
independent, meaningful and dignified lives in their own homes and 
communities as long as possible.
    (b) A comprehensive and coordinated community based system described 
in paragraph (a) of this section shall:
    (1) Have a visible focal point of contact where anyone can go or 
call for help, information or referral on any aging issue;
    (2) Provide a range of options:
    (3) Assure that these options are readily accessible to all older 
persons: The independent, semi-dependent and totally dependent, no 
matter what their income;
    (4) Include a commitment of public, private, voluntary and personal 
resources committed to supporting the system;
    (5) Involve collaborative decision-making among public, private, 
voluntary, religious and fraternal organizations and older people in the 
    (6) Offer special help or targetted resources for the most 
vulnerable older persons, those in danger of losing their independence;
    (7) Provide effective referral from agency to agency to assure that 
information or assistance is received, no matter how or where contact is 
made in the community;
    (8) Evidence sufficient flexibility to respond with appropriate 
individualized assistance, especially for the vulnerable older person;
    (9) Have a unique character which is tailored to the specific nature 
of the community;
    (10) Be directed by leaders in the community who have the respect, 
capacity and authority necessary to convene all interested persons, 
assess needs, design solutions, track overall success, stimulate change 
and plan community responses for the present and for the future.
    (c) The resources made available to the area agency on aging under 
the Older Americans Act are to be used to finance those activities 
necessary to achieve elements of a community based system set forth in 
paragraph (b) of this section. For the purpose of assuring access to 
information and services for older persons, the area agency

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shall work with elected community officials in the planning and service 
area to designate one or more focal points on aging in each community, 
as appropriate. The area agency shall list designated focal points in 
the area plan. It shall be the responsibility of the area agency, with 
the approval of the State agency, to define ``community'' for the 
purposes of this section. Since the Older Americans Act defines focal 
point as a ``facility'' established to encourage the maximum collocation 
and coordination of services for older individuals, special 
consideration shall be given to developing and/or designating multi-
purpose senior centers as community focal points on aging. The area 
agency on aging shall assure that services financed under the Older 
Americans Act in, or on behalf of, the community will be either based 
at, linked to or coordinated with the focal points designated. The area 
agency on aging shall assure access from the designated focal points to 
services financed under the Older Americans Act. The area agency on 
aging shall work with, or work to assure that community leadership works 
with, other applicable agencies and institutions in the community to 
achieve maximum collocation at, coordination with or access to other 
services and opportunities for the elderly from the designated community 
focal points. The area agency may not engage in any activity which is 
inconsistent with its statutory mission prescribed in the Act or 
policies prescribed by the State under Sec. 1321.11.

Sec. 1321.55  Organization and staffing of the area agency.

    (a) An area agency may be either:
    (1) An agency whose single purpose is to administer programs for 
older persons; or
    (2) A separate organizational unit within a multi-purpose agency 
which functions only for purposes of serving as the area agency on 
aging. Where the State agency on aging designates, as an area agency on 
aging, a separate organizational unit of a multipurpose agency which has 
been serving as an area agency, the State agency action shall not be 
subject to section 305(b)(5)(B) of the Act.
    (b) The area agency, once designated, is responsible for providing 
for adequate and qualified staff to perform all of the functions 
prescribed in this part.
    (c) The designated area agency continues to function in that 
capacity until either:
    (1) The area agency informs the State agency that it no longer 
wishes to carry out the responsibilities of an area agency; or
    (2) The State agency withdraws the designation of the area agency as 
provided in Sec. 1321.35.

Sec. 1321.57  Area agency advisory council.

    (a) Functions of council. The area agency shall establish an 
advisory council. The council shall carry out advisory functions which 
further the area agency's mission of developing and coordinating 
community-based systems of services for all older persons in the 
planning and service area. The council shall advise the agency relative 
    (1) Developing and administering the area plan;
    (2) Conducting public hearings;
    (3) Representing the interest of older persons; and
    (4) Reviewing and commenting on all community policies, programs and 
actions which affect older persons with the intent of assuring maximum 
coordination and responsiveness to older persons.
    (b) Composition of council. The council shall include individuals 
and representatives of community organizations who will help to enhance 
the leadership role of the area agency in developing community-based 
systems of services. The advisory council shall be made up of:
    (1) More than 50 percent older persons, including minority 
individuals who are participants or who are eligible to participate in 
programs under this part;
    (2) Representatives of older persons;
    (3) Representatives of health care provider organizations, including 
providers of veterans' health care (if appropriate);
    (4) Representatives of supportive services providers organizations;
    (5) Persons with leadership experience in the private and voluntary 

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    (6) Local elected officials; and
    (7) The general public.
    (c) Review by advisory council. The area agency shall submit the 
area plan and amendments for review and comment to the advisory council 
before it is transmitted to the State agency for approval.

Sec. 1321.59  Submission of an area plan and plan amendments to the State for approval.

    The area agency shall submit the area plan and amendments to the 
State agency for approval following procedures specified by the State 
agency in the State policies prescribed by Sec. 1321.11.

Sec. 1321.61  Advocacy responsibilities of the area agency.

    (a) The area agency shall serve as the public advocate for the 
development or enhancement of comprehensive and coordinated community-
based systems of services in each community throughout the planning and 
service area.
    (b) In carrying out this responsibility, the area agency shall:
    (1) Monitor, evaluate, and, where appropriate, comment on all 
policies, programs, hearings, levies, and community actions which affect 
older persons;
    (2) Solicit comments from the public on the needs of older persons;
    (3) Represent the interests of older persons to local level and 
executive branch officials, public and private agencies or 
    (4) Consult with and support the State's long-term care ombudsman 
program; and
    (5) Undertake on a regular basis activities designed to facilitate 
the coordination of plans and activities with all other public and 
private organizations, including units of general purpose local 
government, with responsibilities affecting older persons in the 
planning and service area to promote new or expanded benefits and 
opportunities for older persons; and
    (c) Each area agency on aging shall undertake a leadership role in 
assisting communities throughout the planning and service area to target 
resources from all appropriate sources to meet the needs of older 
persons with greatest economic or social need, with particular attention 
to low income minority individuals. Such activities may include location 
of services and specialization in the types of services must needed by 
these groups to meet this requirement. However, the area agency may not 
permit a grantee or contractor under this part to employ a means test 
for services funded under this part.
    (d) No requirement in this section shall be deemed to supersede a 
prohibition contained in the Federal appropriation on the use of Federal 
funds to lobby the Congress; or the lobbying provision applicable to 
private nonprofit agencies and organizations contained in OMB Circular