The 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.