The DC Office on Aging develops and carries out a comprehensive and coordinated system of health, education, employment, and social services for the District's elderly population, who are 60 years of age and older.
The Office on Aging was created by DC Law 1-24 in 1975 as the District's State and Area Agency on Aging. It is structured to carry out advocacy, leadership, management, program, and fiscal responsibilities. On the program level, the Office on Aging oversees the operation of two on-site programs, the Information and Assistance Center and the Senior Employment and Training Program. In addition, DCOA also provides nursing home care and services to District residents 18 years of age and older. Currently, the DCOA/District owns two nursing facilities that are privately operated and managed. The Washington Center for Aging Services (WCAS), is leased to Stoddard Baptist Home Foundation and Unique Residential Care Facility is leased to Vital Management Team (VMT). It also funds a Senior Service Network comprising 20 community-based nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to the District's elderly citizens.
The 20 community-based education, government, and private organizations that make up the Senior Service Network operate more than 30 programs for older persons. Crucial to the Network are Lead Agencies that offer a broad range of legal, nutrition, social, and health services. The goal of these agencies is to enhance the quality of life for older adults and their families throughout all eight wards of the District of Columbia. The agencies accomplish this goal through widespread distribution of information about the variety of services and programs offered seniors throughout the city and ways to access them.
As of 2008, DCOA has also operated (with support from the Department of Health Care Finance) the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), a one-stop resource for long-term care information, benefits and assistance for residents age 60 and older and persons with disabilities age 18 and older.
The mission of the District of Columbia Office on Aging is to advocate, plan, implement, and monitor programs in health, education, employment, and social services which promote longevity, independence, dignity and choice for our senior citizens.