NORC Innovation Centre designs the future of ageing in place in Canada

The NORC Innovation Centre (NIC) is an innovation hub launched at the University Health Network (UHN) in Ontario, Canada, with the mission to design the future of ageing in place. The aim is to bring a range of services and technology to older adults where they live, and to empower individuals to co-design these supports, tailoring them to their actual needs.

NORC stands for ‘Naturally occurring retirement communities’, an emerging concept to describe buildings that weren’t planned as structures for older adults, and yet they accommodate a high density of older adults (at least 30 percent of residents are 65 years of age and older, with a minimum of 50 older people per building).

Once such buildings are identified, the organisation runs a series of capacity-building actions to empower older people leadership (the so-called ‘NORC ambassadors’) and bring the community together. The goal is to build and strengthen availability of informal support and intergenerational solidarity, but also connect people to the services they need in an efficient and coordinated way as for example, assigning one lead home care agency for each NORC. This approach takes advantage of the natural densities to provide ageing in place and if needed, care that is client-centred, efficient, and better for workers.

While the idea of bringing programmes into NORC buildings is not new, the specificity of this model is that it encompasses all the different types of support needed, from social connection to health care, virtual care and more.

Read also this article on UHN website.

photo (cropped) by Yury Strukau on Unsplash

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