Senior community offers specialty diabetes and Parkinson's programs

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Managing a chronic health condition like diabetes or Parkinson's disease can be a challenge at any age. Thanks to specialized programming, senior living residents at New Horizons at Marlborough benefit from the regular in-home monitoring, medication management, and personalized support needed to keep these progressive conditions in check.

"We've developed programs like the Diabetes Assistance Program and our new Parkinson's support initiative to remove some of the burden and worry from our residents and their loved ones," said Betsy Connolly, executive director at the popular MetroWest retirement community. "Diabetes treatment, for example, is very reliant on routine and careful monitoring, without which it can be very hard for seniors to stay on top of the illness."

According to Connolly, who has a master's degree in gerontology from the University of Massachusetts, diabetes affects more than a quarter of Americans aged 65 and older.

Proper diabetes management often includes medication as well as regular blood sugar checks, attentive monitoring for related symptoms and potentially dangerous complications, and adherence to a prescribed diet and/or health care regimen. Through New Horizons' Diabetes Assistance Program, residents living with types one and two diabetes receive in-home daily monitoring and medication administration from a registered nurse.

"New Horizons in Marlborough is extremely well managed -- the administrative staff bent over backward to meet my mother's needs," said Susan Corriher, the daughter of a long-time resident. "The nursing staff creates a detailed care plan that the whole team follows to ensure your loved one is well cared for. In addition, there are many group activities for residents, and the food is excellent."

New Horizons' latest health care initiative is an interdisciplinary support program for residents living with Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders.

"The growing prevalence of Parkinson's, especially among seniors, has made it a priority focus area for us," said Connolly. "Research shows that interdisciplinary care can be combined to great effect with medical treatment to mitigate symptoms and improve overall quality of life."

Residents and staff have been collaborating to determine the most advantageous program of support, which may include dietary guidance, medication management support, yoga and tai chi classes, and counseling, plus physical, occupational, speech, art, and music therapy.

"The staff here is unbelievable, and they really care," said John Townsend, a nine-year resident. "I would absolutely recommend New Horizons for elder care or for specialty care."

About New Horizons

Located on a heavily wooded 40-acre campus at 400 Hemenway Street, New Horizons at Marlborough offers a continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and geri-psych programs. It is owned by Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, one of the three largest private foundations in New England.

Group activities at New Horizons include regular fitness programs, lectures, movies, chorus, musical entertainment, farm animal visits, and off-site excursions. Resident art programs and displays, as well as on-campus Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religious services, are also offered.

Although the community is secular, New Horizons' many Catholic residents participate in Mass at the large on-site chapel as lectors, greeters, Eucharistic Ministers, and Sacristans. In addition, weekly prayer and communion services provide multiple opportunities each week to practice their faith as part of a community, without leaving home.

The strictly not-for-profit New Horizons at Marlborough is currently welcoming new residents to its MetroWest senior living community. Thanks to a unique rate-lock policy, new residents are guaranteed no increases to their rent and board fees for at least their first six years. These fees include all charges for lodging, gourmet meals, water, heat, air conditioning, basic cable TV, local telephone service, parking, and regular maintenance.

Prospective residents and their families are encouraged to contact New Horizons at Marlborough at 508-460-5200 to arrange a time to tour the campus, meet current residents and staff, and sample a home-cooked meal. More information about New Horizons is available at