Naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) are neighbourhoods or housing developments where many residents are older adults who have aged in place. These communities typically arise as individuals and families age. They remain in their homes, creating a concentration of older adults in a particular area.
NORCs are usually not intentionally planned but develop organically due to demographic shifts and changing social and economic conditions. They may also arise due to migration patterns, with older adults moving to certain areas that offer specific amenities, services, or cultural attractions.
One of the benefits of NORCs is that they can provide a sense of community and social support for older adults, who may face social isolation and loneliness as they age. Additionally, NORCs can offer opportunities for intergenerational connections, as younger families may also live in the same area.
Various programs and services have been developed to support ageing in place and promote the health and well-being of older adults in NORCs, such as home health care, transportation services, and social activities. These programs aim to enhance the social and physical infrastructure of the community to support better ageing in place.
Joining a naturally occurring retirement community (NORC) can be different from entering other societies or organizations since they typically arise organically rather than intentionally created. However, here are some steps you can take to become part of a NORC potentially:
Research areas with a high concentration of older adults: Look for neighbourhoods or communities with a higher than average proportion of older adults. This information may be available through local senior centres, community centres, or online research.
Attend community events: Participate in local events or gatherings, such as farmers’ markets, community festivals, or other events where you can meet other residents and get a sense of the community.
Reach out to local organizations: Contact local organizations, such as senior centres, religious institutions, or community centres, to inquire about programs or services they offer that may be geared towards older adults.
Consider joining a senior co-housing community: Some NORCs may have senior co-housing communities where older adults live together and share resources and social activities. Research senior co-housing communities in your area to see if this may be a good fit for you.
Utilize online resources: Many online resources are available to connect older adults with NORCs or senior housing communities. Some examples include Seniorly, AARP, and Senior Living.
It’s important to note that joining a NORC is not always a formal process, and it may take some time to build connections and become part of the community. However, by being proactive and seeking out opportunities to connect with other residents, you can increase your chances of becoming part of a NORC and enjoying the benefits of ageing in place.
Naturally occurring retirement communities have become increasingly popular in Toronto in recent years. Toronto, like many other cities, has experienced an ageing population, and as a result, many neighbourhoods have become NORCs.
The City of Toronto has recognized the importance of NORCs in supporting ageing in place and promoting the health and well-being of older adults. The city has developed several programs and services to help NORCs, such as the Aging in Place program, which provides home modifications and adaptations to make homes more accessible and safer for older adults.
Additionally, many community organizations in Toronto have developed programs and services specifically for NORCs, such as social activities, transportation services, and health and wellness programs.
As the population in Toronto ages, the popularity of NORCs will likely continue to grow. The city is expected to continue to invest in programs and services to support ageing in place and promote the health and well-being of older adults.
Naturally occurring retirement communities do not typically have minimum financial requirements for joining. NORCs are communities that develop organically over time. Individuals become part of the community simply by living in the same geographic area as other members of the NORC.
Some NORCs may have shared expenses or fees, such as for common areas or shared services. Still, these are usually voluntary and are determined by the members of the NORC. The cost of living in a NORC can vary depending on the location and the services and amenities available in the community.
Here are some additional online resources and databases of naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) that you may find helpful in the US:
AARP: AARP is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and information for older adults. Their website includes information on NORCs and a database of NORCs across the country.
National Aging in Place Council: The National Aging in Place Council is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and information on ageing in place. Their website includes a directory of professionals who can assist with ageing in location and information on NORCs and other ageing-in-place solutions.
Seniorly: Seniorly is an online platform that provides information and resources for older adults and their families. Their website includes a database of senior living communities, including NORCs and other types of senior housing.
Here are some online resources that target naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) in Ontario, Canada:
City of Toronto – Aging in Place: The City of Toronto has developed a program to support ageing, including resources and information on NORCs in Toronto. Their website contains information about NORCs in Toronto and how to get involved.
Seniors for Seniors: Seniors for Seniors is a home care provider in Ontario that offers services to help seniors age in place, including transportation, housekeeping, and companionship. Their website includes information on NORCs and other resources for seniors.
Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition: The Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition is a network of organizations and individuals working to create healthy communities in Ontario. Their website includes information on NORCs and other initiatives that support healthy ageing.