NNORC celebrates its success with wrap-up luncheon on June 18

Linda Bordeaux, director of the Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NNORC) program, explains the group’s accomplishments over the past 14 years during a wrap-up luncheon Thursday, June 18, at the LaFontaine Center.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

NNORC, the people trying to make it easier for older adults to continue living in their own home as they age, celebrated its success Thursday, June 18, at what may or may not have been a wrap-up luncheon.

"We're counting down to the end," Linda Bordeaux, director of the Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities program, told guests at the luncheon. "We don't know if there will be any continuation."

The NNORC program, one of five such pilot programs across Indiana, was launched in April 2008. Its funding from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Division of Aging dries up at the end of this month.

There is a chance that the grant may be renewed, Bordeaux says, but the NNORC steering committee will try to continue the program even if it's not.

The committtee plans to carry on for 90 days "with very reduced staffing," she says. If that doesn't work, she says, "Then we should probably call it quits."

NNORC accomplished much over the past 14 months, Bordeaux says, surveying neighborhoods, establishing goals, securing grants and providing Seniors with some of what they say they need most - convenient access to information, and a feeling of safety in their homes.

NNORC secured funding to make small modifications to a limited number of Seniors' homes and set a goal of improving 10 homes. Seventeen homeowners volunteered to be a part of that project, she says, but one home was disqualified because the scope of the needed modifications was too great.

Each of the remaining 16 homes was equipped with a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector as well as a fire extinguisher. Modifications to each home were cus-tomized to meet individual homeowners' needs and included a new electrical breaker box, stair railings, ramps and grab bars.

Eleven homes are completed, Bordeaux says, and the remainder will be completed by the end of June.
NNORC's second goal, that of providing ready access to information, was accomplished in part through newsletters and a renewed push to publicize the 2-1-1 emergency phone number, where Hoosiers can call for non-emergency information assistance, legal aid and more.

The major project, though, is developing a central information resource at the Huntington City-Township Public Library, filled with information specific to Huntington.

That resource center is "almost up and running," Bordeaux says.

The library resource center will be maintained even if NNORC funding disappears, she says, as will newsletters, seminars and workshops

"I think we can do some pretty significant things in a small way," Bordeaux says.