REAL ESTATE: Is Manhattan the seniors’ paradise?
Some say Manhattan is only for the young or rich, but it’s also good for older people — as long as they have the means to live here.
An Upper East Sider who just turned 80 said she values the convenience.
“As an ‘elderly’ person there is no better place to live,” she said. “Almost everything I need is within a four-block radius: grocery store, pharmacy, cleaners, hardware store, bookstore — you name it. And if I can’t get out, they deliver.”
And she loves her neighborhood.
“The people, children and dogs are all familiar and make me feel connected and secure,” she said. “And, of course, there is the wonderful culture: movies, theater, music, dance, libraries, museums — and good public transportation. And for a glorious walk in the country, there is always Central Park!”
Agent Ina Torton manages a special team, Next Move, dedicated to helping seniors leaving their longtime homes and finding new places to live, ones well-suited to aging in place. Factors to consider include wheelchair-accessible entrances and A.D.A.-compliant bathrooms.
“Seniors move for different reasons, such as downsizing or to be near their children,” Torton explained. “Some want to escape the suburbs and be in the middle of the action. I’m a senior and I wouldn’t live anywhere else. There’s nothing like it!”
Buildings or neighborhoods can become NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities) and get free services from the city.
“Department for the Aging funds supportive-services programs at dozens of NORCs in the city, where residents can access health and social services where they live,” Torton noted. “Services include health and wellness activities, fitness classes, case-management assistance, help with benefits and entitlements, educational activities, outings and volunteer opportunities.”
Searching for suitable apartments is difficult, although The New York Times does have a “wheelchair accessible” filter and the city maintains a list of NORCs online.