Supportive Services Programs in Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities. Attributes of the NORC

A NORC is like any other community--it is constantly changing. NORCs grow or decline in response to two major forces affecting the proportion of older residents in the community: aging in place and migration, both in and out. How a NORC develops is likely reflected in both the composition of the NORC's population and the resources available in the community. These community characteristics, in turn, influence the types of programs that are may be needed or effective. For example, a NORC may develop primarily through an influx of older people who have chosen to move to the community; in such a community, new residents make up a greater proportion of total residents than in a community that has aged in place. An area that is attractive to in-migrants might have more community resources on which to build a program than an aged-left-behind NORC. In addition, by migrating, in-migration NORC residents have shown themselves open to change, and they might have greater financial resources that would enable them to pay for the services made available. In contrast, an aging in place community is formed internally; that is, it is made up of relatively long-term residents. Aged-left-behind residents may be more resistant to change and less able to contribute financially to getting what they need. They are, however, more likely to have deep knowledge of and strong ties to the community.

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