Aging and Independence Services

About Aging and Independence Services

For more information send us an email or call: 800-339-4661.

AIS provides services to older adults, people with disabilities and their family members, to help keep clients safely in their homes, promote healthy and vital living, and publicize positive contributions made by older adults and persons with disabilities.

Information about this Service:

Survey of Older Americans - Older San Diegans responded to questions about their needs and situations.

AIS is the only single public or private organization in the county that combines so many services for older adults and disabled persons under one umbrella -- and mostly at no charge to county residents who use the services. Aging & Independence Services has experienced significant growth and change since it was established as an Area Agency on Aging, beginning with a staff of three in 1970 and a budget of $100,000. The organization is now part of the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, employing about 750 persons, utilizing the volunteer time of more than 2,000 individuals, and providing or contracting for services and programs with a budget of more than $200 million dollars. On February 24, 1999, the organization's new name, Aging & Independence Services, was formally presented to and accepted by the Board of Supervisors. The new name reflects the mission and purpose of the organization and the population it serves.

Services provided by Aging & Independence Services or through contracts with community-based organizations include five areas of focus:

  • Information Services: The gateway to assistance
  • Home Based Services: Bringing care to the door
  • Protection & Advocacy: Ensuring the right to safety and dignity
  • Health Independence Services: Promoting wellness
  • Community Enrichment: Enhancing quality of life

Aging & Independence Services has more than 30 programs, and each program has different eligibility criteria based on age, level of need, and income. Programs are funded by the Older Americans Act, federal, state, and county funds - more than 40 funding sources in all. Since 1974, the Older Americans Act has served as the cornerstone of federal involvement in a wide array of community services to older persons. Since its enactment, the Act has evolved from a program of small grants and research projects to a network of: 57 state units of aging, over 670 designated area agencies on aging, and approximately 15,000 community organizations providing supportive social and nutritional services to older adults. Aging & Independence Services has a 30-member advisory council, which acts as a liaison between the agency and older and disabled persons throughout the county.

AIS provides a wide range of services, including information and access, advocacy, coordination, assessment, and authorization of direct services. Direct services are provided through contracts with vendors and agencies, and include in-home support, respite care, meals (senior dining centers and home-delivered), health promotions, legal assistance, adult day care, transportation, educational opportunities, employment, money management, and counseling programs. In general, if a San Diego resident is older or disabled, at risk of institutionalization, is low income, and/or needs help in arranging for appropriate services, AIS can probably help. The array of services available allows the agency to coordinate services effectively.

The gateway to AIS services is through the agency's Call Center that provides initial assessment and channeling to appropriate services and information. Calls are screened to determine eligibility for AIS programs and/or referred to other appropriate community programs. The Call Center has merged the efforts of information and referral, case management program intake and the elder abuse reporting function, providing AIS the opportunity to implement a "no wrong door" model.


Opening the door of opportunity for seniors and persons with disabilities.

  • Fostering physical activity and mental stimulation, broadening social interaction, and encouraging self-reliance.
  • Responding to the needs and preferences of our customers and providing informed choices between care settings.
  • Integrating social programs with physical and mental health services, since physical and psychological well-being go hand in hand.
  • Ensuring our clients affordable, efficient, high-quality care.

Our Customers

Aging & Independence Services primarily serves seniors, disabled adults, abused, elderly and dependent adults and others requiring home-based care to prevent institutionalization. Our Call Center, in addition to taking Adult Protective Service and In-Home Supportive Services referrals and care management referrals, also provides the community with information & assistance. Therefore, our customers also include family members, caregivers, social workers, concerned citizens and law enforcement.

Aging and Disabled Network

Collaboration for the purpose of planning happens with many groups, including:

  • AIS Advisory Council - comprised of persons who represent the older adult and disabled community, one third of whom are appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
  • Health Promotions Committee - represents persons involved in the planning or provision of health care and includes professions such as nursing, pharmacy, social work and other disciplines, which have an impact on the well-being, fitness and longevity of seniors.
  • Long Term Care Integration Project Planning Committee - is comprised of more than 400 consumers, providers and other key long term care stakeholders across the array of services and throughout the care continuum.
  • Elder & Dependent Adult Death Review Team (EDADRT) - is a multidisciplinary team that reviews suspicious elder deaths that are believed to have resulted from elder abuse and/or neglect. The team identifies risk factors for such deaths, maintains statistical data concerning these deaths, and facilitates communication among agencies involved in identifying and reviewing suspicious elder deaths. In addition, the EDRT puts forth a coordinated effort to improve joint response to elder abuse and neglect, improve service delivery and identify and close system gaps. The primary goal of the EDRT is to decrease the number of elder deaths in San Diego County that are a result of physical abuse, neglect or self-neglect, and to identify the role of elder abuse and/or neglect as contributory factors in such deaths.

In addition to the many standing advisory and planning entities affecting the planning process, AIS has utilized other strategies for obtaining public input, seeking the widest possible array of opinions and gathering information about the needs of older adults and disabled individuals.
Some of the more significant are:

  • Aging Summits - Biennial summits provide a forum for a wide spectrum of stakeholders to come together and propose new approaches for strengthening and enhancing the quality of life for our aging and disabled population. Attendees include aging and disabled service consumers, service providers, family members, community leaders and members of the AIS Advisory Council.
    In addition to bringing forward program initiatives for the Board of Supervisor to consider and new programs to fund, the summits have had the added benefit of continuing dialogue for several ad hoc committees originally formed to follow-up summit discussion. The ad hoc groups, staffed by AIS, have provided new information, insights and valuable recommendations on these issue areas.
  • Vital Aging Conferences - Held every two years, this conference brings experts in health and activity fields to encourage seniors attending the event to live vital lifestyles. There's a keynote speaker - such as Jack LaLanne and Debbie Reynolds - who exemplifies vital aging.


For more information send us an email or call: 800-339-4661