FAQs

Life at RiverWoods Durham

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

    Come for a visit at any time, and you’ll find residents working out in the gym, painting in the art studio, or enjoying a history lecture. You’ll find others hammering away in the woodshop, working in our raised garden beds, or discussing books in the library. Still, more will be headed off to The Music Hall for a show, walking the trails around campus with their dog, or organizing a group to go kayaking on the river.

    Most residents remark they’ve become more active socially and physically since moving to RiverWoods. Whether it’s meeting someone new over dinner or chatting over sandwiches in the Commons, learning a new skill or taking a fitness class — life here brings every resident the opportunity to make new friends who share your common interests.

    Do you have an interest that hasn’t yet been explored at RiverWoods? We’d love to help you make it happen. Whatever your passion, RiverWoods provides a myriad of opportunities to pursue what you love most about life.

  • What types of activities are offered?

    Life at RiverWoods Durham 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 RiverWoods

    Typical outings might be to restaurants, museums, trips to Boston, the Portsmouth Music Hall, the Seacoast, a historical tour, or perhaps a sporting venue. Available activities on campus include fitness classes, concerts, socials, working in the woodshop, music recitals, volunteering,  or attending a lecture taught by a resident.

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

  • What is your guest policy?

    RiverWoods Durham 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.

    Most residents agree after moving to RiverWoods that their independence has increased, rather than decreased. Without the worry of home-maintenance and cooking dinner every night, our residents have more freedom and time to enjoy their best life.

  • How far is RiverWoods Durham from Boston and and other sights of northern New England?

    Nestled in the center of New Hampshire’s Seacoast Region, RiverWoods Durham offers easy accessibility to the best that New England has to offer. We are just a short drive from many scenic and cultural attractions:

    • ME and NH Seacoast Beaches and State Parks ~ 15 minutes
    • Manchester, NH ~ 30 minutes
    • Boston, MA ~ One hour
    • Portland, ME ~ One hour
    • Mount Sunapee Ski Resort ~ 80 minutes
    • New Hampshire Lakes Region ~ 90 minutes
    • White Mountains ~ 2 Hours
  • Is transportation available?

    Courtesy scheduled local transportation is available Monday-Friday. Don’t worry about missing an appointment on a snowy day or driving in bad weather — we offer scheduled complimentary local transportation as well as daily transportation between campuses.

    Additionally, we offer weekly shuttle service for local shopping, various places of worship, grocery stores and, in the summer, farmer’s markets.

    Every month, we handle the logistics for various field trips and outings to points of interest, museums, and other venues on the Seacoast.

    • Trips to Boston, Portsmouth, and Portland
    • Boston Symphony Orchestra
    • Fine Dining Trips
    • Golf Outings
    • Hiking, Kayaking and Paddling Trips
    • Theatre in Portsmouth, Ogunquit, Boston
    • Local Shopping

     

  • Can I smoke?

    RiverWoods Durham is a non-smoking campus. Smoking is not permitted in the buildings or anywhere on our campus.

  • Will you be able to accommodate my dietary requirements?

    No matter what you choose, you know it will be fresh, delicious, and cooked to your liking. Our dietician and dining services team will help customize your dining experience to meet your specific nutritional goals. From vegan or vegetarian to gluten-free or low sodium, our team provides each meal with flair, freshness and superior flavor.

  • What dining options are available?

    The Marketplace is open from morning to night for grab ‘n go sandwiches, salads, beverages, and more. Enjoy a freshly-baked muffin with a cup of coffee or espresso or, for casual dining, our Bistro offers soups, salads, sandwiches, and changing daily specials. In warm weather, enjoy plein air dining in our rooftop patio overlooking the memory garden.

    For residents wishing to enjoy a more formal dining experience, join us in Jackson’s Landing, our premiere setting featuring white-tablecloth dining and an expanded menu.

    Wherever you choose, come and go at your leisure enjoying a points-based meal program allowing for ultimate flexibility — dine when you want and how you want.

  • What amenities are available to residents?
    • Vibrant Activities and Social Opportunities Our resident-driven activities calendar features a wide array of social, educational, and cultural activities both on-site and at off-site destinations, including Portsmouth, Boston, and Portland.
    • Dining Options Enjoy a casual meal, host a private dinner party, or enjoy white-tablecloth elegance in our stunning new Commons dining venue.
    • Limited Underground Parking For a separate fee, store your vehicle away from the elements in our underground garage.
    • Pet-Friendly Living Your furry friends are always welcome! We welcome dogs or cats, without restrictions on weight or breed.
    • Wellness Clinic Our walk-in, on-site clinic assists all residents with access to health care. Our Nurse Practitioner and registered nurses will review your questions and concerns, and then formulate a plan that works for you. We work closely with your primary care provider and specialists to support your social, medical, and emotional needs.
    • Salon and Spa Rosebrook Salon and Spa, a full-service salon, offering haircuts for men and women, color, blowouts, waxing, curler sets, as well as nail services, massage, and reiki.
    • Guest Accommodations As an added convenience, for a small fee, reserve one of our fully-furnished Guest Rooms for visiting family and friends.
  • What types of services does RiverWoods Durham provide?

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

    • Complete Home Maintenance Every aspect is taken care of, inside and out — from landscaping and exterior maintenance to bi-weekly housekeeping, weekly flat linen laundry, and annual heavy cleaning.
    • Speedy Snow Removal When winter rolls in, be confident that snow will be removed from parking lots, walkways, and cars in a timely manner.
    • Delicious Dining Enjoy chef-prepared meals, snacks, and grab-and-go entrees with seasonal, restaurant-quality menus that change daily.
    • Fitness Program No matter what your current level of fitness, our Fitness Manager and staff make it easy to stay fit. Choose from one of many fitness classes offered each week or work with our team to design a personalized workout in our state-of-the-art fitness center.
    • Courtesy Transportation Don’t worry about missing an appointment on a snowy day or driving in bad weather — we offer scheduled complimentary local transportation.
    • Complete Continuum of Care If or when your health needs change, Newfound Lodge offers Assisted Living, Memory Support, and Skilled Nursing, so the care you need will always be available without ever leaving your friends and community.
  • 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). Some organizations provide a lower monthly fee, but costs increase as health care needs develop.“Type A” organizations, like RiverWoods, do not charge an additional fee (other than a small additional meals charge) as a resident requires more health care services. Any future health care costs are pre-determined and predictable, providing peace of mind.

  • 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 LivingMemory Support, and Skilled Nursing, right on the same campus.

  • Does RiverWoods allow pets?

    Your furry friends are always welcome! We welcome dogs or cats, without restrictions on weight or breed.

    Get to know our four-legged residents, follow us on Instagram and look for our popular photo series #petsofriverwoods.

Financial Questions

  • Are your financials available for viewing?

    The RiverWoods Group has earned an excellent reputation as a smart and strong family of non-profit communities. The organization continues to grow thoughtfully and maintain strong occupancy while consistently outperforming industry benchmarks. In 2016, Birch Hill in Manchester, New Hampshire, became an affiliate. In 2019, we opened our doors to the first residents of RiverWoods Durham.

    Our mission is to bring this way of life to as many people as possible.

    The last five years of our audited financials and annual reports may be viewed and downloaded here.

  • What does my monthly service fee include?
    • Complete Home Maintenance Every aspect is taken care of, inside and out — from landscaping and exterior maintenance to bi-weekly housekeeping, weekly flat linen laundry, and annual heavy cleaning.
    • Speedy Snow Removal When winter rolls in, be confident that snow will be removed from parking lots, walkways, and cars in a timely manner.
    • Delicious Dining Come and go at your leisure enjoying a points-based meal program allowing for ultimate flexibility — dine when you want and how you want.
    • Fitness Program No matter what your current level of fitness, our Fitness Manager and staff make it easy to stay fit. Choose from a variety of fitness classes each week or work at your own pace in our fully-equipped fitness room.
    • Complimentary Transportation Don’t worry about missing an appointment on a snowy day or driving in bad weather — we offer scheduled complimentary local transportation as well as daily transportation between campuses.
    • Complete Continuum of Care If or when your health needs change, each campus offers Assisted Living, Memory Support, and Skilled Nursing, so the care you need will always be available without ever leaving your friends and community.
  • How can I choose a CCRC over leaving money to my family?

    When you choose RiverWoods, you have the promise of asset preservation and financial security — our 80% refundable contract ensures that when you leave the community, 80% of your original entrance fee will be refundable to your estate.

  • How much do monthly fees increase each year?

    Rates typically increase from 2-5%.

  • 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, RiverWoods 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 RiverWoods Durham?

    RiverWoods 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 RiverWoods?

    There are many financial implications to consider before moving to a CCRC. Becoming a resident at RiverWoods may present worthwhile tax and financial advantages.

    Pre-Paid Medical Expenses
    A portion of the one-time entrance fee may be included on federal tax return as a prepaid medical expense. A portion of the monthly service fee may also be deducted (typically 30% to 40%).

    RiverWoods Durham engages an outside expert each year to calculate the specific amount of the monthly service fees and entrance fees that are deductible as a medical expense on federal tax returns that year. The expert reviews applicable regulations and rulings in compiling their analysis.

    New Hampshire’s Tax Advantage

    New Hampshire is one of the most attractive states to retire in, due to an appealing tax profile:

    • No general sales tax.
    • No state income tax.
    • No state estate tax.
    • No capital gains tax.
    • Lowest tax burden of any New England state.
    • In the Top 10 of Lowest Tax States in the US. (www.taxfoundation.org)
  • 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 LivingMemory Support, and Skilled Nursing, right on the same campus.

Health Center

  • Can someone move to Newfound Lodge if they aren’t already a resident of RiverWoods Durham?

    As a brand-new community, for a limited time, our health care center, Newfound Lodge is accepting residents from outside the RiverWoods Durham community into Assisted Living or Memory Support. If you’re interested in learning more about this unique opportunity, contact Kellie Fiers at (603) 590-4003 or request an information packet.

  • What Health Care Services do you offer?

    As a nationally-accredited Continuing Care Retirement Community, at RiverWoods you benefit from living within a vibrant and active senior living community and the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a plan, no matter what your future health care needs may be. Join us as an independent resident, and if your needs change in the future, you are able to receive Assisted Living, Memory Support, or Skilled Nursing within the same community, cared for by staff you know and trust.

    When or if you ever need help with the activities of daily living, we’ll design a personalized plan to help you live life to its fullest — within the same community while maintaining your privacy and your highest level of independence.

    Sometimes, all it takes is one patch of ice, one missed step or one minor fall, and your entire life can be thrown into discord for months. A routine hip surgery or knee replacement becomes a significant lifestyle struggle. Be assured that rehabilitative care is here, when or if you ever need it.

  • 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 RiverWoods these relationships are preserved. One person can receive Assisted Living level of care, allowing the other to be a spouse, not a caregiver.

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

    Moving from Independent Living to Newfound Lodge 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 and your family to meet with our team and discuss what kinds of additional help you may need, and how RiverWoods 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 RiverWoods you are ensuring a complete continuum of care plan as your health needs change. Our residents are able to transition from Independent Living to Assisted Living to Memory Support or Skilled Nursing, 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 I need long-term care insurance?

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