A Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) is a community (building, street, or neighborhood) a large proportion of whose residents are over sixty years old living independently. Peter and I live in an apartment building in a neighborhood with many single-family homes and lots of young children. But although many of the residents of our building brought up their kids here, most of us now fall on the far side of sixty.
It’s not surprising that our neighbors would need the help of walkers, crutches or canes. Since September, residents of our floor have had three knee replacements, a fractured hip and just last week, a broken foot.
Thanks to my knee surgery, I have used all three of the devices. But I am now walking around our apartment on my own most of the time. So, when a neighbor down the hall who lives alone broke her foot last week, I decided that the dinner I was making was enough for three people, and although she couldn’t leave her apartment, I could bring her dinner.
Both of our apartment units have stairs up into them which was a challenge for us. I hobbled down the hall on one crutch, carrying a hot plate of roasted pork tenderloin in cranberry sauce, broccoli and mashed potatoes. My neighbor stood at the top of the stairs into her apartment and I stood at the bottom. She leaned down as far as she could and I leaned up on the stair railing and passed her the plate of dinner.
It was a pathetic scene, but we laughed together at the ridiculousness of it. It also worked. She got a real dinner via room service down the hall (me) and I got to feel great for helping her out.