One of just four New Hampshire nursing homes to win the first Quality of Life Award from the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) in 2007, NHVH was recognized again in 2009 by DHHS for its continuing commitment to nursing home culture change and quality of life. Our dedication to quality of life affects everything we do. Each year we challenge ourselves to improve.
The first legislation directing assistance in establishing and providing operational costs for state-operated Soldiers' Homes was passed by Congress in 1888. In 1889, wishing to take advantage of this federal legislation for the benefit of New Hampshire veterans, Governor David H. Goodell established a veterans' Board of Managers, which was made up of prominent New Hampshire citizens, whose purpose was to select an appropriate site for a Soldiers' Home for the care of Civil War veterans who were unable to care for themselves, by reason of wounds, old age, or other infirmities.
Various properties throughout the state were examined and on November 8, 1889, the Board of Managers accepted the offer from one of its members, Charles E. Tilton, to give the State a site, known as the Savage Farm, containing approximately 30 acres, located in Tilton.
The New Hampshire Soldiers' Home was dedicated during ceremonies that took place on December 3, 1890.
Three days later, on December 6, 1890, the first veterans of the Civil War were admitted to the Home. Having distinguished themselves in that long and terrible war, these New Hampshire men became a corps of the Grand Army of the Republic and lived out their lives in dignity in the "Fortress" located in the Highlands section of Tilton.
In 1890, the Woman's Relief Corps raised $5,000.00 and almost entirely furnished the Home with these funds. Prior to the dedication, they spent three days at the Home, cleaning the facility and arranging the furniture. In 1899, electric lights and a laundry plant were installed and an addition to the farmhouse (infirmary) was constructed in 1913.
The farm operation ceased in the 1950s, and in 1971 the farmhouse was demolished and a new 50 bed nursing care addition (the Welch Unit) was built. Another 50 bed addition (Tarr North) was constructed in 1978, replacing the main building, which had been constructed in 1890.
Construction of an additional 50 bed unit (Tarr South) began in 1989 and was dedicated on November 3, 1990, one hundred years - less one month - from the dedication of the original facility.
LEDU, our 100 bed, state-of-the-art, secure Life Enhancement Neighborhoods, opened in February, 2004. LEDU was designed to meet both the individual and collective needs of residents with dementia. LEDU is made up of six "Dementia Units," all of which feature private rooms, outdoor enclosed courtyards on the first floor, a kitchen area in each neighborhood, natural light, and nursing stations that are apart from the living area. LEDU includes skylights, paintings and murals by New Hampshire artists, and a floor plan that allows residents freedom within a safe environment.
Other recent buildings/renovations that support the needs of our residents include Main Street and the Town Hall, the Maintenance Building, and the Picnic Pavilion/American Legion Park.
The New Hampshire Veterans Home continues to grow and improve. In recent years we have installed a geothermal heating and cooling system, removed asbestos tile, and installed energy efficient doors, windows, faucets, and toilets.
Today we have the capacity to care for 250 residents; about half live in the Welch/Tarr Units and the other half live in LEDU. We have nearly 400 staff. We are an intermediate, long term care facility. NHVH offers a broad range of residential, medical, and nursing care.
Our resident-centered care services also include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, dietary services, palliative and hospice care, and spiritual care. Each resident has an assigned social worker who works with him or her from the time the resident is admitted to the Home.
Our Therapeutic Recreation program treats residents as individuals and encourages them to explore leisure activities that will enhance their quality of life.
Our Intergenerational Program brings children from local schools together with residents for dozens of enrichment opportunities.
NHVH has formalized agreements with both the Department of Veterans Affairs and local hospitals for inpatient hospitalization and specialized outpatient care.
We encourage our residents to participate in a variety of activities both in the Home and in the community. We're proud of our "Main Street," which features a store, library/media center, barber shop/beauty salon, recreation room, chapel, and Town Hall. We also have a greenhouse, raised bed gardens, a trout pond, and a family room. Residents are actively involved in Resident Council meetings and several key committees at the Home, including the Resident Council, Quality of Life, Board of Managers, and the Korean/Vietnam Era Veterans. Regular activities include dances, picnics, live entertainment, a writing group, art studio group, Tai Chi, exercise groups, shopping trips, trips to sporting events, fishing derbies, and tournaments in cribbage, darts, bowling and billiards. NHVH also offers volunteer opportunities and animal-assisted therapy. We partner with dozens of veterans' service organizations to enrich the lives of our residents.
New Hampshire Veterans Home
139 Winter Street | Tilton, NH 03276-5415 |
(p) 603-527-4400 | (f) 603-286-4242