Frequently Asked Questions About Living at New Horizons

Horn Pond

How stable is New Horizons?

Owned by one of the largest grant-making foundations in New England, Cummings Foundation, New Horizons in its own right has a high net worth and no mortgages or other long-term debt of any sort. Of our 200+ team, many staff members have more than 10 years’ seniority. Cummings Foundation has distributed $500 million in local area grants to date.

May I bring my own furnishings?

Absolutely! Residents 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 feel like their new home in all practicable ways. Fully furnished apartments can usually be made available too.

What are the rental terms for residency?

Apartments are effectively rented on a month-to-month basis without any long-term leases or commitments at New Horizons. Nearly all incoming residents are guaranteed no increases in their basic monthly fee for at least 6 full years after their move-in date.

What does the monthly rental fee include?

The monthly fee for New Horizons main program includes three delightful meals each day, plus weekly housekeeping services, local scheduled transportation, and utilities. Even local telephone services and basic cable are included in the monthly fee. There is also an extensive program of regular and widely varied activities including a heated lap pool and large exercise room. Most of all, the fee includes being a part of a marvelous not-for-profit environment with a very delightful community of diverse people who will be delighted to have you join them. New people coming in seem to be sought out by others who enjoy being part of a neighborly “welcome wagon.”

Is financial assistance available?

All residents of New Horizons are responsible for their own fees. Because each New Horizons community is owned by Cummings Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit private operating foundation with a charitable mission, our fees tend to be significantly lower than most other comparable communities.

Are pets allowed?

Yes and No. We know that pets can be an important part of any family, and one well-trained dog or cat is permissible at New Horizons in Marlborough. Should the pet become a problem or disturbance to other residents or staff, however, it can not be allowed to remain. Visiting animals are always welcome.

May I bring my car?

Yes, many residents drive, and there is abundant free parking. In the winter months, staff are usually available to help clear vehicles for residents without charge after snow storms, etc.

Do all suites have their own 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 cleaning, either. Each apartment typically does, however, have a small convenience center with refrigerator, sink, and microwave oven.

What are “community kitchens?”

Each New Horizons has a full-sized community kitchen, which may be reserved 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 seen recently teaching a young grandson how to make almond macaroons.

Do residents have easy access to a computer?

Many of our residents enjoy their own personal computers, but several common area “resident” 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 Community Services Department on a regular basis.

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. Some arrange for off-campus pick up and delivery services.

Is there a shopping center or mall located near by?

Local neighborhood shopping areas and larger plazas and malls exist nearby and are easily accessed via the New Horizons bus.

How do I get my hair done?

Each New Horizons has its own very nice hair salon with several local stylists and barbers 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 the hair salons (as there is throughout the community). These local stylists pay no fee for the use of New Horizons facilities and their actual charges are the fees billed through to residents.

How are the facilities at New Horizons staffed?

There is a dedicated staff of about 200 full and part-time housekeepers, healthcare staff, managers, grounds people, maintenance people, activity staff, and dining room personnel in Marlborough. These very committed people serve our residents and keep our exquisite properties in pristine condition.

Who owns New Horizons?

Cummings Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit private operating foundation owns both New Horizons at Marlborough and New Horizons at Choate. Cummings Foundation, Inc.’s operation as a not-for-profit entity is the reason that the New Horizon’s communities are able to provide such a high level of accommodations and service at such affordable rates.

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 people who 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 greater than $3 billion.

Why is there an Entrance Deposit at New Horizons?

With a fully refundable Entrance Deposit, 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 $30,000 fee is 100 percent refundable to the resident, or to his or her estate, when the resident leaves.

What level of independence makes a resident “independent?”

Independent residents normally take all their meals in the main dining room. They are able to travel in buses or cars, and can participate in most 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 temporary need of assistance?

Arrangements can typically be made to provide temporary assistance for any independent resident if a need should arise. Similarly, existing independent residents in the community have priority status for transfer to the assisted living program or even for Alzheimer’s care if such a need ever becomes apparent, whether on a temporary or permanent basis. In Marlborough there is typically at least one fully licensed Nurse on duty 24 hours daily, seven days a week.

New Horizons Residents
Courtyard at New Horizons
Courtyard at New Horizons

How are assisted living services provided?

Services are provided by an on-site certified and Medicare-approved home health agency, Mary Ann Morse Healthcare. New Horizons passes-on only the actual total fees charged by the provider, with no markup on these services.

Who operates the special Alzheimer care programs?

This program was absorbed into New Horizons in 2020. Should the need arise, New Horizons residents have priority access to The Memory Care Program. There are also part-time daycare slots, which sometimes work well when one spouse is caring for another with dementia issues, and the caregiver just needs some break-time away from the afflicted spouse.

What are the visiting hours at New Horizons?

There are none. Living at New Horizons is not much different than living at a private 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, 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 very similar?

Yes. Other than geography, the biggest difference is the size of each. New Horizons in Woburn, with about 120 residents, typically has a very long waiting list. Marlborough, which has had five expansions to date, houses more than 400 seniors. It is often full, but typically has a very short wait list and is able to accommodate prompt placement.

Are all assisted living facilities alike?

Although Massachusetts assisted living communities tend to be very well-regulated and of unusually good quality, certainly there are 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 communities 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, while New Horizons in Woburn has weekly Catholic services, biweekly Protestant services, and Jewish services surrounding special holidays. Free transportation to local churches is available each Sunday morning.

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 included in the quoted rates at New Horizons in Marlborough, as well. Cable and TV services in Woburn are available to residents directly from the servicing agencies.

Are there volunteer opportunities available to residents?

There are many volunteer opportunities including, our nearby elementary schools, where residents sometimes go into the classroom to read to young students. Residents often volunteer to help each other, too. In one situation, a man with macular degeneration routinely pushed the wheelchair of his next-door neighbor, who had difficulty walking. The sighted person, while seated, would call out upcoming obstructions as she was being pushed along.

Who comes to New Horizons?

New Horizons mostly cares 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 mid 80s. We provide a fine residential environment, where residents who have been previously living alone very often “come alive again.”

What should I do next if I am interested in residency?

Fill out the application for Residency, and return it right away. Send your application, along with the $50 non-refundable Application Fee, to: Executive Director, New Horizons, 400 Hemenway Street, Marlborough, MA 01752.

A personal visit is then very advisable. We urge prospective residents to come and fully get to know the facility, and to meet other residents before signing a Residence Agreement. It is important also for New Horizons to assess each resident’s needs. A printable copy of the Application form is available by clicking here.

Does New Horizons accept donations or bequests?

Please view the Donations page on Cummings Foundation’s website for more information about gifts to benefit our community.


Both New Horizons are strictly not-for-profit communities owned by Cummings Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in New England. Cummings Foundation awards more than $30 million annually, and has awarded more than $500 million to date to support greater Boston nonprofits.