The purposes of the Department of Elderly Affairs are to:
(1) Serve as the primary state agency responsible for administering human services programs for the elderly and for developing policy recommendations for long-term care.
(2) Combat ageism and create public awareness and understanding of the potentials and needs of elderly persons.
(3) Study and plan for programs and services to meet identified and projected needs and to provide opportunities for personal development and achievement of persons aged 60 years and older.
(4) Advocate quality programs and services for the state’s elderly population and on behalf of the individual citizen’s needs.
(5) Coordinate interdepartmental policy development and program planning for all state agencies that provide services for the elderly population in order to prevent duplicative efforts, to maximize utilization of resources, and to ensure cooperation, communication, and departmental linkages.
(6) Recommend state and local level organizational models for the planning, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of programs serving the elderly population.
(7) Oversee implementation of federally funded and state-funded programs and services for the state’s elderly population.
(8) Recommend legislative budget requests for programs and services for the state’s elderly population.
(9) Serve as a state-level information clearinghouse and encourage the development of local-level identifiable points of information and referral regarding all federal, state, and local resources of assistance to elderly citizens.
(10) Assist elderly persons to secure needed services in accordance with personal choice and in a manner that achieves or maintains autonomy and prevents, reduces, or eliminates dependency.
(11) Promote the maintenance and improvement of the physical well-being and mental health of elderly persons.
(12) Promote opportunities for volunteerism among the elderly population.
(13) Promote the prevention of neglect, abuse, or exploitation of elderly persons unable to protect their own interests.
(14) Eliminate and prevent inappropriate institutionalization of elderly persons by promoting community-based care, home-based care, or other forms of less intensive care.
(15) Aid in the support of families and other caregivers of elderly persons.
(16) Promote intergenerational relationships.
(17) Oversee aging research conducted or funded by any state agency to ensure that such activities are coordinated and directed to fulfill the intent and purposes of this act.