The first time I heard the term “NORC” was a couple of years ago at the West 7th Community Center. I had to stop the meeting and ask for a definition. NORC is an acronym for Naturally Occurring Retirement Community.
NORCs are very real estate related and they are not planned communities. Rather, they evolve as people:
Age in place. Many communities house residents who raised families there decades ago and never left. They strongly wish to continue living in their homes of long standing.
Move into the community. A pattern of in-migration often brings seniors into age-integrated communities, typically in urban centers, where the seniors have access to amenities, culture, and other activities.
Move out of the community. Out-migration, typically reflecting the departure of younger residents from rural areas, leaves sizable populations of older residents behind.
The challenges going forward are to provide services for seniors in these communities and some seniors who plan to age in place are not currently in senior friendly homes. I see it as I deliver meals on wheels. The elderly woman who can no longer do her own laundry because she can not manage the basement stairs. Some 0f the homes are too large and cost too much to heat.