The Cortland County Area Agency on Aging was created to better serve the needs of older persons in Cortland County and to be the umbrella department for all existing and future programs and services for the county's  senior population.

The department opened its doors in March of 1975, in the basement of the Court House. The Nutrition Program was transferred from City Youth Bureau sponsorship in July of 1975, and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Adult Recreation were transferred in 1976. In 1980, the County Office Building opened, and all offices were joined together in this building, where they remain today. Subsequently, the former adult recreation program was folded into the Area Agency to comply with Older Americans Act regulations which called for consolidation and improved coordination efforts within the department.

The Area Agency makes every effort to plan and provide programs and services based on current and expected trends, identified needs in the community, and by utilizing a variety of funding sources as they become available. Issues such as the growing frail population, the numbers of individuals and families who care for an older family member, developmentally disabled older adults, housing and other concerns have been addressed by the Area Agency.

Programs are coordinated between and among many agencies and organizations to make the best use of resources and to avoid duplication, and to better serve the growing senior population.