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ItemThe U.S. Long Term Care System(Springer Verlag, 2011)The current U.S. health and long term care systems are inadequately prepared to meet the diverse and changing needs of the rapidly growing senior population. This paper describes the importance of naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) to promote the health and mental well being of older individuals through the collaborative efforts of formal and informal home and community based services and support. NORCs are considered a crucial model for aging in place since older adults prefer to remain in the comfort of their homes, and services can be provided in a much more efficient and cost effective manner. This paper examines the strengths, opportunities, and challenges of existing NORCs and discusses the need for the development and expansion of additional NORC programs as an innovative and viable solution for older adults aging in place.