Designing the Future of Aging in Place

Mental Health & Wellness

Jen Recknagel

Director, Innovation and Design, NORC Innovation Centre

Jen combines a background in human-centered design to address challenges at the intersection of health and its social determinants. Experienced with executing a variety of service design projects, she is currently the Senior Design Lead at UHN OpenLab, and Director of

Innovation and Design at the NORC Innovation Centre. Her work is focused on engaging a diverse set of stakeholders, and using participatory-led approaches to developing solutions to complex organizational and health system challenges, a national award-winning magazine focused on urban health in Toronto.

Isabel Mannion RN, BN, M Sc,(A) , CHE

Member of the Seniors Advisory Committee and The NORC Innovation Centre Advisory Committee

Isabel Mannion has baccalaureate and master’s degrees in nursing with a particular interest and experience in gerontology, the study of aging. A retired senior, she enjoyed a long career working in, consulting, accrediting, speaking, and writing about the care of elders and others in long term, chronic and acute care, UHN’s NORC Innovation Centre, and serves on two of its committees.

NIC Vision

The NORC Innovation Centre at UHN (NIC) is a first-of-its-kind centre advancing new models of social connection and accessible care for older adults living in the community. Our mission is to support a new model of integrated health and social care in naturally-occurring retirement communities (NORC), and to develop health, social, and technology solutions that support healthy aging.


NORC Innovation Centre at UHN

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Policy Paper created in conjunction with the National Institute for Aging

“It’s Time to Unleash the Power of Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities in Canada”

Toronto Star article

Women’s College Hospital

Women’s College Hospital and NIC have secured a 3 million research grant funding to study NORCs in Toronto. The objective of the research is to identify new solutions by successfully implementing community-driven NORCs enhanced with on-site access to health services and social supports (referred to as ‘enhanced NORCs’) that leverage and build on existing community resources.

 Women’s Age lab website

Definition: ‘Elder orphans,’ without kids or spouses, face old age alone. An overlooked segment of the population.

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