Rural Aging Action Network


Building a stronger continuum of care for older adults and caregivers in rural America.

Aging in rural communities presents unique challenges that can limit access to healthcare, transportation and other services that are vital for older adults to maintain their autonomy and independence. Amidst these challenges lies an opportunity to support the one in four older adults in America who live in a rural community or small town—many of whom have spent decades on the same land—by expanding community-based services and supports.

Achieving sustainability through collaboration.

Rural Aging Action Network is our national collaborative dedicated to expanding sustainable community-based services and supports for older adults who are underserved in rural Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. We engage a range of strategic partners in this collaborative with the common goal of empowering older adults to age with independence, dignity and purpose in the community of their choice.

Our approach.

Our community-informed approach expands services by leveraging the unique assets and resources in rural communities—along with the characteristic strength and resilience of the older adults and caregivers—to remove barriers to care.

Since 2015, we have reached over 4,000 older adults and caregivers in more than 100 rural communities.

Our results.

We have reached over 4,000 older adults and caregivers in more than 100 rural communities since the collaborative formed in 2015. Together with our grantees and strategic partners, we are implementing solutions that support older adults to stay connected and building stronger support systems for caregivers.

“The Lutheran Services in America collaborative’s efforts to support the sharing of resources and expertise among members received high marks and proved critical to addressing the overall challenge of rural aging in the participating communities.”

Rebecca Sales and Christin Lindberg

Research Scientists
Wilder Research



Mobilizing Rural and Frontier Communities to Empower Older Adults and Caregivers

The Rural Aging Action Network model seeds investment in community-led approaches to aging in rural and frontier communities and is proven to accelerate solutions among our leading health and human services organizations.


Aging in Rural America – Cultivating a Thriving Community of Care

Capturing the joys and challenges faced by rural older adults, this study focuses on our work in three Midwestern counties in Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota.


Aging in Rural America – Stories of Independence, Community Connections and Vibrant Lives

In their own poignant words, rural older adults and caregivers share their unique perspectives on individual resilience and community bonds.



PHI: How PHI’s Coaching Approach® Training Helps Rural Aging Interventions

LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston Partnership: Evaluating a Rural Aging Initiative Led by Lutheran Services in America

Better Care Playbook: Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative: Transforming Lives in America’s Rural Communities (Center for Health Care Strategies)

Aging Well in Rural America: A collection of stories from the Heartland (Tivity Health)

Aging Today: Collaborative employs “friendly” technology to care for older, rural veterans and their caregiver (American Society on Aging)


Ashley Washington
Senior Director of Aging Initiatives