The Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging is South Carolina's "State Unit on Aging" and administers federal funds received through the Older Americans Act.
The General Assembly and the Governor transferred responsibility for South Carolina's Older Americans Act programs to the Lieutenant Governor's Office on July 1, 2004, moving the Bureau of Senior Services out of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging works with a network of regional and local organizations to develop and manage programs and services to improve the quality of life of South Carolina's older citizens, and to help them remain independent in their homes and communities.
The Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging, through its administration of the Older Americans Act programs, aids 34,000 older adults who have the greatest social, economic, and health needs, and rural and low-income minority elders. Additionally, the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging works with many other state agencies, as well as with the private sector, to coordinate the needs and interests of older adults and to develop new resources.
The Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging is the statewide leader for advocating, planning and developing resources in partnership with individuals and communities to meet the present and future needs of over 717,000 older South Carolinians and their caregivers; to develop and coordinate a comprehensive continuum of care system; and to promote education, research and training in the field of gerontology.
The vision of the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging is to be the first resource considered when anyone needs information, service options, and guidance concerning issues related to seniors and vulnerable adults.
The mission of the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging is to partner with state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and the private sector to enhance the quality of life for seniors and/or vulnerable adults.
The Goals of the Lieutenant Governor's Office on aging are:
- Enhance the network's capacity to provide person-centered services to seniors and vulnerable adults.
- Identify and obtain alternate funding streams and resources to meet service needs.
- Advocate and intervene to prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation of seniors and vulnerable adults.
- Become a more effective resource for seniors and vulnerable adults by creating awareness of the roles and functions of the Office on Aging.
- Improve the legal and regulatory environment to more closely meet the needs of the current and future populations served by the Office on Aging.
- Create a coalition of advocacy groups to provide statewide, regional, and local leadership on aging issues.
Area Agencies on Aging are organizations required by the federal Older Americans Act and designated by the State Unit on Aging to provide planning and administrative oversight for multi-county planning and service areas. Each agency must consider and prioritize the needs of older adults within its respective planning and service area and uses federal and state funding to provide needed services. In South Carolina, there are ten area agencies. Seven are located within regional planning councils. The remaining three are private, non-profit organizations. Of these, two are freestanding and one is part of a community health organization.
LOCAL AGING SERVICE PROVIDERS
Each of the state's 46 counties has an agency designated as the County Focal Point to carry out activities, programs and services for older adults. Many counties have multi-purpose senior centers that provide group meals and social activities.