Phone Number: 1-228-868-2311
Toll Free 1-800-444-8014
Group of smiling seniors holding a sign that reads "Healthy Eating"

Area Agency on Aging

SMPDD is the designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA). In concert with the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, the Area Agency on Aging serves as the public advocate for the development and implementation of comprehensive and coordinated home and community based care systems responsive to the current needs and future growth of the aging population.

Fundamental to the leadership charges under the Older Americans Act are proactive collaborative planning and interdisciplinary coordination in order to avoid duplication of effort, contain costs, ensure service quality, and expand resources. As the public advocate, the AAA must monitor and evaluate community activities that affect the elderly and serve as the support base for the Ombudsman program within the planning and service area. Resources made available to the AAA are used to support activities intended to achieve all elements of a community based care system.

A nurse check a vitals of a women sitting on a couch

Area Agency on Aging Responsibilities:

  • Assess the needs of older adults in the community and develop and fund programs that respond to those needs;
  • Educate and provide direct assistance to consumers about available community resources for long-term services and supports;
  • Serve as a single point of entry to assistance by assessing multiple service needs, determining eligibility, providing or referring to services and monitoring the appropriateness and cost effectiveness of services;
  • Supports needs of special populations of physically and mentally impaired, abused, neglected or exploited, as well as those of advanced age without a caregiver to assist them when in need;
  • Promote healthy lifestyles through education and fitness programs;
  • Represent the interest of local seniors at state and national levels;
  • Continually research and identify new and innovative funding opportunities for older adults; and
  • Demonstrate responsible fiscal stewardship by maximizing use of public and private funding to serve as many consumers as possible.

For referrals for the following services, please contact: 228-868-2311 or contact Thania at

Adult Day Care is a service which provides a place for older persons with serious health problems or impairments to go during the day for recreational activities, personal care supervision, nutrition, limited health care and the opportunity to interact socially with other people in group activities. In order to qualify for this program individuals must be 60 or older with scores ranging from level II through III on the Division of Aging and Adult Services screening instrument. Available in the following counties:

Forrest County
HOL Family Life and Resources Center

Greene County
Community Development, Inc.

Harrison County Senior Resources Agency
Lyman Sr. Center

Jefferson Davis County
Open Wings Outreach Senior and Disabled Center

Jones County
HOL Family Life and Resources Center

Marion County
Open Wings Outreach Senior and Disabled Center

Lamar County
HOL Family Life and Resources Center

Perry County
Community Development, Inc.

Stone County
HOL Family Life and Resources Center

The Caregiver Support Program, which focuses on improving the lives and well-being of those impacted by dementia, teaches individuals, families and caregivers how to treat people with dementia with kindness and comfort.

Currently Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District offers support and education through an individual web-based platform  (Trualta ™)  and Google Meets. Our program provides this education at no cost to family and friend caregivers. We have partnered with Trualta ™ to offer a web-based program that includes:

Personalized information to answer your questions related to caregiving.

Select topics to meet your individual needs: Brain health, safety and injury prevention, personal care, music therapy, and caregiver wellness. Telephone contact with our Caregiver Coordinator to assist with selecting topics of value to you.

Schedule one- to two-hour workshops with focus on any of the following:

Teepa’s GEMS™ “Using Skills that Make a Difference”. Using the GEMS model, different states of being and a person’s ability are like precious jewels. This metaphor defines normal aging as well as the many appearances, behavioral changes, skill sets and needs of those living with the effects of dementia or other brain changes. The GEMS™ advocate that people living with dementia, when done with rather than done to and provided with the just right care and setting, can still shine.

“Normal Aging/ Not Normal Aging”. This workshop helps participants understand and recognize the differences in “normal” and “not normal” aging. The participant will develop skills to recognize and intervene when behavioral challenges occur with the person affected by dementia.  Participants will also develop skills related to approach, cueing, and ability to connect with people affected by dementia.

“Positive Physical Approach™ (PPA) and Hand Under Hand™ (HUH)”. This workshop focuses on Positive Approach to Care "care partnering" techniques, including Positive Physical Approach™ (PPA) and Hand Under Hand™ (HUH). We serve the following Counties: Covington, Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Stone and Wayne Counties.

For further information contact:

Area Agency on Aging
Roshanda Culberson,
(228) 868-2311

Case Management links individuals to personal care, housekeeping, nutrition programs and other services to assist these persons to remain in their own homes. The Case Management program provides continuity of services to persons age 60 and over. It is the mechanism by which services are coordinated and monitored. In order to qualify for this program individuals must receive a level II score of 22 or above on the Division of Aging and Adult Services screening instrument. Available in Harrison County.

A congregate meal is a nutritionally balanced meal served in a specific location such as a community or senior center. Congregate meals are primarily for the fairly mobile Senior population. In order to qualify for this program individuals must be age 60 or older, or be the spouse of an eligible person. For further information contact:

See a list of Meal Sites Locations here


When you share your love, time, and experience, you have the power to help a child who needs you. If you’re 55 years or older and want to share your experience and compassion, you have what it takes to be a Foster Grandparent.

As a Foster Grandparent, you’re a role model, a mentor, and a friend. Serving at local organizations-including faith-based groups, Head Start Centers, schools, day care centers and other youth facilities that serve children with exceptional needs-you help children learn to read, provide one-on-one tutoring, and guide children at a critical time in their lives. Put simply, you give the kind of comfort and love that sets a child on the path toward a successful future.

Foster Grandparents have to be income eligible and serve up to 15-40 hours per week. In return, you’ll receive a tax-free, hourly stipend, transportation reimbursement, pre-service orientation, training from the organization where you serve, and supplemental accident and liability insurance while on duty.

And remember: When you volunteer, you’re not just helping others-you’re helping yourself. Volunteering leads to new discoveries and new friends. Plus, studies show that volunteering helps you live longer and promote a positive outlook on life.

To apply, please complete Participant Application and Records Check Authorization forms fully and submit to:

Foster Grandparent Program
914 Sullivan Drive
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Download the following forms:


For more information, contact Celeste Brown at (601) 545-2137 or

The Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is federally funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and housed at Southern MS Planning and Development District Hattiesburg office.

SMPDD/TDWA is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services will be provide to those with disabilities upon request.


Nutritionally balanced meals delivered to the homes of those unable to leave home without assistance. Persons who are homebound and are receiving case management services are given first priority for home delivered meals. In order to qualify for this program individuals must receive a level II score of 22 or above on the Division of Aging & Adult Services screening instrument. Available in all counties. For further information and referrals contact SMPDD.

Homemaker services assist older persons to remain in the home by providing housekeeping, laundry, food planning, shopping and other tasks. In order to qualify for this program individuals 60 and older must receive a level II score of 22 or above on the Division of Aging & Adult Services screening instrument. Available in all counties. For further information contact SMPDD.

Information, Assistance and Referral services support all older persons and their caregivers in assessing their needs, identifying the most appropriate services to meet their needs and linking the older person and caregiver to the agencies providing these services. Available in all counties. For further information contact SMPDD.

The Legal Assistance program is designed to assist older persons to become more aware of, and protect, their civil rights through activities or direct intervention by attorneys or legal paraprofessionals. Available in all counties. For further information contact SMPDD.

Long Term Care Ombudsman services are those that relate to the well-being of institutionalized elderly persons. Services include investigation and resolution of complaints and advocacy and development of programs to ensure the quality of life for residents of long term care facilities. Complaints/concerns may relate to action which may affect a long term care resident’s life, safety, health, welfare, right and quality of care. Advocacy may involve interpretation of policies, laws, regulations and residents’ rights as well as monitoring of State and Federal legislation which may impact long term care.

For further information contact: Annette Wiley,

Mississippi State Health Insurance Assistance Program
The Mississippi State Health Insurance Assistance Program provides information, counseling and assistance relating to Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare supplemental policies, long term care insurance and other health insurance benefit information. SHIP is available in all 15 counties. For further information contact:

Area Agency on Aging
Cecellia Parker, SHIP Coordinator,
Phone: (228) 868-2311 or (800) 444-8014

*Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15 – December 7

Outreach is the extending of services or activities beyond the current or usual limits, including a variety of intervention activities designed to reach out, search for, and identify targeted groups of older individuals (60 years and older), making one-to-one contact to assess their service needs, to inform and encourage their use of available resources and make appropriate referrals. Available in the following counties: Covington, Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Jackson, Jones, Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Stone and Wayne.

Provides temporary relief time for the regular or primary caregiver (spouse, child, relative) of an ill, frail, infirmed, functionally impaired older individual or dementia patient that requires constant in-home care. Available in all counties.

The purpose of respite care is to:

  • Prevent, delay or avoid premature or unnecessary institutionalization.
  • Prevent elder abuse.
  • Prevent or reduce physical and emotional stress on the family.
  • Give the primary caregiver some much needed personal time away from home and the caregivers role.
  • Prevent caregiver burnout.
  • Give the caregiver an interval of rest from the burden of constant care.

A Senior Center is a focal point in the community where persons come together for a broad spectrum of services, educational and recreational programs and activities.

Senior Centers in Mississippi

Transportation is provided to eligible older individuals to and from community resources for the purpose of obtaining needed services and goods. In order to qualify for this program individuals must be 60 or older and must not be a resident of a long-term care facility.

Nutritionally balanced home delivered meals that are available to clients of any age who are not eligible for the regular home delivered meals program. These frozen meals are packaged in reheatable trays for the microwave or conventional oven. These meals may be purchased for $111.00 a month through the Area Agency on Aging. Available in all counties For further information contact:

Area Agency on Aging
Ronda Mullins, Nutrition Coordinator
(228) 868-2311 or (800) 444-8014

Wellness & Preventative Health Programs are evidence-based health programs that have been tested and proven to work in a real-world setting. Whether you are looking to learn how to live with and manage a chronic disease or health condition, such as diabetes, learn how to reduce your fear of falling, develop healthy eating habits as you age, or want to become physically active, we’ve got a program that’s been proven to make a difference in your life.

Wellness Programs:
Matter of Balance
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP)
Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP)

For More Information Please Contact: Ashlee Dearman,