State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, 22nd District), Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, with representatives of the Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults, Lutheran Medical Center and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, yesterday announced that the New York State Office for the Aging has allocated $144,000 and selected the Bethlehem Lutheran Church to be funded under the Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community Program (NORC) , set to begin January 1, 2006.
Senator Marty Golden, the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, stated, "It gives me great pleasure to announce that in partnership with the Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults, with Lutheran Medical Center and with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, that Bay Ridge has been awarded necessary state funding to create a N.O.R.C., Naturally Occurring Retirement Community, which will benefit all of our neighborhood senior citizens and their families. I have strongly advocated for a N.O.R.C. in Bay Ridge."
Russell Norris, Executive Director of the Bay Ridge Center, stated, "I am excited about our partnership with Lutheran Family Health Centers and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. Each of us brings something unique to the mix. The Bay Ridge Center has been providing social services to older adults for 30 years. Lutheran Family Health Centers will offer health education and screenings for residents in the NNORC. And JCRC brings a wealth of experience in community organizing, which will be critical to involving residents in building the NNORC."
A NORC is defined as an area, be it an apartment building, housing complex or a community, where most a large percentage of the residents have grown old. NORCS allow for the opportunity for seniors to reside and call home a location that is populated with many other seniors, yet at the same time, not having to move to a senior living facility, thus promoting a lifestyle of independence, dignity and choice, allowing older Americans to live among neighbors who have shared values and needs.
NORC provide for the needs of the elderly residents and at the same time assure access to a continuum of necessary services. Within NORC’s, services include: service coordination, care and health management and assistance, group and individual counseling, health assessment and monitoring, nursing, medical and psychiatric services, transportation, socialization, education and home care facilitation and monitoring.
Senator Marty Golden continued, "It is these programs and services that are required by the seniors of our community. It is NORCS that have enhanced the quality of life for countless seniors and therefore, the true winners here today are all those senior citizens who call home Bay Ridge. I will continue to champion efforts that will enhance and expand NORC capabilities,
for I firmly believe that this is the approach that New York State should be taking for the aging population."
Russell Norris stated, "The NNORC is a first step, a kind of pilot project for building a real "safety net" of services for older adults across Bay Ridge. We plan to build on our experience with the NNORC to eventually create a community-wide network of services to help seniors live in safety and dignity in their own homes and neighborhood."