Mar 16

Springwell Grantees Help Address Area Needs

4 smiling unidentified members of the AAA committee

In 1965, the Older Americans Act (OAA) was passed by Congress to “create a comprehensive and coordinated system of care for elderly Americans.” The program, funded with federal grants, is administered locally across the country by Area Agencies on Aging (AAA). In part of its role as an AAA, Springwell works with community partners in our twenty-two-town service area to assess the needs of older adults and award grants to put services and resources in place to meet those needs. Needs are evaluated based on input from older adults in our service area via surveys, meetings at housing sites, online virtual and in-person listening sessions, as well as feedback from our community partners, such as Councils on Aging.

Springwell evaluates the data and prioritizes top needs with a focus on isolated elders who live alone, low-income elders, minority elder populations, and socially isolated populations (including limited-English-proficient elders and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders). Once the needs are determined, a request for proposals is widely publicized. When grants are awarded, older adults age 60 and over are aided by the social services that help them live independently and safely. After the most recent assessment, Springwell awarded thirteen grants.

There are three health promotion grants, two focused on chronic disease self-management and one focused on diabetes prevention. Another grant provides subsidized residential hospice care for individuals who can no longer remain at home but cannot afford residential care. Resources and outreach for Chinese, Russian, Latinx, and Ugandan older adults in the area is enhanced by grant support. A grant is continuing to meet the ongoing need for technology by providing Chromebooks, internet access, and training to older adults.

Hoarding is a mental health and safety challenge for some older adults. A grant will provide several hours of heavy chore cleaning and decluttering to help multiple individuals be safe and avoid eviction. A social day program serving ten communities is offering respite for caregivers and socialization for their loved ones who have been isolated at home. Legal services that have been focused on assisting older adults with the housing and benefits issues that have become more prevalent following the pandemic and much needed transportation to medical appointments are helping many seniors in our communities. Funding is providing a significant increase in the number of people who receive weekly farm produce vouchers June through October. All these programs support an individual’s right to live independently in the community and reflect Springwell’s commitment to the dignity and self-determination of those we serve.

The next Area Plan will kick off on October 1, 2025. We encourage all older adults and community partners to participate in the needs assessment. In the meantime, congratulations to  our 2024-2025 grantees. Each project is described at

EACH, Inc.

Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center

Good Shepherd Community Care

Healthy Waltham

Hudson Senior Center

MetroWest Legal Services

MetroWest YMCA

Natick Senior Center

Newton Housing Authority

Weston Council on Aging