Planning for Life

Do You Live in a NORC?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 3, 2011

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By Harry S. Margolis

I recently met with a new client who commented that she lives in a NORC.

"A what?" I asked.iStock-474949592.jpg

"A Naturally Occurring Retirement Community," she responded.

She explained that she and her neighbors in the apartment complex where she lives are all getting older.  Without a lot of people moving in and out, the facility is taking on the demographics of a retirement community.

My clients' stepchildren have been urging her to move to an independent living facility where meals would be prepared for her and care would be available if needed. Her main objection is that where she lives now, my client can walk into the center of town. That would not be possible if she moved to the senior facility.

Further, my client is now among friends who can look out for one another as needed. If they begin to need services, it will be much more efficient for a visiting nurse or home health aide to visit several at a time, rather than having to travel from house to house around town.

Especially today, with the multiple care options available, seniors no longer need to move to an assisted living facility to hire caregivers as needed.

It would make my client's stepchildren rest easier if she moved, since any care she might need in the future would be readily available, but I urged her to stay put.  She's happy where she is -- why move to a place where she would be isolated once she could no longer drive.

Addendum: Now, six years later, my client has begun to have some cognitive challenges and has moved to an assisted living facility. She recognizes that now it's time and is no longer resistant to the move. In fact, she's now content that her stepdaughter is stepping in and taking care of the all the details around the move.

Topics: seniors, Retirement Planning, long-term care planning, nursing homes

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