NORC Health Plus (NHP)
NHP included four participating Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) in New York City: Clearview Gardens NORC in Queens; Stanley Isaacs NORC in Manhattan; Beth Abraham NORC in the Bronx; and CCNS (Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services) NORC in Brooklyn.
The goal of the NHP program was to broaden the scope of existing services in NORCs by providing older residents educational interventions aimed at improving their ability to self-manage their physical and mental health needs. The NHP program also sought to strengthen relationships between participant NORCs and the communities they serve. Specific objectives were to:
- Provide older NORC residents with the tools necessary to better manage their health by implementing the evidence-based Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSPM);
- Empower older residents to better manage their mental health by offering Behavioral Activation therapy, another evidence-based program;
- Build the capacity of NORCs to support service and systems change and assume a broader community role; and
- Increase the depth and breadth of NORC residents' participation in the governance and operation of the NORC services program.
Specific accomplishments of the NHP program include:
- Training peer leaders to conduct CDSPM workshops at participating NORCs
- Increased screening of clients for depression using PHQ-9 (the nine-item depression scale of the Patient Health Questionnaire)
- Partnering with the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) and Dr. Patrick Raue of Weill Cornell Medical College to provide training and on-site support to NORCs to enable them to apply Behavioral Activation (BA) therapy to their clients
- Developed a protocol manual for the implementation of BA in group settings
- Training NORC Directors to effectively supervise staff engaging in BA and train new staff in the method
- Partnering with the Community Resource Exchange (CRE) to help participant NORCs develop management skills.
- Providing funding for NORCs to hire part-time community outreach organizers through ReServe (an organization that matches older adults who wish to continue working with community non-profits)
- Engaging NORC staff and clients in the development of an interactive health and wellness game called Winning Wellness.
NYC Department for the Aging
Director of Health Aging, Bureau of Community Services