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Therapeutic Recreation in the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC): Benefiting "Aging in Place"

Robin Kunstler

Abstract


Most older adults in the United States wish to continue to live in their own homes as they age. This phenomenon, known as "aging in place" has led to the identification of the naturally occurring retirement community (NORC): a neighborhood in which the majority of residents are over sixty years of age. Older adults living in their own homes may become isolated, physically inactive, unable to care for themselves and experience cognitive decline. Therapeutic recreation (TR) is a service that can promote healthy lifestyles through application of the TR process. A case report of an in-home TR program, offered to twelve participants in conjunction with nursing and social services in a NORC, is presented from conceptualization through recommendations. Implications for implementing the TR process in this nontraditional setting are discussed. TR in the NORC was determined to be a viable service that stimulated participants' social interaction, cognitive functioning and interest in the larger community.

Keywords


aging in place, environmental assessment, in-home services, Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC), therapeutic recreation

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