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Mission: To improve the quality of life for older Philadelphians and those with disabilities and to assist them in achieving the greatest possible levels of health, independence and productivity.
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging: Enriching Lives, Preserving Dignity
A private nonprofit organization founded in 1973, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA), is the fourth largest in a nationwide network of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), and the largest in Pennsylvania. Brought into being by the federal Older Americans Act, these AAAs are mandated to “facilitate the area-wide development and implementation of a comprehensive, coordinated system for providing long-term care in home and community-based settings, in a manner responsive to the needs and preferences of older individuals and their family caregivers.” PCA carries out this mission through advocacy, fund administration, planning, program development and service coordination.
Serving Philadelphia’s Senior Citizens
Among Philadelphia’s 291,000 seniors aged 60-plus, 75% have at least one chronic illnesses and 33% have difficulty with one or more basic activities of life — preparing their own meals, managing medications, bathing, dressing and feeding themselves.
Older Philadelphians experience poverty at almost twice the rate of senior citizens elsewhere in Pennsylvania, and in the nation. More than 134,000 older Philadelphians are living in poverty. Research shows that at this income level, people have difficulty paying for life’s basic necessities and many must choose between heating their homes, eating three meals a day and taking the full dosage of their medicine — choices no one should have to make.
Guided by its Board of Directors and an Advisory Council, PCA coordinates a broad range of services that help older Philadelphians live as independently as possible. Services include: care at home, advocacy, caregiver support, employment assistance, health promotion, home repair, information and referral, legal assistance, home-delivered meals, protective services, senior community centers, transportation, and many more. Special consideration is given to those with the greatest social, economic, and health needs. PCA employs more than 700 people and provides some services directly; others are provided under subcontracts with 200 community organizations and service providers.
- PCA is the largest of 52 AAAs in Pennsylvania and fourth largest of all AAAs in the United States.
- PCA currently funds 20 senior community centers and 8 satellite meal programs in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.
- More than 134,000 individuals are assisted with information and referrals through the PCA Helpline each year.
- Annually, PCA provides home care to more than 21,000 people, helping them age in place, in the community, despite disabilities or chronic conditions.
- Annually, PCA provides almost 34,000 assessments for individuals in need of care at home services.
- The largest purchaser of meals in the City after the Board of Education, PCA provides more than 2 million meals to older Philadelphians each year; 503,000 served at senior centers, and almost 1.5 million home-delivered meals
Funding for PCA comes from the Older Americans Act and the Pennsylvania Lottery, through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging; from Medical Assistance, through the Department of Human Services; and, increasingly, from grants and donations.
With that funding, PCA coordinates a broad range of services to help older Philadelphians live as independently as possible. Some services are provided directly by PCA; others are funded through PCA and provided by other organizations in the community.
The programs and services coordinated through PCA touch the lives of more than 100,000 people a year. While both the aging population and the need for services are growing, funding from these sources has not kept pace. Currently, there are more than 2,000 seniors in need of services on our waiting list due to insufficient funding. To address this, PCA has created the Philadelphia Fund for Seniors to support the crucial work we do.