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Frequently asked questions about living at New Horizons

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How stable is New Horizons?
Owned by one of the largest private foundations in Massachusetts, New Horizons in its own right has a high net worth and no mortgages or other long-term debt of any sort.

May I bring my own furnishings?
Absolutely! Residents are encouraged to furnish their new homes to their own liking. They are also free to hang their favorite pictures on walls and to make their New Horizons apartment truly be and feel like their new home in all ways possible.

What are the rental terms for residency?
Apartments are effectively rented on a month-to-month basis. Residents must give two calendar months' notice if they plan to relocate, but there are never any leases or long-term commitments at New Horizons.

What does the monthly rental fee include?
The monthly fee includes three delicious, dietitian-approved meals each day, plus weekly housekeeping services, local scheduled transportation, and utilities. There is also an extensive program of regular and widely varied activities. In Marlborough, a Traditional Assisted Living Service Plan, basic cable, and local telephone service are also included. Most of all, the fee includes being a part of a marvelous not-for-profit environment with a very warm community of diverse people who will be delighted to have you join them. New people coming in are welcomed by others offering to help them acclimate to their new home.

Is financial assistance available?
All residents of New Horizons are responsible for their own fees. Because each New Horizons is a not-for-profit affordable community, our fees tend to be lower than other comparable locations. In addition, Cummings Foundation currently subsidizes monthly fees for each New Horizons resident.

Are pets allowed?
Yes and No. We know that pets can be an important part of any family, and one small house-trained dog or cat is permissible at New Horizons in Marlborough. Should the pet become a problem to other residents or staff, however, it cannot be allowed to remain. Local regulations prohibit overnight dogs and cats at New Horizons in Woburn. Well-behaved visiting pets, however, are always welcomed and encouraged and there are monthly visits from caring canines, as well.

May I bring my car?
Of course! Many residents drive, and there is abundant free parking. In the winter months, our "Snow Team" is available without chage to help clear off vehicles for residents after snow storms, etc. Garages may also be leased on a first-come, first-served basis.

Does New Horizons have a nursing home?
Residents at New Horizons may receive supportive skilled services in the comfort of their own apartments rather than in a designated facility. Such care may be arranged through the on-site provider of home care services or through a different provider that the resident and his/her family may prefer. The meshing of the hospitality and socialization services of the community with these extra care supports generally makes for a preferable environment.

Do all suites have their own full kitchens?
No. Isn't it wonderful!? No more grocery shopping, cooking, or cleaning! Three delicious meals are enjoyed daily in one of our bright, airy dining rooms, with none of the shopping or lugging, and none of the cooking or cleanup, either. Each apartment typically does, however, have a "hospitality center," including a small convenience refrigerator, plus a sink and microwave oven.

What are "community kitchens"?
Each New Horizons has a full-sized community kitchen, which is available if a resident should want to cook for some special purpose. One resident, for instance, likes to make some of her favorite fresh tomato sauce for gifts to her family and friends. Another was recently seen teaching his young grandson how to make the family's famous almond macaroons.

Is Wi-Fi available?
Wi-Fi is available in the Town Center at New Horizons in Marlborough and in common areas of New Horizons in Woburn.

Do residents have easy access to a computer?
Many of our residents enjoy their own personal computers, but several common area computers are routinely available for resident use for email, the Internet, or an assortment of popular games. Many residents take free computer classes offered by the Activities Department on a regular basis. Additionally in January 2008, Intel graciously donated funds to New Horizons at Marlborough to purchase eight computers. These are installed, each at its own work station, in the Intel Computer Training Center in memory of Albert Frechette for daily use by residents, as well as for occasional group training classes.

Are laundry facilities available for residents' use?
Yes, there are several laundry rooms in convenient locations, equipped with washers and dryers. There is no charge for the use of this equipment. Residents may take care of their own laundry, or may pay separately for laundry service, as available. Laundering of linens (only), however, is included in weekly light housekeeping services.

Is there a shopping center or mall located nearby?
Local neighborhood shopping and entertainment areas and larger plazas and malls exist nearby and are easily accessed via the New Horizons mini bus or your own vehicle.

How do I get my hair done?
Each New Horizons has its own exceptionally nice, fully-equipped, hair salon with several local stylists who routinely serve both men and women. New Horizons' local shopping bus is also readily available for those who wish to schedule hair appointments off campus. There is a strict "no tipping" policy in New Horizons' hair salons (as there is throughout the community) at all times.

How are the facilities at New Horizons staffed?
There is a dedicated staff of about 80 full and part-time housekeepers, healthcare staff, managers, grounds people, maintenance people, activity staff, and dining room personnel in Woburn, and about 100 at the much larger Marlborough campus. These very dedicated people serve our residents with true dedication and keep our exquisite properties in pristine condition.

Why is there an Entrance Fee at New Horizons?
With a fully-refundable Entrance Fee, there is considerably less risk of any residents defaulting on their obligations to the community. As a result, uncollected fees are almost non-existent, and rates are lower for all residents. The entire Deposit is 100 percent refundable to the resident, or to his or her estate, when the resident leaves. Interest earned on these deposits also helps to keep monthly fees lower, yielding a tax savings for many residents.

What is the amount of the fully refundable Entrance Fee?
MARLBOROUGH: For a limited time, the Entrance Fee has been eliminated for new residents who do not require a Traditional Assisted Living Service Plan upon move-in and, based on the assessment of a community registered nurse, are not expected to require such a plan for at least one year. Only first and last month's rent will be due from these residents upon signing of the Residence Agreement. For all other residents, the fully refundable Entrance Fee is $30,000.
WOBURN: The fully refundable Entrance Fee is $50,000 for all new residents.

Who owns New Horizons?
New Horizons at Marlborough, LLC and New Horizons at Choate, LLC are both independent 501-C-3 operating entities. They are wholly-owned not-for-profit subsidiaries of the substantial Cummings Foundation, Inc. of Woburn, MA.

Is New Horizons financially secure?
Both heavily endowed, not-for-profit entities are financially very strong and conservative, and were organized and developed by the same family that developed Cummings Park in Woburn, MA and Cummings Center in Beverly, MA. Significantly, there is no debt or mortgage of any kind on any part of either New Horizons, and Cummings Foundation's net worth is in excess of $1 billion.

What defines an "independent living" resident?
Independent residents are able to travel in buses or cars, and can participate in activities of daily living without assistance. Some independent living residents, who do not need a full assisted living program, schedule assistance with occasional needs, or once or twice a week, still remaining "independent" in overall status.

What if I am in need of temporary assistance?
Arrangements can typically be made to provide temporary assistance for almost any independent resident if a need should arise. Similarly, independent residents may stay in their current suite and receive assisted living service. In Marlborough there is typically at least one licensed nurse on duty 24 hours daily, seven days a week. LifeLine Ambulance is a preferred provider of nonemergency medical transport for New Horizons residents in both Marlborough and Woburn.

Please click this box for excerpts from more than 100 signed letters, cordials and notes from present or past residents and/or their families.


How are assisted living services provided?
At New Horizons in Woburn, assisted living services are provided through a division of nationally acclaimed Winchester Hospital, which recently received the coveted Magnet Award, the American Nurses Association's highest award for nursing excellence. In Marlborough, services are provided by an on-site Medicare-approve home care agency. New Horizons passes on to residents only the actual total fees charged by the provider, with no "profit" earned on these services.

What are the "visiting hours" at New Horizons?
There are none. Living at New Horizons is no different than living at home. You and your guests are always free to come and go as you like. With advance notice, guests of New Horizons residents are also welcome to dine with residents in the dining rooms, as practical, with very modest guest meal fees. Prospective residents are strongly encouraged to enjoy the facilities as guests of New Horizons.

Are the two New Horizons communities very similar?
Yes. Other than geography, the biggest difference is the size of each campus. New Horizons in Woburn has about 125 residents on a five-acre property. The Marlborough campus, situated on 40 gorgeous acres abutting conservation lands, has had five major expansions and houses more than 400 seniors.

Are all assisted living facilities alike?
Although Massachusetts assisted living communities tend to be very well-regulated and of unusually good quality, there are certainly major differences among them. People who are familiar with many communities say that New Horizons places far more emphasis on helping to keep residents active, busy, and involved than most other facilities do. There is most often a very warm, personal feeling that comes across readily to prospective residents who stop to talk with current residents, and ask their feelings about living at New Horizons.

Is there any religious affiliation at either New Horizons?
No. New Horizons is entirely non-sectarian in all respects. New Horizons in Marlborough does, however, have a daily Catholic Mass and weekly Protestant and Jewish services. New Horizons in Woburn has weekly Catholic and Protestant services, and Jewish services surrounding special holidays.

Is cable TV service provided?
Free basic cable TV service is provided in all units in Marlborough, with enhanced service available upon request. Free basic telephone service is also included in the quoted rates at New Horizons in Marlborough. In Woburn, residents desiring phone and cable services may easily arrange for same through local providers.

Are there volunteer opportunities available to residents?
There are many volunteer opportunities within New Horizons and off-site, as well. Residents sometimes go into the classroom of our nearby elementary schools to read to young students. In the residence, they initiate clubs, some as ambassadors for the community, knit goods for charity, and help manage the greenhouse.

Who comes to New Horizons?
New Horizons is mostly for seniors who are very concerned about maintaining their dignity and independence. Their ages range from about 65 to 100, with an average in the low to mid 80s. We provide a fine residential environment, where residents who have previously lived by themselves very often "come alive again once they no longer have to concern themselves with the burdens of living alone."

Is there a priority for Marlborough Residents?
As required by Section 6 of a Marlborough Special Permit, filed in 2005, New Horizons gives preference for admission to prospective residents who or whose immediate family members either are, or were full-time residents of Marlborough. When there is a waiting list for new prospective residents who have completed the application process, local residents will move to the top of the waiting list along with other applicants who are not similarly qualified for admission, on an alternating basis.

What should I do next if I am interested in residency?
Fill out the Application for Residency and return at your earliest opportunity. If interested in occupancy within the next 10 months, send your application, along with the $50* non-refundable Application Fee, to the community which is of the most interest for you:

Executive Director
New Horizons at Choate, LLC
21 Warren Ave.
Woburn, MA 01801

Executive Director
New Horizons at Marlborough, LLC
400 Hemenway St.
Marlborough, MA 01752






A personal visit is then very advisable. We urge prospective residents to inspect the facility, enjoy a complimentary lunch or dinner, and to meet other residents before signing a Residence Agreement. It is important also for New Horizons to assess each resident's suitability and needs. A printable copy of the Application form is available by clicking here.


Glossary of Terms

No matter what the circumstances, the following Glossary of Terms may be helpful in understanding a few of the basic differences in the various housing and care options, especially the newer ones. Please feel free to call New Horizons' executive director, Robert (Bob) O'Connor in Marlborough (508-460-5000), or Christine Coakley in Woburn at (781-932-8000) for help with any questions.

Adult Day Health Program - Program providing supervision, recreation and health care services during the day to older people to better allow family caregivers to work or attend to other responsibilities on a daily basis only. Several couples among those living at New Horizons in Marlborough have successfully combined the Alzheimer's health care on-campus for the daytime use of one spouse.

Alzheimer's Care - Usually indicates an assisted living residence or nursing facility with either separate units and/or a program geared to residents with Alzheimer's disease or other cognitive impairments. Such programs usually feature very specially designed and secure environments, structured activity programs and greater staff-to-resident ratios. Such facilities are often associated as part of the continuum of care arrangements at an independent/assisted living facility or a CCRC.

Apartment Living for Seniors - The most independent aspect of community residences in which individuals are capable of maintaining daily routines relative to homemaking and personal care. Apartment living frees the senior from any property maintenance obligations and provides a neighborhood of peers for active socialization.

Assisted Living - A housing option for older adults who need some assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing, eating, bathing, ambulating or toileting, but do not require 24-hour nursing care. They are still able to live independently with some assistance.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) - A residential community for older adults that combines some form of independent retirement living, plus assisted living and some degree of nursing care, usually on one campus. Communities like New Horizons offer various levels of living accomodations on the same campus, greatly facilitating easy transfers from one part of the facility to another as residents' needs change.

Home Care Services - Services provided to individuals in their own living environment, such as homemaker services (cooking, cleaning, washing), home health care (activities of daily living - bathing, dressing, ambulating, toileting, eating), physical, occupational, and speech therapy, and medically necessary procedures done at home.

Independent Full-Service Retirement Living - A living arrangement in residential apartments where elders share common space, but are able to maintain their independence with little or no assistance. Better facilities typically provide three meals daily for all residents, plus utilities, some transportation, housekeeping, etc., as well as standby assistance, if needed, and a wide variety of social activities.

Medicaid - A state and federal health insurance program providing health care coverage for individuals with limited incomes or who have been impoverished by medical expenses.

Medicare - A federal health insurance program providing health care coverage for the elderly and disabled.

Public Housing - Typically an independent living community that is federally-funded (HUD funded) or state funded, with asset limits and run by the housing authority in a city or town.

Residential Care Facility - A facility licensed by the Massachusetts State Department of Public Health to provide supervision for individuals who do not routinely require nursing or medical care. Also known as a rest home.

Respite Care - Short-term placement for individuals in facilities that enable relatives caring for them at home to take some time off from their caregiving responsibilities. This can often work very well in an independent and/or assisted community on a trial period, which may become longer term. New Horizons in Marlborough offers respite care enrollments.

Skilled Nursing Care - Refers to the type of daily nursing and rehabilitative care that can be performed only by, or under the supervision of, skilled licensed medical personnel.

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) - Facility providing 24-hour nursing care, rehabilitative services, and assistance with activities of daily living to the aged or chronically ill as well as those who have been hospitalized for an illness or operation and require a short period of rehabilitation before returning home. Although New Horizons in Marlboro maintains at least one licensed Nurse on-duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it does not have an on-site nursing home component.


New Horizons at Choate, LLC
21 Warren Ave.
Woburn, MA 01801

New Horizons at Marlborough, LLC
400 Hemenway St.
Marlborough, MA 01752

Both New Horizons are strictly not-for-profit communities owned by Cummings Foundation, an almost $2 billion net worth charitable foundation, founded in 1986 by William S. and Joyce M. Cummings. New Horizons in Marlborough is under the direction of Executive Director Andrew Eick, and its Deputy Director Elizabeth Connolly.


New Horizons, Marlboro
New Horizons, Woburn
Family Testimonials
Assisted Living
Independent Living
Photos and Newsletters
Resident Reviews
FAQ's and Glossary
Contact and Directions