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Texas Department on Aging

Ben E. Dickerson General Entry

The Texas Department on Aging in Austin serves more than two million older citizens, the fifth largest over-sixty population in the United States. In 1957 the legislature established an interim committee to develop legislation that would address the needs of the elderly. Eight years later the Senate established the Governor's Committee on Aging, and it was designated by the governor to administer federal funds made available through the Older Americans Act of 1965. In 1981 the Governor's Committee on Aging was made a state agency, and its name was changed to Texas Department on Aging. The functions of the department include advocacy, service-system development, and management. The governing body is the department on aging, composed of nine members appointed by the governor for six-year staggered terms. The department appoints the executive director, who is responsible for supervising a full-time staff and a twenty-eight member Citizens' Advisory Council. Each council member serves for three years and represents one of the department's twenty-eight Area Agencies on Aging advisory councils. Under the direction of the Texas Department on Aging, the Area Agencies on Aging are responsible for assessing the needs of the elderly and developing written annual plans to meet them. The department, in turn, develops a two-year state plan that reflects the priorities of the Area Agencies on Aging. Public hearings are then conducted across the state to ensure that the plan is responsive to the needs of the elderly. The network of Area Agencies on Aging provides nutrition programs, information and referral systems, employment programs, transportation systems, and in-home and other services directed toward preventing unnecessary institutionalization or life-threatening situations. State legislation passed in 1983 established the Long-Term Care Coordinating Council and made the Texas Department on Aging the lead agency. The TDA works with the Texas departments of Human Services, Health, and Mental Health-Mental Retardation to promote a broad range of services for the elderly.

Texas Department on Aging, Biennial Report, 1984. Texas Department on Aging, The History of the Governor's Committee on Aging (Austin, 1981).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Ben E. Dickerson, “Texas Department on Aging,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 23, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.