Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Stack traveled to the Raymond and Miriam Klein JCC in Northeast Philadelphia on Oct. 23 to discuss long-term care options for Pennsylvania older adults and to announce increased funding for the five Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) located throughout the Keystone State. The $200,000 in new funding will also be used to help start new NORCs in other communities.
NORC programs connect seniors who are living in their own homes to a network of supportive services that help them to maintain their independence. In the Greater Philadelphia area, three programs will benefit from the additional funding.
Rhawnhurst NORC, a collaborative program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Catholic Human Services, serves men and women ages 60 and older in the Rhawnhurst neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia.
Outreach workers connect clients with socialization programs,
transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and assistance with home repairs, and maintenance.
Monthly Social Programs
SeniorCHAI is a membership-based organization serving older adults in the Bustleton-Somerton neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia. Monthly social programs are held at the Raymond and Miriam Klein JCC and at various synagogues throughout Northeast Philadelphia.
Members are paired with a Member Services Representative who will help them to connect to the varied menu of NORC services. SeniorCHAI is a collaborative effort of Jewish Family and Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia (JFCS), Federation, the Klein JCC, JEVS Human Services and Federation Housing, Inc. It is an outgrowth of the STAR NORC programs begun by JFCS.
Older adults who live in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia and the surrounding Main Line suburban communities can benefit from the NORC partnership of JFCS and the Golden Slipper Center for Seniors. Monthly social lunch programs are held at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood. Member Services Representatives are available to refer seniors to other community services that they might need.
Senator Stack expressed hope that the funding will spur continued growth of NORCs in Pennsylvania, home to the third oldest population in the country. "The good news is, our older population is more active than ever… and they want to live independently," said Stack, explaining that "we must focus our funding and resources on programs that support home- and community-based services, and Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities offer seniors this type of lifestyle."
Stack also maintains that NORCs are cost-effective, "allowing seniors and their families to save money by avoiding the costs of nursing home care."
Stack plans to work with his Senate colleagues to push for passage of the Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities Act. "This legislation would foster the existing NORCs and provide an incentive to bring additional NORCs to our communities," Stack stated.
Northeast Philadelphia residents served by NORC programs are all smiles at a check presentation by Pennsylvania Senator Mike Stack. Stack (center) is joined by Jack Dembow, CEO Jewish Family and Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia, and Elaine Griffin, director of Rhawnhurst NORC. For more information on NORC programs in the Greater Philadelphia area, contact Federation's Jewish Information and Referral Service at 215-832-0821 or visit www.jewishphilly.org.