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What Have We Learned From 30 Years of 'Aging in Place'?

A new study on "naturally occurring retirement communities" shows that cities must adapt to and support the needs of elders for them to thrive.
A new study shows how elders can thrive in "naturally occurring retirement communities."
A new study shows how elders can thrive in "naturally occurring retirement communities."AP Photo/John Raoux

Next year marks the 30th anniversary of New York City's first staffed Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) Supportive Service Program. This is an important milestone, as over the next 30 years these programs will inform how we care for and support aging populations.

A NORC is a community, neighborhood, or housing development that was originally designed for families but over time came to support older adults (aged 60 years or older). A NORC Supportive Service Program, on the other hand, is a partnership between a neighborhood and a housing development to help residents there age in place. Social workers, nurses, and other support staff help residents and caregivers as their needs change.