The Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is administered by the Rio Grande Council of Governments and funded through the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in accordance with the Older Americans Act. The Rio Grande AAA serves individuals 60 years of age and older and their families living in El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Presidio and Brewster counties through the various direct services it provides or through purchased services on behalf of a client.
The AAA’s Mission is to:
Support Older Adults with their independence and ability to continue to reside in the community for as long as possible and assist Family Caregivers in their daily task of caring for their loved one. The AAA provides the following direct services:
- Information, Referral and Assistance: Inquirers are provided with information on various programs available to older adults and family caregivers so that they might make an informed choice on the assistance needed. Referrals are made to the appropriate agency depending on the inquirer’s needs.
- Care Coordination: Care Coordination staff assess the needs of the older individual or the family caregiver and effectively plan, arrange and coordinate needed services with the goal of maintaining independence or supporting the needs of the family caregiver. Through Care Coordination, we are able to purchase the following services on a client’s behalf from local vendors:
- HOME DELIVERED AND CONGREGATE MEALS
- IN-HOME SERVICES SUCH AS PERSONAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES, HOMEMAKER SERVICES AND RESPITE CARE
- ADULT DAY ACTIVITY SERVICES
- MINOR HOME REPAIRS OR MODIFICATIONS
- MEDICAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES, MEDICATIONS
- ASSISTANCE WITH THE HEARING AIDS, EYEGLASSES AND DENTAL SERVICES
- Benefits Counseling: Benefits Counseling staff provide information and assistance specifically on public benefits and entitlement programs in order to assist the older adult make an informed choice regarding their benefits. Examples of what Benefits Counselors can assist you with are:
- SOCIAL SECURITY, SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY, SOCIAL SECURITY SUPPLEMENTAL (SSI)
- MEDICARE, MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS AND MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLANS
- MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAMS (QMB, SLMB, QI-1)
- LOW INCOME SUBSIDY (LIS)
- LONG TERM AND OTHER HEALTH INSURANCES
- INSURANCE AND CONSUMER FRAUD
- RELATED LEGAL ISSUES
- ADVANCED DIRECTIVES
- Caregiver Support Services: Family Caregivers are a growing population of over-burdened individuals juggling work, family and care for their loved one. Supportive service such as respite, home modifications and equipment are provided to support the needs of the Family Caregiver in an effort to continue to encourage their assistance to their loved one. Community education and awareness is also provided about resources that will help these individuals and family members with their role as Caregivers. This is done through support groups and education and training programs, with the focus on helping Caregivers cope with the stress of caregiving.
- Long Term Care Ombudsman: The Staff Ombudsman and certified ombudsman volunteers are advocates for Residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and state licensed foster homes. The ombudsmen mediate resident, family and facility staff concerns while striving to maintain quality of life for our elderly residing in the area institutions. An Ombudsman seeks to:
- Investigate and resolve complaints by or on behalf of facility residents
- Work with residents, families and facility staff to resolve complaints or concerns
- Provide information to residents, families and facility staff about resident rights
- Health and Wellness Programs: Evidence based health and wellness classes are provided to help older adults improve their overall health and well being. Currently the AAA offers the following classes:
- A Matter of Balance – this curriculum is an 8 week course designed to reduce the risk of falls and increase physical activity
- Chronic Disease Self-Management Program – this curriculum is a 6 week course was developed to provide older adults with the tools and education to help cope and manage chronic diseases.
- El Paso Times Senior Fund: Each holiday season the El Paso Times assists with a fundraising campaign to collect funds and help to finance the special needs of older adults in El Paso county. This is a joint effort in collaboration with the United Way of El Paso. All persons over the age of 60 who are in need of assistance apply directly to the AAA. Applications requesting services that cannot be met through existing community resources or AAA funding are coordinated through the Senior Fund.
Aging to Perfection Expo:
- In an effort to provide information to the general public about aging services, the AAA coordinates this annual health fair held at the El Paso Convention Center. It is the largest expo targeted at baby boomers and beyond. It provides a wealth of information covering all aspects of aging: social and medical services, leisure activities and products for older adults and family caregivers.
Contact the Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging for more information about services and supports available:
(915) 533-0998 Main Office – El Paso, TX
Toll free: 1-800-333-7082
(432) 729-4312 AAA Rural Office – Marfa, TX
Staff located at this satellite office in Marfa, TX serve the five rural counties of the AAA Service Region (Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Presidio and Brewster counties). All AAA services listed above are provided in the rural area through this position.