FAQs

Life at Birch Hill

  • I don’t know anyone at Birch Hill. How will I make new friends?

    New residents often remark on the friendliness and warmth of the Birch Hill community. It starts with friendly, welcoming neighbors in the hallways and common areas when you move in. You might chat with someone in the Nook over breakfast or dine with them in the evening. If you join a fitness class or visit the Game Room, Library or Woodworking Shop, you’ll meet others who share own interests. Stop by the Milltowne Tavern on Tuesdays or Fridays or better yet, be the bartender. One step leads to another, and before you know it, you’ve lots of new friends and acquaintances in your life!

  • What types of activities are offered?

    Life at Birch Hill brings every resident the opportunity to make new friends who share your common interests. From organized outings to casual gatherings over shared interests, there’s always something going on and something fun to do at Birch Hill.

    Typical outings might be to restaurants, museums, wineries, the Palace Theater, the Seacoast, a historical tour, or perhaps to a sporting venue. Available activities include fitness classes, concerts, lectures, socials, French club, bridge club, walking club, religious services, watercolor classes, working in the woodshop, music recitals, volunteering, swimming at the YMCA, or attending a history class taught by a resident.

    Our community is created by residents for residents! If you have an interest, we’ll help you find an outlet.

    Click here for more information on our activities and social opportunities at Birch Hill.

  • What is your guest policy?

    Birch Hill welcomes your guests to visit as often as you like. All visitors are required to sign in and out at the reception desk for your security. As an added convenience, for a small nightly fee, any resident can reserve one of our fully-furnished Guest Rooms for visiting family and friends.

  • I don’t want to give up any freedom or independence. How will I know when I am ready?

    The best time to make a move is when you are active and in good health. The admissions process includes a health assessment, so don’t wait too long. Our goal is to provide an active, vibrant, maintenance-free lifestyle for healthy retirement-age individuals.

  • How far is Birch Hill from Boston and the Seacoast, and other sights of northern New England?

    There’s a reason that Manchester is known as the Center of New Hampshire – it’s central to just about everything! Birch Hill is conveniently located less than one hour from Boston and the beautiful New Hampshire Lakes Region and only 40 miles from Hampton Beach and Portsmouth.

    Your friends and family will never have a problem coming to visit — with Manchester-Boston Regional Airport just 15 minutes away.

    If critical health care is ever required, rest assured that two top-rated hospitals, Catholic Medical Center and Eliot Hospital and Health System, are both just minutes away.

    Here are a few of the driving distances to some of New England’s favorite destinations:

    • Boston, MA < One Hour
    • New Hampshire Seacoast < One Hour
    • New Hampshire Lakes Region < One Hour
    • Portland, ME ~ 90 minutes
    • White Mountains ~ 90 minutes
    • Stowe, VT ~ 2 ½ Hours
  • Is transportation available?

    Courtesy scheduled local transportation is available Monday-Friday. Whether it’s a trip to the mall, the doctor’s office or a movie matinee, our professional and courteous staff will get you wherever you need to go.

    Additionally, we offer weekly shuttle service to and from the YMCA at Allard Center of Goffstown, various Sunday religious services, and local grocery stores.

    We provide transportation for our residents to take a variety of outings and trips each month. We also offer monthly dining-out opportunities with transportation, to local restaurants, taverns, and wineries.

  • Can I smoke?

    Birch Hill is a non-smoking campus. Smoking is not permitted in the buildings or anywhere on our 29-acre campus.

  • Will you be able to accommodate my dietary requirements?

    We offer vegetarian, low sugar and salt, gluten-free, vegan options, and can adjust recipes for individual dietary preferences.

  • What dining options are available?

    How and where you dine is up to you.

    We offer a complimentary, daily Continental Breakfast of coffee, tea, and pastries for our residents in The Nook a cozy seating area where residents can sit and enjoy their coffee over a newspaper or visit with friends.

    For lunch or dinner, we offer full, restaurant-style table service in a casual atmosphere in our Bistro or adjacent outdoor, shaded Garden Patio. The Bistro menu has a wide variety of selections and changes daily.

    Whether it’s a special occasion or you are just looking for a more formal dining experience, Birch Hill offers Premium Dining by reservation in our Formal Dining Room on a weekly basis. For a small additional surcharge, guests enjoy an upscale, five-course meal served by our gracious waitstaff.

    Additionally, freshly packaged, ready-to-eat meals including sandwiches, salads, desserts, fruit, drinks, soups, etc., are available daily. Take it with you for a picnic or road trip, or back to the privacy of your home.

  • What amenities are available to residents?

    Residents at Birch Hill enjoy many wonderful amenities:

    • Pet-Friendly Living At Birch Hill, we encourage our residents to bring their furry friends. Dogs (and their owners) love to explore our wooded walking trails. More time for you means more time for family, friends, and your pets.
    • Newly-Updated Accommodations and Common Areas Birch Hill just had a make-over! Residents are loving our newly-renovated and expanded common areas and dining rooms. Plus, we added a new fitness room, a new multi-purpose room, and tons of upgrades throughout our entire community.
    • Social Activities From lunch at a local winery to interesting and informative guest lectures to weekly Game Nights, our residents choose from an array of ongoing activities catering to a wide variety of interests. Our Activities Team ensures there’s always something fun going on at Birch Hill!
    • Fitness Center Whether you’re into yoga, tai chi, or simply looking to improve your strength and flexibility, there are fitness options for everyone at Birch Hill, at every skill and ability level. For those looking for something more, regular transportation to the local YMCA is also offered for swimming and other fitness opportunities.
    • Walking Trails Enjoy the beautifully landscaped campus on Wally’s Walk or Vernal Trail. The trails are marked and maintained for a pleasant stroll through the woods where residents can sit and enjoy the birds and other wildlife. More adventurous residents forge their own paths through the surrounding forests and wetlands to explore Birch Hill’s exceptional natural surroundings.
    • Raised Gardening Beds Life at Birch Hill doesn’t mean giving up your green thumb! We provide raised garden beds to those residents who wish to cultivate flowers or vegetables during the summer months.
    • Post Office We make it easy for residents to send and receive mail without ever leaving campus.
    • Wellness Clinic Our walk-in, on-site clinic offers convenient, quick access to a health care provider for those residents who do not wish to leave the campus.
    • Hair, Nail Salon, and Barber Shop You don’t have to leave campus to look and feel your best! We contract with a local salon to provide hairstyling, nail services and barbering to our residents. The salon is open year-round and provides services for a separate fee.
    • Guest Accommodations As an added convenience, for a small nightly fee, any resident can reserve one of our fully-furnished Guest Rooms for visiting family and friends.
    • Sun Porch Activity Spaces We have several beautiful and bright sun porches, each dedicated to a different pastime. Residents love to gather in the Music Room to play a few tunes or enjoy the morning light in the Painting Nook. Others enjoy a wide variety of board games and puzzles in the Game Room.
  • What type of services does Birch Hill provide?

    These are a few of the many services that are offered to our residents:

    • Continental Breakfast We offer a complimentary, daily Continental Breakfast for our residents in The Nook a cozy seating area where residents can sit and enjoy their coffee over a newspaper or visit with friends or enjoy one of our many sun porches.
    • Flexible Dining In addition to our Continental Breakfast, our residents are provided with one chef-prepared meal per day (lunch or dinner). These meals can be enjoyed in the Bistro, on the patio, or in our formal Dining Room.
    • Award-Winning Health Care Every resident enjoys up to 30 free days of care per year in the health center. When and if it’s needed, you can get a little extra care right down the hall from your home, without ever leaving your friends and community.
    • Complimentary Transportation We provide complimentary local transportation for our residents to appointments, religious services, weekly trips to grocery stores, the YMCA, and other stops, upon request.
    • Home Maintenance Services Every aspect of your home is taken care of, both inside and out — from landscaping and exterior maintenance to bi-weekly housekeeping services.
    • Speedy Snow Removal You’ll never have to lift a snow shovel, ever again. Our team quickly clears snow from all sidewalks, parking lots and driveways, as well as removing snow, plowing and reparking all cars, so when you’re ready to get out on the road, your car will be also.
    • Safety and Security You’re not alone at Birch Hill. With our 24-hour emergency response and full-time security, you will always have help at any hour, when you need it.
    • Catered Living Option When you want to remain in your independent home, but you need some extra help, Catered Living is available. Choose from a diverse menu of services, at an additional fee, and our staff will provide extra help to meet your needs and make life easier.
    • Fewer Monthly Bills When you select a home at Birch Hill, you won’t have to worry about keeping up with all those monthly utility bills. All utilities are included in your monthly fee, except technology. For cable, phone, and internet, a range of service plans are available from our local provider.
    • Religious Services Our residents who wish to do so may enjoy weekly, on-site non-denominational services and faith groups held at Birch Hill, as well as complimentary transportation to weekend religious services upon request.
  • Have the homes and campus ever been upgraded/renovated?

    Birch Hill has recently undergone a makeover! Over $10 million in recent renovations have taken place around the campus, from newly-updated hallways and common areas to the expansion of our campus to include the addition of bright and spacious multi-purpose and fitness rooms.

    Newly-Renovated Homes

    Our Resident Homes have undergone a makeover as well! In addition to creating new, open living spaces and integrated dining areas, all our homes now include:

    • New Kitchen Appliances
    • Granite Countertops
    • New Cabinets
    • Updated Flooring
    • Updated Bathrooms
    • Fresh Paint
    • Updated Lighting
    • In-Home Washer/Dryer

    Recent upgrades and additions to the Birch Hill campus include:

    • Newly Renovated Dining Venues
    • New Fitness Center
    • New Multi-Purpose Room
    • Updated Common Areas
    • Newly Designed and Updated Hallways
  • Am I buying an apartment or a condo?

    A CCRC is an insurance product, not a real estate transaction, and there is no ownership involved. What you are primarily purchasing is the promise of future health care if and when you need it or an insurance product. You have lifetime use of your home and the security of knowing you’ve planned for your future health care needs.

  • Are all CCRCs the same?

    No. The majority of CCRCs are non-profit, but there are three major types: Type A (all inclusive) Type B (Moderate) and Type C (rental). Birch Hill is Type B and offers the advantage of a lower entrance fee, as well as discounted pricing on future health care.

  • What is a CCRC and what are the benefits?

    A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is an insurance product that provides housing and health care for its residents through a full continuum of care, all on the same campus.

    There are 1900 CCRCs across the country, and the concept has been around for 100 years.

    Residents enter when they are independent and 62 years or older.

    One of the greatest benefits of a CCRC is easy access to health care. As health needs change and higher levels of care are required, a CCRC offers Assisted Living, Nursing Care, and Memory Care, right on the same campus.

  • Does Birch Hill allow pets?

    At Birch Hill, we encourage our residents to bring their furry friends. Dogs (and their owners) love to explore our wooded walking trails. More time for you means more time for family, friends, and your pets. We welcome one pet per home, a dog or cat.

Financial Questions

  • What type of a health assessment is done?

    Some CCRCs exclude pre-existing conditions, but not at Birch Hill. We simply ask that you complete a medical questionnaire and conduct a health assessment, which includes a conversation with our on-site medical provider and a brief cognitive evaluation. Our primary goal is to ensure you can live independently, safely.

  • Are your financials available for viewing?
  • What does my monthly service fee include?
    • Housekeeping every other week
    • Utilities (sewer, water, electricity, heat and a/c)
    • Indoor and outdoor home maintenance
    • Speedy snow removal from all cars, walkways and lots
    • Wide-variety of fitness classes and on-campus activities
    • Local transportation on a scheduled basis
    • 24-Hour Emergency Response System
    • Parking
    • One chef-prepared meal per day, lunch or dinner
    • 30 days of health center care, per year
    • Discounted rate for future health care if and when it’s needed.
  • How can I choose a CCRC over leaving money to my family?

    When you choose Birch Hill, you have the promise of asset preservation and financial security — our 50% refundable contract ensures that when you leave the community, 50% of your original entrance fee will be refundable to your estate.

  • What is the refund policy for the entry fee?

    With our 50% refundable contract, if a resident terminates the Agreement or leaves the community, the resident or estate will be entitled to a refund of 50% of the entry fee paid. The available refund declines by 2% each month for the first 25 months, after 25 months, the refund stabilizes at 50%. The second person fee is nonrefundable.

  • How much do monthly fees increase each year?

    Rates typically increase from 3 to 4%.

  • What happens if I outlive my assets?

    We do a comprehensive financial analysis during your application process, to ensure that your future is secure. However, Birch Hill has a benevolent fund that residents may apply for should they outlive their assets through no fault of their own.

  • How do I know if I can afford Birch Hill?

    Birch Hill has a confidential financial data application that must be completed prior to admission. This will help determine if you have adequate assets/income for your actuarial determined life expectancy.

  • What are the tax advantages of moving to Birch Hill?

    What you are primarily purchasing is the promise of health care or an insurance product. We are governed by the State of New Hampshire Department of Insurance. A portion of your entrance fee and monthly service fee are tax deductible as a medical expense in the year paid. For the calendar year 2017, 89% of the non-refundable piece of the entrance fee and 7% of the monthly service fee are deductible. These rates change from year to year.

Health Center

  • Can I get health care in my home if I want or need it?

    When you want to remain in your independent home, but you need some extra help, Catered Living is available to you. Choose from a diverse menu of services, at an additional fee, and our staff will provide extra help to meet your needs and make life easier.

  • What Health Care Services do you offer?

    Birch Hill residents receive 30 free days a year of short-term care in our Health Center. When a Birch Hill resident is recovering from an illness or surgery, personalized Assisted Living care is provided by caring staff members in a familiar environment.

    Assisted Living, Nursing Care, and Memory Care are available to residents of Birch Hill at a significantly discounted rate. There is no need for a second move or transition when your or you or your parents’ health care needs have changed.

    If long-term assistance with the activities of daily living is required, residents who transition to Assisted Living pay a significantly reduced rate for the additional services, well below what would be considered the standard market rate.

  • What if my spouse needs health care before I do?

    Often spouses age differently, and one spouse may need more care than another. Caregiving can put a strain on any relationship, but at Birch Hill, these relationships are preserved. One person can receive Assisted Living level of care, allowing the other to be a spouse, not a caregiver.

  • If I need Assisted Living, can I come back to my home?

    We anticipate residents may have intermittent, short-term needs for health care. That’s why our residents have the advantage of 30 free days in the health canter each year to ensure they can get episodic care on a temporary basis without a full-time transition to the health center.

  • Who decides if I need more care and what type of care I need?

    Moving from Independent Living to health care is a conversation you participate in, not a decision made on your behalf. If care needs are increasing, and you need more help, we will invite you, your family and your physicians to meet with our team and discuss what kinds of additional help you may need, and how Birch Hill can help. We would decide together if a change would be more beneficial for you and where it would make the most sense for you to receive that care.

  • What happens if I need a higher level of care?

    By choosing Birch Hill, you are ensuring a complete continuum of care plan as your health needs change. With our non-profit advantage, and at rates far below market value, our residents are able to transition from Independent Living to Assisted Living to Nursing or Memory Care, whenever it is needed and for as long as necessary. Providing all levels of care within one community prevents a disruptive change or a second move when your health care needs have changed.

    Each person is unique, and with our high staff-to-resident ratio, we provide our health center residents with a highly-individualized, personal care plan. Each resident enjoys a private room and bathroom, in a comforting, home-like environment. Going beyond the activities of daily living to provide more intensive and individual care, our award-winning, caring staff treats each resident with respect and dignity.

  • Do you accept MediCare?

    We do not accept MediCare for payment toward your service fee at Birch Hill. If you see a visiting medical provider, such as visiting nurse, physical or occupational therapist, or the on-site Provider at Birch Hill, Medicare is billed.

  • Do I need long term care insurance?

    Long Term Care insurance is not a requirement at Birch Hill. However, depending on what your policy covers, it may reimburse you for expenses when utilizing the services in Assisted Living, Memory Care, Nursing, or Catered Living at Birch Hill.