Sustaining a NORC Program

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Guiding Principle # 5

A NORC program remains relevant by anticipating and responding to change, and refreshing itself with new people.

Providing services to willing clients is relatively easy, and lots of agencies know how to do it well. The unique strength of a NORC program lies elsewhere—in the commitment it makes to transforming the community and involving seniors and other partners in that process.

Neither the NORC itself nor the larger community is static. The population of senior residents shifts, as new people move in and everyone continues to age. Potential partners and other stakeholders keep changing, too. Knowing what is happening advances a broader effort to continually engage the community and to anticipate new challenges, new opportunities, and new assets.

A NORC program does all of that, in part, by keeping existing partners involved and bringing new ones to the table. Consciously nurturing healthy relationships allows a NORC program to draw on the energy and knowledge of its partners to anticipate and plan for change. Specific occasions need to be scheduled with partners to explore substantive issues, and foster innovation.

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