What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living communities, such as New Horizons in Marlborough and New Horizons in Woburn, offer a unique combination of housing and personalized care designed to respond to the individual needs of those who require, or may later require, assistance with activities of daily living. A typical assisted living residence offers a supportive residential setting for those who are unable to continue to live alone, but do not need the 24-hour skilled medical care of a nursing home.
All New Horizons programs include:
Three meals daily (view a sample menu) in delightful common dining rooms; light housekeeping services; scheduled transportation; 24-hour on-duty staff; emergency call systems; health promotion and exercise programs; and social and recreational activities. New Horizons' third-party assisted living agency provides assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, and mobility, as well as medication management, all to varying degrees, as needed and arranged.
The philosophy of assisted living care, as stated by the Assisted Living Facilities Association of America, is:
- Fostering independence for each resident.
- Treating each resident with dignity and respect.
- Promoting the individuality of each resident.
- Allowing each resident's choice of care and lifestyle.
- Protecting each resident's right to privacy.
- Providing a safe residential environment.
- Nurturing the spirit of each resident.
- Making the Assisted Living residence a valuable community.
- Offering cost-effective quality care that is personalized for individual needs.
- Involving family and friends in care planning and implementation
Specialized Assisted Living Programs
Hearthstone Alzheimer Care
Hearthstone Alzheimer Care, Ltd. is a prominent, internationally-known organization that provides dementia care in several states. It operates residences at both the Woburn and Marlborough New Horizons. Occasionally, when the need arises, residents may transfer from New Horizons to the Hearthstone residence - typically in a relatively seamless transition.
Dr. John Ziesel, widely recognized as a pioneer in the Alzheimer treatment field, co-founded and continues to manage the Hearthstone programs. The main phone number of their executive offices in Woburn, MA is 781-674-2884.
Geri-psych Assisted Living
Robbie's Place, located on the second floor of New Horizons at Marlborough's assisted living facility, is one of a few enhanced care geri psych programs in the Commonwealth that supports seniors coping with mental health struggles such as depression and anxiety. Using a traditional assisted living setting and supplementing care with psychiatric expertise, many residents will recover to live either independently or transition to New Horizons.
New Horizons provides meals and services for Hearthstone and Robbie's Place residents and, of course, provides the upkeep of residents' individual suites. It does not in any way, however, supervise or direct Hearthstone or Robbie's Place management or caregivers, or the actual residential programs in these facilities, and has no ownership interest.
and kindness to each resident. It has spirit; it has compassion."
- Samuel E. Toto, Ed.D.
How to Determine If Assisted Living Will Fit Your Needs
Assisted Living may be appropriate for individuals who need some assistance with activities of daily living, but who are not in need of skilled nursing home care. Generally, it is expected that residents are able to move from place to place by themselves or by using supportive devices such as a cane or walker. Residents must also be able to react appropriately in an emergency situation.
Assisted Living residences benefit not only the elderly, but also their families. Studies have shown that, on average, for every senior needing assistance, there are at least three other individuals whose lives are affected - the spouse of the individual, children, and other family members and friends. When an elderly parent lives within an Assisted Living environment, all involved may find peace of mind.
Would Assisted Living be Appropriate for Your Parent?
Carefully and honestly weigh your replies to the questions below. If many of these questions are applicable to your parent's current situation, you and your family member could very well benefit from an Assisted Living environment.
- Is your parent experiencing forgetfulness?
- Is there difficulty with grooming and personal hygiene?
- Is mobility becoming a problem?
- Does your parent eat properly?
- Are medications taken correctly?
- Is your parent socially isolated?
- Is loneliness a problem?
- Does he/she participate in fewer stimulating activities?
- Are current housing expenses excessive?
- Is emergency help readily available, day and night?
- Have family and friends moved away?
- Are you and/or others increasingly worrying about your parent's wellbeing?
- Is the current home difficult to maintain or inappropriate for an older person (too large, too many stairs, cupboards too high, bathrooms too small)?
The Emotional Decision
Since you're reading this material, you're probably familiar with the stress that comes from juggling the responsibilities of work, home, family, finances and concern for an aging parent. It's not easy to "parent your parent." The whole role-change situation has a tendency to become emotionally charged. Asking a parent to live in an Assisted Living residence is often an emotional decision, one which is confronted by hundreds of people every day.
For many, considering a supportive residence for a parent is a difficult step. You want to find a place where they'll be happy . . . a place that you're certain will take good care of your parent.
Some have feelings of guilt or inadequacy with their decision to not move their elderly parent in with them. This is natural; however, studies show overwhelming evidence that the vast majority of elders and their families are much happier, and report much improved relationships, after moving to an Assisted Living arrangement.
Some elderly resist Assisted Living residences because they deny the need for help. They don't want to admit that they should no longer live on their own, and don't want to lose their sense of control. It often helps to explain that a move is still their decision. You may choose to tell them that you are concerned about them, and that it would give you peace of mind and comfort if they would make the move to an Assisted Living residence. Another suggestion is to offer to assist them in deciding which one they like the best.
The Rational Decision
To deal with your own emotional feelings, try to make the most rational decision possible. Let your parent know that you understand the importance of the decision, and point out that moving to New Horizons, or any other of the many good Assisted Living residences, does not mean a loss of independence. On the contrary, it means the freedom to live more independently without the responsibilities of home ownership and without dependence on family or friends.
Throughout your discussions, encourage your parent's feelings of control over his or her life. You might want to sit down with your parent and write a list of the advantages. For example:
- No home maintenance or hassles.
- Delicious meals cooked for them.
- Full slate of social and recreational activities.
- Help is available if ever needed.
- The possibility of companionship and making new friends.
- Time and stress are reduced for everyone so you have more time to enjoy each other.
- Freedom to live independently in a private suite with their own belongings.
- If their abilities should ever increasingly fail, they are in a place where help is readily available without having to move away from a new life and friends.
The best way to learn about any Assisted Living residence is to visit one. While there are many similarities, there are also many important differences. When visiting, let your senses tell you about the place. Allow the Marketing Director or Executive Director to show you around, and ask questions as you think of them. Never be bashful about what you ask.
Your parent can take these initial tours with you, but it is strongly recommended that you first find a residence you like, and then take your parent for a tour at a later date. Oftentimes, it helps a great deal to tour a community's website before visiting, and then see how well the program really compares with whatever appears on the website.
The following are some questions to consider having answered when visiting New Horizons or any other residence. All may not be important to you, but having these answers may help you determine if the residence really meets your needs.
- Is it convenient?
- Is it attractive and inviting, inside and out?
- Is the food tasty and attractively served?
- Is the residence well-lit inside?
- Is it too noisy (or too quiet)?
- Do you hear/see residents socializing?
- Are there attractive grounds and other surroundings?
- Is there a "homey feel" or an institutional atmosphere?
- How stable is the facility's management team?
- Do staff members show genuine interest in, and affection for, individual residents?
- Is it a secure, pleasant setting where your parent or loved one can enjoy an independent lifestyle along with the availability of supportive services to make life a bit easier - either now or in the future?
The monthly fees to live in an Assisted Living residence will typically be much less than the costs of living at home with outside aid coming in. Look closely at what you're getting for the money: a place to live, three meals a day, assistance as needed - 24 hours a day, the high probability of new friendships, activities, scheduled transportation, most utilities, and so much more. Add in the costs of each of these items, you may find that it is a very good value. At New Horizons, the overall cost of living will often be much less than living alone in a family homestead. In addition, no one can put a price on peace of mind and overall well being. Most residents who move to New Horizons, and their families, are somewhere between very happy and ecstatic with their decision, and ultimately delighted that they made the move.
There are very different prices for different-sized suites and for different Assisted Living service plans. The staff of the residence will carefully go over all price structures and help you with any questions.
The Residence, Owner and Management
It is imperative to for prospective residents check the credibility and financial stability of the owner, management and the residence itself. Assisted Living has become very popular within the business community, and many facilities are being built, operated and managed by newcomers, who may lack experience and staying power. Sometimes, the issue for potential residents and their families is whether they are willing to take a risk with a new owner/manager who lacks a track record. You can have more confidence in your decision when the owner/manager has experience. Both New Horizons in Marlborough and Woburn are rock-solid financially, with decades of experience. Both are not-for-profit, and neither even has any sort of mortgage on its property. Which is why New Horizons at Choate and Marlborough are the least expensive retirement and assisted living communities in Massachusetts.
Touring with Your Parent
When convenient for you and your parent, make an appointment to tour either of our facilities and enjoy a meal together. Encourage your parent to ask questions and talk with people who live there. Most residents whom you encounter will be delighted to talk with you; they will give you their very honest opinions.
As you tour, it may be helpful to identify on a personal level, many of the benefits of the program and the facility itself. For example, look at the activity schedule and mention one that your parent might enjoy. Review the menu and point out preferred dishes. By stating benefits, you will reassure your parent and ease your own transition. This will help you both look forward to the move.
If you choose to delay your decision, take note. Both New Horizons communities operate at near capacity, and the facility you plan to choose may not have a vacancy if you wait. It's a good rule of thumb to put down a fully refundable deposit, even if it is to just get your name on the waiting list, and you risk nothing. There is an advantage in already having a reservation when the decision to move is finally made.
Once the joint decision is made, there will be an assessment of the prospective resident to determine the appropriate level of Assisted Living services necessary, and to establish a Service Plan. Administrators will ask that your parent obtain a physical examination and that his or her physician fill out an information sheet. A financial application may also be part of the community's requirements.
Preparing to Move
The hardest part about the move may be choosing which pieces of furniture and belongings to take. Pull the floor plan of your parent's new suite. Together you can pencil in appropriate places for furniture. This will not only help you decide which items to take, but it may also assure they fit and help determine the layout of the room prior to the actual move, saving you time.
Whenever possible, your loved one should be in charge of the move, taking responsibility even if it slows things up a bit. The more involved the parent, the less likely he or she will feel coerced or patronized, and the greater the commitment to the new home.
This information was designed to describe the role of an Assisted Living facility, spell out simple procedures for making the decision easier, and identify a few things to expect once the decision is made. We sincerely hope you found it helpful.
Throughout your search, you will come to see that most, but not all, Assisted Living residences are active, lively settings that promote healthy lifestyles and goodwill. They typically are not institutional settings with reclusive residents. Assisted Living residences are generally wonderful environments from which everyone benefits . . . the residents, their families, and even their friends.
Application Process - New Horizons
Prospective residents who have already visited either New Horizons and met with staff may begin the sign-up process by submitting their Application for Residency. Click here to download and print out a copy of the standard application form. Completed applications should be accompanied by the fully applied and fully refundable $300 Application Fee.
If you have not yet visited New Horizons but are ready to start the procedure, please print out and complete the brief application form, and either mail it in or bring it with you when you visit and select your unit. The application process typically takes only a few days.
It includes review of a physician's recommendation, a guarantor's financial disclosure and the application form, and culminates in a meeting with the applicant. Each resident's specific needs can only be determined through a careful evaluation, following receipt of the Physician's Statement.
Completed applications may be mailed to the following:
New Horizons at Marlborough
400 Hemenway Street
Marlborough, MA 01752
New Horizons at Choate
21 Warren Avenue
Woburn, MA 01801
New Horizons at Choate currently has a waitlist, and a $2,000 Waitlist Deposit is required along with the Application Fee. New Horizons at Marlborough has some very nice units still available, with no Waitlist Deposit necessary.
Special Rate for Couples
New Horizons at Marlborough has a special program to encourage more couples. If more than one person is to occupy the apartment, the additional basic monthly fee for the second occupant (spouse) at New Horizons in Marlborough (only) is only $100 per month (including three meals)! Staff will be happy to send floor plans and information about the monthly fee for each specific apartment. Only one spouse is required to meet the minimum (62 years) age requirement.
Although most seniors would prefer assisted living over nursing home residence, assisted living facilities in Massachusetts may not provide 24-hour skilled nursing care, and they are not appropriate for everyone. Residents come and go as they wish. They are not under constant oversight, and sometimes they make choices that may not appear to be in their own best interests. New Horizons is a not-for-profit community which provides personalized supportive services with the activities of daily living, but does not, and cannot, monitor its residents.