COAs serve as a conduits for accessing a range of municipal services that may seem out-of-reach to older residents. They are the focal point where seniors and their families can access the local and state network of elder services, while providing an integrated array of social, health, recreational and education programs for older men and women. COAs offer programs, services and activities that benefit more than 540,000 elders, families and caregivers annually.
COAs conduct more than 100 programs from information and referral to benefits, outreach, transportation, and meals and other food programs to health screenings, health insurance information benefits counseling, fitness, recreation, computer access, education and life-long learning, among others. In most communities, the COA serves as the only public social service agency and assists all town residents with access to public benefits.
Each COA determines its own priorities based on unique local circumstances, resources and interests. Regardless of design, a local senior center is often a home away from home for socializing, learning, wellness, “giving back,” or just a reason to get out of the house. For the rapidly growing elder population, COAs and senior centers provide a safe place for Massachusetts elders to remain independent productive and in the community for as long as possible.