REAL ESTATE: Is Manhattan the seniors’ paradise?

BY MARTHA WILKIE | 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.



This Uptown NORC also sports a spacious eat-in kitchen nook.

In Morningside Heights, a spacious studio in a NORC on La Salle St. has a nice eat-in kitchen nook and is well priced. $349,000.


Movin’ on up to an East Harlem rental with no steps up.

A two-bedroom, two-bath East Harlem rental has a doorman, elevator, no steps to enter and a stall shower. $3,995.


A gorgeous terrace comes with this Upper East Side one-bedroom.

On the Upper East Side, a one-bedroom, one-bath condo offers a gorgeous terrace, doorman and concierge. $798,000.


This Chelsea one-bedroom comes the added benefit of an attractive lobby where one can socialize with neighbors.

In Chelsea, a one-bedroom, one-bath has a stall shower, doorman, elevator washer/dryer, valet service and a lounge-like lobby where one can hang out and chat with neighbors. $1.5 million.

One Response to REAL ESTATE: Is Manhattan the seniors’ paradise?

  1. The city is doing everything it can to gentrify, and get rid of its older residents. About 1/5 of the city is over 60, and with the new bus services proposed to be "improved," they come along with a heavy price for the older and less able – stops that are much farther apart. That's supposed to be an improvement. And there aren't that many elevators for our subway stops either.

    And if you're a less rich older person, forget about living in city or middle class housing, or of holding onto an apartment in a building that is in a desirable neighborhood, even if you've lived there for years. The real estate industry and our enabling politicians do little for the current older resident, and encourage developers to get rid of existing housing and they almost always aren't affordable. And now they are openly hostile to them if they live in the wrong place as NYCHA and even other middle class developments are up for privatization and a gentrification of their own.

    The city is getting harder and more expensive to live in. And getting around is far worse with the changes in the buses, the lack of elevators in the subway, the congestion in the streets, and the danger of the "new" transportation options that only 3% of people use on a daily basis – bikes – which elderly use even less frequently, and repeatedly have to dodge on the sidewalks or crosswalks.

    Shame on our elected officials for making elderly unfriendly policies, and promoting dangerous ones (like out of control biking).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *