Our History

The Council on Aging – Southern California operates from 93 locations, including senior centers. Our programs and services cover almost 42,000 square miles across Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Inyo and Mono counties.

  • 1973: Our Beginnings
    The Council on Aging – Orange County was founded in 1973 by a three women: Lois Ellis, Shirley Cohen and Ann Sousa. These women along with local civic leaders, skilled professionals recognized a need to advocate and protect older adults.

  • 1976: Ombudsman Program for Orange County
    The Council was awarded the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program which advocates for the rights and dignity of residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
  • 1997: Financial Abuse Specialist Team
    The Council’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a corporate conversion from a single-purpose to a multi-purpose agency. With this conversion, the Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST) joined the Council to address issues of financial abuse and older adults.
  • 1998: Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP)
    The Council on Aging services were expanded to include HICAP. This program provides unbiased information relating to Medicare, HMOs and other health plan benefits, helping beneficiaries maximize their benefits and minimize their costs.
  • 2000: Professional Education
    The Continuing Education Program was established to position us as the primary source for professional education topics related to vulnerable and disabled adults.
  • 2000: Linkages Case Management
    In collaboration with Lutheran Social Services, the Council added the Linkages Case Management Program to provide outreach and services to help vulnerable adults continue to live independently in their homes. Clinical in-house assessments by our case managers were used to create independent-living care plans. By 2001 the Council became the sole administrator of the Linkages program.
  • 2003: Caring Connections Friendly Visitor Program
    Funded by the County of Orange Health Care Agency, the Caring Connections Friendly Visitor Program was started at the Council. This volunteer-based program provides ongoing support and alleviates the physical and mental health risks linked to isolation experienced by frail older adults with little or no support system.
  • 2010: Answers Resource Guide
    Recognizing the need for a comprehensive guide to services for older adults in Orange County, the Council on Aging published its first Senior Guide O.C. in the fall of 2010. This yearly publication is filled an array of articles and information designed to assist older adults, family members, and providers to navigate the aging resources in Orange County. In 2014, the guide was renamed Answers Guide.
  • 2011: ReConnect Program
    As a result of Prop 63, the “Mental Health Services Act” (MHSA) the Council received funding to establish the ReConnect – Early Intervention Services for Older Adults (EISOA). ReConnect is a county-wide program that benefits isolated adults 60+ and/or displaying symptoms of depression or other mental health issues. The program’s objective is to help individuals sustain emotional well-being through case management intervention and consistent exposure to meaningful activities, education and support groups.

  • 2012: Expansion beyond Orange County with HICAP
    Following recognition at the state and national level for our Orange County HICAP program, the Council was awarded two county-wide contracts for San Bernardino County and Riverside County’s HICAP Programs. These contracts, which also cover Inyo and Mono Counties, established the Council’s office in Rancho Cucamonga.

  • 2016: Renamed Council on Aging – Southern California
    With the Council’s relocation from Santa Ana to Irvine, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to change the name of the agency to the Council on Aging –Southern California. This new name more effectively represents the Council’s expanded service area which includes Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Inyo and Mono Counties, encompassing over 42,000 square miles.
  • 2017: Ombudsman Program Expansion
    The Council was awarded the Ombudsman Contract for Riverside County based on the success of the Orange County Ombudsman Program. With additional offices in Hemet and Palm Desert, the Council advocates for over 14,000 vulnerable older adults living in over 500 long-term care facilities in Riverside County.
  • 2020: Concierge Care Navigators
    The Council acquired Senior Life Management, a leading geriatric care management firm as the foundation to establish the Concierge Care Navigators Program.  Funded by the Orange County Community Foundation and eight local family foundations, this innovative program utilizes registered nurses who enable older adults to age in place safely, promoting wellness, longevity, and peace of mind.

Older and Disabled
Adults Served
Community Volunteers
of Every Dollar Spent Supports
Programs and Services
Counties Covered


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