A few weeks ago, I wrote about CCRCs without Walls, and how this emerging concept may be an option for those who wish to remain in their home in retirement, instead of moving to a retirement community. Similarly, there are two other fairly new trends that can provide support and services, where you live, as you age:


Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) are neighborhoods where a large portion of the residents have reached retirement age. These unplanned communities emerge “naturally” when people choose to age in place, there is an influx of older residents who are attracted by the area’s features, and/or the majority of younger residents move out of the community.

A NORC SSP (Supportive Service Program) gives residents access to social and health-related services through a series of partnerships with public and private agencies and organizations, as well as input from the residents themselves. The majority of NORC SSPs are currently located in New York, but this concept may spread to other states as a popular option for those who wish to age in place.


A Village is a grassroots, self-governing, community-based initiative that serves and supports seniors living in a particular neighborhood. Residents pay a relatively inexpensive annual fee ($586.91 average for a household, according to the (Rutgers School of Social Work) to receive services like home repair, transportation, and access to social activities.

Villages and CCRCs

In some areas, villages and continuing care retirement communities are helping each other to better serve their residents. This type of partnership is a concept that Bruce Rosenthal, vice president of corporate partnerships at LeadingAge, supports. “[CCRCs and Villages] . . .both seek to provide support and services to older adults in a place they call home. That shared mission opens worlds of possibility for partnerships that can help both organizations meet their mutual goal,” Rosenthal wrote in a recent online post. He believes that, by working together, CCRCs and Villages can forge mutually beneficial relationships to improve and expand services to their residents.

NORCs and Villages are expanding the list of options available to you for retirement living. Both of these community-based choices can offer support and services if you prefer to age at home for as long as possible.

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