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Massachusetts Association of Older Americans : Records, 1965-2000


31 Record Cartons


The records were donated to the Archives and Special Collections Department by Ann Hartstein of the Massachusetts Association of Older American in November 2004.


The Massachusetts Association of Older Americans, MAOA, is an ongoing independent grassroots organization. The MAOA was founded in 1969 by Frank Manning, as a non-profit advocacy agency. The statewide membership is compiled of concerned individuals working to keep aging people in the mainstream, to increase public awareness about aging issues and to build a strong network for elderly advocacy in the commonwealth. An early Faneuil Hall rally drew more than 1000 elders to fight for reduced MBTA fares.  In 1971, MAOA lead by Frank Manning gathered 14,000 seniors at Suffolk Downs to meet with US senators Ted Kennedy and Edward Brooke and Governor Frank Sargent.

MAOA’s goal is to ensure a dignified life for older people by striving for such needs as adequate income, affordable housing and accessible quality health care. MAOA is recognized by the media, private agencies, public officials, and the public at large as a visible conscience for the promotion of social and economic justice for the elderly. MAOA’s advocacy efforts led to the creation of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA). The EOEA was the first cabinet level senior agency in the nation. MAOA is also responsible for helping to abolish mandatory retirement at age 65. MAOA continually advocates for increased funding for home care, nutrition and fuel assistance. Some of MAOA’s current programs include mental health programs, elderly advocacy training for interested groups throughout the state, SeniorNet which provides computer training.   

MAOA researches aging issues and serves as a source of information to community groups, public officials and its members through its publications, conferences and media appearances. MAOA publishes a quarterly newspaper, The Older American. It is obtained through membership and is widely available in libraries.

MAOA collaborates with the UMass Boston Gerontology Program, and a number of other groups such as Boston Partnership of Older Adults, Mature Workers coalition, SAGE-Boston Collaborative, Senior Housing Coalition, the Senior Pharmacy Coalition, Action for Boston Community Development, Mass Home Care and Mass Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors.

Scope and Content

The MAOA records are arranged in the following series:

I. Administrative Files, 1974- 1999

II. General Files, 1965-1988

III. Programs/Advocacy, 1969-1999

IV. The Older American, 1970-2000

V. Grants, 1973-1997

VI. Financial, 1971-2000

VII. Photographs and Memorabilia, n.d.

These records document MAOA’s work from its founding in 1969 through 2000. A few of the records in the collection were used for planning or other purposes and therefore predate the founding of the organization. The collection’s contents include the documents accumulated through the MAOA’s work advocating for senior citizens’ rights and well-being. The collection contains documents from the Legislative Council of Older Americans (LCOA). Although the LCOA was an independent organization, the MAOA was formed by individuals in the LOCA. The two organizations often partnered together to support various events and programs.

Series I: ADMINISTRATION FILES, 1974-1999—

This series holds, board of directors member lists, membership lists, board meetings minutes and agendas, correspondence, executive committee meetings minutes, and the foundations by-laws. There is one box dedicated to correspondence dating from 1975-1984.

Series II: GENERAL FILES, 1965-1988—The general files series is composed of seven boxes that contain alphabetized resource material on relevant subjects. The series runs from A-T. Including, but not limited to: periodical clippings, press releases, reports, correspondence, pamphlets, advocacy and training manuals, and copies of the congressional record. The bulk of the series occurs between the 1970s and 1980s. Boxes 6-7 contain documents on the Massachusetts Homecare Corporation in folders according to region. The files cover twenty-six regions across the state. Topics include, but are not limited to advocacy training, legislation, crime, retirement, mental health, social security, taxation, housing, healthcare, the COA, EOEA, MCEH, SAGE, SCORE, and Massachusetts State run programs.    

Series III: PROGRAMS/ADVOCACY, 1969-1999—This series documents the resource material collected to educate and support seniors, as well as the materials related to lobbying efforts on behalf of seniors. Topics include, but are not limited to: housing, health issues, conferences, annual meetings, fundraising, committee reports, consumer guides, Matchmate, Homeshare, Medex hearings, lobby reports, Project Observe, nursing homes, fuel assistance, politics, workshops, monthly reports, minuteman, training and LCOA files.  Box 20 includes assorted media.

Series IV: THE OLDER AMERICAN NEWSLETTER, 1975-2000The Older American series consists of the copies of the MAOA’s in house publication. The issue frequency has varied throughout its existence from bi-monthly to monthly to quarterly. The Older American provides timely information about health and wellness, changes in Medicare and Social Security, policy issues at a state and national level, family caregiver concerns, mental health, volunteerism, opportunities for lifelong learning, employment and other issues. This series contains copies of the publication from its first issue in 1975 up to 2000.  

Series V: GRANTS, 1973-1997—The grant series contains grant proposals and other documents created by MAOA to support their programs. The series holds applications to the following grants the South Shore Elder Services (SSES), Area Agency on Aging (AAA), Boston Commission on Affairs of the Elderly, Department of Mental Health for Project Cope, Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program (MTCP) Breast Cancer, Cervical, Osteoporosis, Prostate Cancer, Fanny Svantee Knistrom for homesharing.  

Series VI: FINANCIAL, 1971-2000—The financial series is composed of MAOA’s financial records. In the series are annual treasure reports, ledgers, budgets, financial statements and reports, tax filings, income and payroll information.

Series VII: PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEMORABILIA, n.d.—This series contains an assortment of miscellaneous photographs and the LCOA’s seal.