NCOA Celebrates 65 Years of Service to Older Adults—and Plans for the Future of Aging Services


Vanessa Sink

Public Affairs Manager


Arlington, VA – For more than 65 years, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has made improving the lives of older adults its mission and its passion. This spring, NCOA is celebrating its history—while also looking ahead to plan for the new realities and challenges of aging in America.

Originally formed in response to concerns about rising health costs and mandatory retirement, NCOA continues to create innovative programs and advocate for critical issues that make life better for all older adults, especially those who are struggling.

Drawing from its history, there are many examples of NCOA’s successes: NCOA successfully advocated for the 1965 passage of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act; played an instrumental role in eliminating mandatory retirement; developed innovative programs such as Meals on Wheels, Foster Grandparents, and BenefitsCheckUp®; collaborated with more than 100 organizations to help older adults enroll in Medicare Part D; represents thousands of senior centers and community-based organizations as they serve today’s older adults with innovative programming; and today serves as the nation’s first National Falls Prevention Resource Center. Timelines highlighting NCOA’s 65 years of accomplishments are available online.

“Aging has changed significantly through the decades,” said James Firman, NCOA President and CEO. “When NCOA was chartered, lives were shorter and retirement was required. Today, Americans at age 65 have an average of 20 more years ahead of them. Both then and now, NCOA continues to help them live those years with health, security, and independence.”

As part of its 65th anniversary celebration, NCOA is convening members of the nation’s aging network to create a collective vision for the future of aging services. Through in-person meetings and an online survey, NCOA is asking five important questions about trends, challenges, opportunities, and transformations needed to serve seniors today and tomorrow. The responses will be translated into a white paper and shared broadly this summer.

“Like the millions of Americans turning 65, we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, but we’re also far from ready to stop working,” said Firman. “We are committed to reaching our social impact goal of improving the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020.”

To learn more about NCOA programs and tools for older adults, visit

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner to help people aged 60+ meet the challenges of aging. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and business to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at and @NCOAging.