Last week, the staff of the Phillips County office of East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging traveled to Jonesboro for a day of celebration as the Agency turned 35 years old. Several were on hand to receive recognition, including the executive director, Monte Callicott, and the chief financial officer, Jacque McDaniel, who have served the organization since its inception. As a result of the 1973 amendments to the federal Older Americans Act (OAA), states were required to divide their state into planning and service areas, and to designate Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) to develop and implement programs and services for older persons at the local level. Arkansas has eight AAAs, each responsible for providing services within specifically defined geographic boundaries. In order to receive funding from the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), each AAA is required to submit an area plan for review and approval. Each AAA is required to provide legal services; nutrition, both congregate and home-delivered meals; in-home care; health promotion and disease prevention; and, case management. EAAAA also provides an ombudsman program to assist patients in nursing homes and their families. Many retired persons who continue to feel like contributing to their communities enjoy the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Foster Grandparents. Services available under the OAA mandates are for persons at least 60 years of age, in the greatest social and economic need, with special emphasis placed on low-income minority elderly. Persons with disabilities aged 18-59 may receive assistance through the Social Services Block Grant or other non-Title III funds. Through December, all Medicare recipients are welcome to contact to set up an appointment to get personal assistance with signing up for the 2014 Medicare programs. Call 870-338-7136 for an appointment. The office is located at 617 Walnut, Room 220, Helena.