regardless of age, income or ability level.” According to AARP, 90 percent
of adults over the age of 65 report they would prefer to stay in their current
residence as they age. Approximately 96 percent of Americans over age 65
do live outside of institutional settings (e.g. nursing homes or assisted living
A University of Wisconsin study reports that one-third of American
households are home to one or more residents 60 years of age or older. Many
people do not want to, and in some cases cannot afford to, pay for expensive
institutional care. Property managers cannot ignore the reality that many seniors believe they can forego nursing homes or other assisted living centers
and stay in their current community.
Assisted Living Facilities Versus Common Interest
An Assisted Living Facility is a specialized care facility intended to provide
a range of personal services based on individual needs. A Common Interest
Community is a building or property where the needs of all residents/owners
must be met equally. In other words, the needs of the individual are generally
subordinate to the needs of the community as a whole.
In some cases, we can further define a Common Interest Community by
looking at the demographics of those who actually live there. Based on the
statistics that have been presented, you may be managing a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) and not even be aware you are. A
NORC can blur the lines between an Assisted Living Facility and a Common
Interest Community. AARP estimates that more than a quarter of American
seniors currently reside in NORCs. Title IV of the Older Americans Act recognizes NORCs as communities in which at least 40 percent of the heads of
households are seniors aged 60 or older.
How did your association become a NORC? There are three ways that this
could have happened:
1. A large number of people moved into a community when they were
younger (aged in place)
2. A large number of seniors move into a community (migration)
3. Seniors remain in a community as younger residents move out (
There are unique challenges we must face as our populations age in place.
Of Americans, over 65, 21 percent do not drive and 50 percent do not normally leave home most days. How do you meet these challenges? How do you
allocate association resources to accommodate the needs of individual owners while performing your duties as Association Manager? How do you meet
the needs of a few without offending or inconveniencing the other homeowners?
Here are just a few things to consider:
INSURANCE/LIABILITY & FHA/ADA
x Increased likelihood of slip and falls
x Increased potential for fire or water damage that results from accidental
cooking fires or overflowing bathtubs.
x What if a homeowner suffers
an injury while receiving
assistance from a staff
x TV/radio volumes in units may
increase which could result
in disturbance, complaints or
violations. How do you define
x You may consider installing
more signage, larger signage or
even braille signage?
x How do you handle this
potentially dangerous situation
while preserving the dignity of
x How do you involve family
members in the resolution
if they are geographically
AND CHANGES TO
x Install more lighting or brighter
x Modify common area doors
and corridors to accommodate
personal mobility equipment.
x Install accessible ramps, modify
stairs, handrails and landings.
x Add accessible parking spaces/
x Install automatic doors.
x Accommodate dexterity issues
by replacing keyed locks with
fobs or electronic access.
x If use and occupancy
restrictions are in place, how
do you handle a non-family
member caregiver? How do
you address service animals?
If your community is already a
Senior Community, how do you
address caregivers or family
members who do not meet the
minimum age requirement?