Designing and Implementing a NORC Program

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Guiding Principle # 1

A NORC program plans a core set of integrated services that meet individual needs and promote community change.

NORC programs bring together three distinct components that have traditionally been supported by different funding streams and kept isolated from one another. To empower seniors, foster connections among them, and maximize the health and well-being of the entire community, an effective NORC program integrates:

  • Community engagement (educational programming, community action initiatives, and opportunities for seniors to take on new roles).
  • Social work services (for individuals, caregivers, and groups of seniors).
  • Health care-related services (addressing both individual health management issues and the health of the community).

Because the entities that provide these core elements are generally unfamiliar with one another, a NORC program needs to pay careful attention to how key services and activities are designed. While plans continue to be revised after a program is launched, a good strategy is to focus on the first three years of operation.

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