Monmouth County's Ask the Doctor September-October 2021

Ask The Doctor is CNJ’s only magazine that only contains editorial regarding health and wellness.


NEWS YOU CAN USE: • Kids’ Health • Beauty • Eating Well • Fitness • Aging • ...and more Local Physicians Answer Your Health Questions

Bellmawr, NJ



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CAMI@GUNTHERPUBLICATIONS.COM • (732) 995-3456 ©2015 by Gunther Publishing Ent. The content of GPE publications and its affiliates are copyrighted. GPE publications are published 12 times a year. Established 10/2008. Distribution and Post office receipt available. All GPE products are distributed free of charge. Average reader per copy is 2.1. No copying or reproduction of the content of this newspaper is allowed without the express written permission from the publisher. GPEs publisher/owner reserves the rights over all electronic copying and reproduction of material contained here within. The publisher, editor, agents, and sales staff reserve the right to reject the advertisements for any reason. Credit for mistakes shall not exceed the costs of the ad in the month which the error occurred. • Onsite & Offsit Activities: (Ping Pong, Zumba, Shopping Excursions, Museums, Crafts,Trips to the Shore and much more) • Onsite Hairdresser Serving Monmouth, Middlesex & Ocean esidents Conveniently off Rt 33 and NJTurnpike Exit 8 108Woodward Rd. Manalapan, New Jersey If your loved one needs care during the day, trust GoldenYears Care to put them in good hands! Scan this QR Code with your smart phone to go directly to our website. Download “Bar Code” app on your phone Art Director/ Graphic Designer Stephanie Frederick Intern Surabhi Ashok Bianca Battaglia Publisher Cami Gunther Administrative Assistant Lauren Kolacki THE MILLSTONE TIMES Monmouth County’s ASK THE DOCTOR OUR DEPARTMENTS Health Articles and Q&A....................5 Your questions answered from local physicians, medical news and information As We Age...........................................11 Articles and physician information just for seniors Family Matters ................................. 17 Information, resources and news related to the health and well-being of your families future Kids’ Health & Camp.........................22 Information, news and expert advice to raising healthy children from pregnancy to 18 Healthy Home................................... 24 Here you will find expert tips to make your home healthier, safe and fabulous The Healthy Palate........................... 29 Recipes to enjoy and local dining options for eating out Medicaid/J.A.C.C. Covered Service You have always been there for your mom, and now GoldenYears Care is here for you Call UsToday For ATour or Info! (732) 851-6640 • Medical AppointmentTransportation • Around-the-clock attention • Physical & OccupationalTherapy In House • Free Door-to-DoorTransportation • Delicious Food Options (Spanish, Russian, Italian & more) Writers Pam Teel Lauren Kolacki Max Druckman

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FALL 2021


Why is Side Sleeping Beneficial? By, Surabhi Ashok

H E A L T H A R T I C L E S A N D Q & A

If you devote a lot of time to being healthy in everyday life, note the position you go to bed in. Believe it or not, the side of the body you end up sleeping on can have vast effects on your health. For instance, most experts point to the benefits of left side sleeping. The organs inside the human body are placed asymmetrically, meaning that resting positions affect the way waste is processed and directed. Gravity, when sleeping on the left side, takes waste through the ascending colon, into the transverse colon, and finally the descending colon, aiding in digestion and waste elimination. The position also allows the stomach and pancreas to hang in their natural place on the left side of the body, which in turn helps digestive processes like pancreatic enzymes to be as effective as possible. This premise comes from Ayurvedic principles. Left side sleeping also reduces heartburn. This theory outlines the reason: the stomach and its gastric juices stay lower than the esophagus. In comparison, right side sleeping may actually provoke symptoms such as acid reflux, which is when stomach acid irritates the food pipe. However, both left and right side sleeping can be beneficial in terms of circulation to the heart. In addition, side sleeping, both left and right, comes with an increase in brain health. The body is able to clear interstitial waste from the brain, which is essentially proteins and other debris that cloud the organ. With a higher functioning brain cleanse, the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc. also decreases. Side sleeping may be helpful for people who suffer from back pain because it relieves pressure on the spine. However, be aware that this change may result in the development of shoulder pain instead. Finally, side sleeping can also reduce snoring or sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Sleeping on your side can prevent your tongue from blocking your airpipe, which in turn prevents ragged breaths. Sleep apnea can also cause tiredness, so side sleeping may alleviate this feeling as well. Ask your doctor what sleeping positions work best for you. Note that pregnant women should sleep on their left sides as much as possible because of the resulting improved circulation, increased blood flow, reduction of pressure on their backs, and prevention of the uterus squeezing the liver. To make the switch of sleeping on your side, you may want to put a body pillow behind your back and find a softer mattress. Some people even have a pillow available to hug to rest their top arm. If you are having a harder time staying in this position throughout the night, try sleeping on the opposite side of the bed so it won’t feel off. Ultimately, side sleeping, especially on the left side, can greatly improve your health in digestion, the heart, the brain, and overall welfare with a decrease in tiredness. Source: |

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H E A L T H A R T I C L E S A N D Q & A Anyone bitten by a tick in an area where the virus is commonly found can get infected with POW virus. The risk is highest for people who live, work or recreate in brushy or wooded areas, because of greater exposure to potentially infected ticks. How soon do people get sick after getting bitten by an infected tick? The incubation period (time from tick bite to onset of illness) ranges from one week to one month. What are the symptoms of Powassan virus disease? Many people who become infected with POW virus do not develop any symptoms. POW virus can cause encephalitis (in- flammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). Symp- toms can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties, and seizures. How is Powassan virus disease diagnosed? Diagnosis is based on a combination of signs and symptoms and laboratory tests of blood or spinal fluid. These tests typ- ically detect antibodies that the immune system makes against the viral infection. What is the treatment for Powassan virus disease? There is no specific medicine to cure or treat POW virus disease. Treatment for severe illnesses may include hospitaliza- tion, respiratory support, and intravenous fluids. How can I reduce the chance of getting infected with Powassan virus? The best way to prevent POW virus disease is by protecting yourself from tick bites. There is no vaccine against POW virus. • Avoid contact with ticks by avoiding wooded and bushy areas with high grass. • Apply insect repellents to bare skin, according to label instructions. o Repellents containing DEET can be applied to exposed skin, but only last a few hours. o Clothing and gear can be treated with permethrin, which remains protective through several washings. • Find and remove ticks immediately before they have a chance to bite and attach. o Bathe or shower (preferably within 2 hours after being outdoors) to wash off and find ticks on your body. o Conduct a full-body tick check. Parents should thoroughly check children, especially in their hair. o Also examine clothing, gear and pets. What should I do if I think a family member might have Powassan virus disease? If you are concerned, contact your physician. What is Powassan virus disease? Powassan (POW) virus disease is a rare, but often serious disease that is caused by a virus spread by infected ticks. 100 cases of POW virus disease were reported in the United States over the past 10 years. POW virus is one of a group of arthro- pod-borne viruses (arboviruses) that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). How do people get infected with Powassan virus? POW virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. POW virus is not transmitted directly from person-to-person. Where and when have most cases of Powassan virus disease occurred? Most cases have occurred in the northeastern and Great Lakes regions of the United States during the late spring, early summer, and mid-fall when ticks are most active. Who is at risk for infection with Powassan virus?


FALL 2021


Dr. Steven Linker, OD

H E A L T H A R T I C L E S A N D Q & A

QUESTION: What is Optomap retinal imaging?


The optomap ultra-widefield retinal image is a unique technology that captures more than 80% of your retina in one panoramic image while traditional imaging methods typically only show 15% of your retina at one time. Your retina (located in the back of your eye) is the only place in the body where blood vessels can be seen directly. This means that in addition to eye conditions, signs of other diseases (for example, stroke, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes) can also be seen in the retina. Early detection of life-threatening diseases like cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. It also facilitates early protection from vision impairment or blindness. Early signs of these conditions can show on your retina long before you notice any changes to your vision or feel pain. While eye exams include a look at the front of the eye to evaluate health and prescription changes, a thorough screening of the

free. It is suitable for every age, even children. The capture takes less than a second. Images are available immediately and you can see your own retina and exactly what your eye care practitioner sees in a 3D animation. Most importantly, early detection means successful treatments can be administered and reduces the risk to your sight and health.

Check out our website for more information MONMOUTHVISION.COM

Dr. Steven Linker, OD Monmouth Vision Associates 50 Rt 9 North Suite 206 Morganville, NJ, 07751 Tel: 732-617-1717

retina is critical to verify that your eye is healthy. Getting an optomap image is fast and pain-

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Q: LEADERS IN LEAST INVASIVE PAIN & SPINE PROCEDURES How can Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment Help Shoulder and Knee Pain?


Platelet Rich Plasma erapy also referred to as PRP erapy, is a progressive non-surgical treatment to treat a variety of conditions including arthritis, ten- don injuries, and ligament injuries. PRP is part of a group of state-of-the-art treatments collectively referred to as Regenerative Medicine. PRP treats an injured area naturally using your body’s own growth factors to accelerate healing. It has been shown to be safe and e ec- tive for numerous joint and so tissue injuries. It has been extensively researched in numerous medical journals and publications all over the world. Some of the many uses of Platelet Rich Plasma include osteoarthritis (degenera- tive arthritis) of the spine, knee, shoulder, hip, hands, and feet, as well as menis- cus tears, plantar fasciitis, and rotator cu tears. e procedure is simple and is performed in the o ce. e PRP process begins when a small amount of the patient’s blood is removed from the arm and placed into a special container. e blood is then placed into a device called a centri- fuge which spins the blood to help the separate the portion of the blood which becomes concentrated with platelets, thereby giving the procedure its name. ese platelets are important because they release growth factors to recruit stem cells and to assist in healing an injured area naturally. Once the PRP is isolated, it is injected to the injured area under the guidance of an ultrasound machine to help accelerate healing and reduce pain.

H E A L T H A R T I C L E S A N D Q & A

is healing works on the simple principle that your body is perfectly capable of healing itself. Your blood contains all the essential components that the body produces to repair tissue damage. Each time you have an injury, the platelets in your blood along with growth factors, stem cells, cytokines, and other elements create a sca olding on the site. e damaged tissues use this framework to regenerate and repair. e entire process takes approximately one hour, and pa- tients are sent home the same day. Patients on average report more than 50% improvement in 6 weeks and up to 100% improvement in 12 weeks. is may eliminate the need for more aggressive and expensive treatment options such as long-term medication or surgery. In a recent study, researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery gave patients with early osteoarthritis an injection of PRP and then monitored them for one year. A er one year of the PRP injection, physicians evaluated the knee cartilage with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While previous studies have shown that patients with osteoarthritis can lose roughly ve percent of knee cartilage per year, the Hospital for Special Surgery investigators found that a large majority of patients in their study had no further cartilage loss. At minimum PRP also prevented further knee deterioration.

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FALL 2021


What is Disenfranchised Grief? By, Surabhi Ashok Imagine you lose your house in a fire. All your pos- sessions, your clothes in your closet, your bulletin board covered in pictures, your memories, are gone. However, you push away your sadness and tell yourself that you should be glad that at least your whole family is safe, that other people lose more than objects in fires this big. This is an example of disenfranchised grief, which is any hidden sorrow that is undermined by society. This type of grief is hard to heal because people often fail to acknowledge the extent of it. Just know, your grief is al- ways valid. Disenfranchised grief often occurs due to unrecog- nized relationships, “less significant” loss that does not necessarily deal with death, stigmatized loss, exclusion from mourning, and grief that looks different than what society expects. Private or unrecognized relationships may cause dis- enfranchised grief because not only would it be hard to express heartache but also outside people may fail to understand why one would mourn a supposed strang- er. For instance, people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community might experience this feeling if they aren’t out and they lost a partner.

H E A L T H A R T I C L E S A N D Q & A

Continued on page 10...

Relax in a spa like environment. Dr. Richard Allen, DC strives to deliver quality wellness and pain management care using Chiropractic, Active and Passive Therapies, Flexibility Work, In-Office Rehabilitation Services & Home Care Recommendations. Michelle Gursky Allen, MS,RD,CDN provides nutrition counseling for people with eating disorders, weight management issues and medical nutrition therapy, using a nonjudgmental and collaborative approach. Dr. Herng Wu, Lic. Ac., Dipl. O.M., Ph.D. Acupuncture services can help a number of issues such as chronic pain, hypertension, weight, sleep, anxiety, fertility and menopausal changes. Dr. Margo Hurewitz, PsyD licensed psychologist who specializes in treating children, adolescents and adults who are struggling with binge eating, anorexia, and bulimia as well as other psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety.



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continued from page 9...What is Disenfranchised Grief? The deaths of a casual partner, an ex, an online friend, or a pen pal can also cause disenfranchised grief. Even the death of some- one who you did not but could have known, such as an absent parent, can create grief because you additionally mourn the lack of relationship.

Society sometimes pits different experiences against each oth- er, making people feel as if their situation does not matter be- cause someone somewhere is going through worse. Remember the existence of someone’s pain does not erase your own. How- ever, this feeling that there is somehow a “less significant” type of loss often generates disenfranchised grief. For example, loss that is not related to death can be seen as less significant even though a person can be permanently removed from your life even if they are alive. Breakups, estrangement, dementia/Alzheimer’s (when mourning memories that are slowly being destroyed), loss of possessions, loss of safety or independence, loss/waste of time, and loss of health causes unvalidated distress. Even more, people expect the death of a teacher/student, a patient, a pet, a co-work- er, or a friend’s child to hurt less because they don’t view the relationships made as intimate. The loss of all of these examples is deemed less significant in society, which makes people suffering from these situations hide their pain. Stigmatized loss definitely causes people to hide their grief because they might be criticized if they didn’t. Especially on the internet, strangers find it okay to voice their opinion on a situation, making jokes and passing their judgement on something they have no say on. These instances can cause one to feel more angry or ashamed rather than comforted. Grief that is caused by infertility, suicide, overdose, abortion, miscarriage, estrangement with a loved one who is experiencing hardships such as mental health issues, or the loss of a loved one who was imprisoned all bring up a certain stigma. For instance, a person experiencing the grief of losing a loved one who was convicted might invalidate their feelings because their loved one was not a good person, and therefore according to society, is not worthy of being mourned. Hidden grief can also occur when one is excluded from mourning. Societal stereotypes make it seem as if one has less of a right to mourn a loved one that was not a partner or immediate family, once again making one’s grief seem “less significant” even if that’s not true. It is okay to grieve a best friend, an extended family member, or a classmate, and no one should be excluded from feeling sad about their death. In addition, children and people with cognitive impairment or striking mental health issues are excluded from mourning because people assume they lack the ability to properly understand what is going on. By doing this, people invalidate their distress and act as if it isn’t there, which in turn causes the one grieving to push it away as well. Finally, disenfranchised grief is caused by societal expectations vs reality. When norms such as crying, visible sadness, social withdrawal, and loss of appetite aren’t shown, people may deny the fact that someone is grieving at all. For example, anger, a lack of emotion, increased work, and substance use are all reactions to loss that society does not commonly expect. It’s important to note that no two people will deal with a situation in the exact same way, and by creating a universal conclu- sion on how grief should look like can discredit one’s experiences. Now, all of this suppressed grief can result in insomnia, substance misuse, anxiety, depression, shame, and even physi- cal problems. Furthermore, because unspoken emotions can be very taxing on a person, one might also experience mood swings, relationship problems, and a lack of focus. If someone close to you has just recently lost someone, do not dismiss or minimize their grief because they will start to doubt their own emotions which then leads to the development of an un- healthy process of grieving. Just offer support always and allow them to take the time they need for themselves. To cope with your disenfranchised grief, first acknowledge your pain and why you are feeling that way. Talk to your friends, a therapist, or support groups who understand and relate to your grief. Make your own ritual to honor your loss such as planting flowers, journaling, etc. in order to achieve well-needed closure. And remember, your grief is valid. Source:

H E A L T H A R T I C L E S A N D Q & A


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Safe visits in a designated area allow families to visit their loved ones at The Chelsea.

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Assisted Living • Memory Care Short-Term Stays

Americans are Living Longer and in Greater Numbers The population of older Americans is growing and living longer than ever. As a group, they are living active lives and con- tributing to the economy. The added years to the lifespans have resulted in a longer middle age—extending the period when workers are at their most productive and creative. • 10,000 people are turning 65 a day • 80 percent of people age 50 and older plan to work past 65 • People over 50 in the U.S. contribute $7.6 trillion to the economy annually Aging brings an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and dementia. For example, Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, is the 5th leading cause of death among older Americans. Older adults also face more challenges with everyday living activities. • 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition • 1 in 3 older adults has limitations in activities such as preparing meals and housekeeping

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Question: Does Physical Ac- tivity Reduce or Increase the Incidence of Osteoarthritis? Answer: In the absence of major joint injury, no ev- idence exists to indicate that regular moderate to vigor- ous physical activity in amounts that are commonly rec- ommended for general health benefits increases the risk of developing OA. In addition, limited, weak evidence is available from observational and animal studies to sug- gest that low-to-moderate levels of recreational physical activity, particularly walking, may provide protection against the development of hip and knee OA. Osteoarthritis is a relatively common degenerative con-


dition of the hyaline cartilage lining the joints and affects nearly 27 million US adults, manifested most commonly in the knee and hip. Characterized clinically by joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and weakness, OA often results in increased dis- ability and significant negative personal effects on physical function, mental health, and quality of life. Known major risk factors for OA include genetic predisposition, older age, female sex, history of joint injury, occupational load, and excess body mass. Historically, the "wear and tear" theory of joint degeneration suggests that excess force on the joint cartilage, such as accumulates from vigorous sports and occupational and daily living activities may initiate the pathophysiological process that results in clinical OA . However, some level of physical activity is essential for joint health. Thus, the physical activity guidelines for Americans should include a level of movement or activity to ensure good joint health, while mini- mizing potential deleterious forces. Women have a higher prevalence and incidence of most types of OA .Women also have lower quadriceps muscle strength, one of the main muscles supporting the hip and knee, different anatomical and biomechanical structure, higher rates of obesity, and participate in different types of physical activity than do men , and have different risks of injury even in similar sports. All these factors can influence the risk of OA related to physical activity, suggesting that the relationship may be sex-dependent. For example, quadriceps muscle strength has been shown to be an independent risk factor for the develop- ment of hip and knee OA even after controlling for excess body weight, age, activity level, injury status, and physical fitness. In fact, the weak protective effect of physical activity participation seems to be stronger among women than men It has been demonstrated that overweight and obese individuals put more stress on their lower-extremity joints during normal ambulation than do normal-weight individuals. This suggests that overweight and obesity would exaggerate impact forces transmitted to the joint during exercise and recreational physical activity, potentially increasing the risk of devel- oping OA. However, evidence suggests that elevated body mass index (BMI) independently predicts incident OA, and that physical activity does not contribute significantly to this increased risk. Physical activity plays an integral role in both weight loss and the maintenance of normal body weight. Previous joint injury is a well-established, independent risk factor for OA. In fact, athletes who sustain major joint injuries, such as anterior cruciate ligament ruptures, and undergo surgical reconstruction have premature onset OA (about 10 years early) compared with noninjured athletes. Last, observational study designs such as these cannot determine cause and effect. However, conducting an RCT to inves- tigate the influence of different exercise participation on the rates of incident OA is not feasible due to the long incubation period for OA development and the potential ethical problems of randomizing persons to inactivity. Another study design issue is the inconsistent definition of incident OA. Various outcomes were used across studies including self-reported doc- tor-diagnosed OA, radiographically-determined OA (with and without symptoms), and incident hospitalization for joint replacement surgery. It is not known how these different definitions may affect the measures of association. In the absence of joint injury, participation in recreational or leisure physical activities at levels commonly recommended for general health benefits does not increase the risk of developing OA. However, long-term high-level participation in se- lect high-impact sports (e.g., football, soccer, track and field) may be associated with increased risk of OA. As such, health promotion messages should be developed to inform persons choosing to participate in such activities that they may have increased risk for OA, and that modifying other OA risk factors (e.g., maintaining normal body weight, preventing joint injuries) may help to lower risk. For more info on the study visit


FALL 2021



Revolutionizing Care Delivery™

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Allaire is the only Special Care Nursing Facility in New Jersey to offer intensive therapy on a long term basis for young adults (18-59) with a Neurological Impairment. Horizons is a 174-bed special care neurological unit centered on nurturing independence and optimizing recovery.

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Our staff is trained to implement strict adherence protocols in enhanced infection control practices. We continue to diligently assess all patients to ensure the safety of our staff and residents and are dedicat d to deliv ring the h ghest quality of care.

Horizons is a 174-bed special care neurological unit centered on nurturing independence and optimizing recovery.

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Reinstating the Dr. Home Visit... We Bring Hearing Home to You!

Better hearing is an important part of how we communicate and stay connected to the world and the people we love. For many, seeking hearing care is the first step to a happier and healthier future, being able to secure these ser- vices at home is paramount for many of our clients. Whether you want to explore hearing aids, or discuss concerns about your hearing health, Dr. Laura Padham Visiting Audiologist is here to provide you with options. 609.770.2500 NJ LICENSE #1390 / 924


FALL 2021



We’ll take

Great Care Great Care of the person... of you.

Who took

Your parents always wanted the best for you—and you want the same for them. Monmouth Crossing Assisted Living provides the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your loved one is receiving the care and attention they deserve. Our safe, vibrant senior living residence helps them maintain their independence, receive the extra support they need, and engage in a fulfilling lifestyle. With beautiful accommodations, enriching activities, and 24/7 support from a compassionate team, it’s no surprise that we have been repeatedly recognized for outstanding, quality care.

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You have always been there for your mom, and now GoldenYears Care is here for you

We provide Adult Day Services For Special Needs Adults (21 years old +)


Medicaid/J.A.C.C. Covered Service


Call UsToday For ATour or Info! (732) 851-6640 • Medical AppointmentTransportation • Around-the-clock attention • Physical & OccupationalTherapy In House • Free Door-to-DoorTransportation • Delicious Food Options (Spanish, Russian, Italian & more) • Onsite & Offsite Activities: (Ping Pong, Zumba, Shopping Excursions, Museums, Crafts,Trips to the Shore and much more) • Onsite Hairdresser Serving Monmouth, Middlesex & Ocean Residents Conveniently off Rt 33 and NJTurnpike Exit 8 108Woodward Rd. Manalapan, New Jersey If your loved one needs care during the day, trust GoldenYears Care to put them in good hands!

Call UsToday For ATour or Info! (732) 845-3332 • Free Door-to-DoorTransportation • Health Evaluations • Bi-Lingual staff • Music & PetTherapy


• Educational Programs to assist & encourage independance with activities of daily living • Social Activities • Fabulous food and menu options • Recreation, Exercise,Trips to Museums, Stores, Crafts and more... Serving Monmouth, Middlesex & Ocean Residents Dr. Wayne A. Aldredg Advanced Treatment of Gum Disease and Loose or Missing Teeth Board Certified * Comfort Focused * Sedation Available Dental Implants (All-on-4® ) One-Visit Gum Correction (Pinhole®) Advanced Laser Treatment (LANAP®) Gum and Bone Restoration Second Opinions

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FALL 2021


Five Ways to Recognize a Social Security Scam By Erin Scheithe Recently, it was reported by the Federal Trade Com- mission the rise in scam attempts where Social Secu- rity beneficiaries were being asked to pay to reactivate, protect, or restore their benefits. Currently, Social Se- curity scams are the most commonly reported type of fraud and scam according to the Social Security Ad- ministration’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). These scams continue to evolve. The OIG is nowwarn- ing the public that scammers are making phone calls and then following up with emails containing falsified documents aimed at convincing people to pay.


You may have received one of these calls – either a recorded voice or a person falsely claiming to be a government employee, warning you of an issue with your Social Security number, account, or benefits, in- cluding identity theft. The caller may threaten arrest or other legal action, or they may offer to increase benefits, protect your assets, or resolve identity theft if you provide payment using a retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency such as Bitcoin, or a pre-paid debit card.

How to tell if it’s legitimate or a scam. Scammers are aware that people are catching on to their attempts, so they’re coming up with new ways to convince Social Security beneficiaries that their frauds are legitimate. Here’s what to watch for so you can protect yourself and others from Social Security scams. 1. Threatening arrest or legal action: If you receive a threatening phone call claiming that there‘s an issue with your Social Security number or benefits, it’s a scam. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will never threaten you with arrest or other legal action if you don’t immediately pay a fine or fee. 2. Emails or texts with personally identifiable information: If there’s a legitimate problem with your Social Security number or record, the SSA will mail you a letter to notify you of any issues. 3. Misspellings and grammar mistakes : If the caller follows up with emails containing falsified letters or reports that appear to be from the SSA or SSA’s OIG, look closely. The letters may use government "jargon" or letterhead that appears official in order to help convince victims, but they may also contain misspellings and grammar mistakes. 4. Requests for payment by gift or pre-paid card, cash, or wire transfer: If you do need to submit payments to the SSA, the agency will mail a letter with payment instructions and options through U.S. mail. You should never pay a gov- ernment fee or fine using retail gift cards, cash, internet currency, wire transfers, or pre-paid debit cards. Scammers ask for payment this way because it’s difficult to trace and recover. 5. Offers to increase benefits in exchange for payment: Similarly, SSA employees will never promise to increase your Social Security benefits, or offer other assistance, in exchange for payment. How to report a scam. If you think you’ve been the victim of a Social Security scam, report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at and to the SSA Office of Inspector General Fraud at

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As we swing into the fall, many people have work performed on their homes. Fortunately, under New Jersey state law there is protection for homeowners who enter into contracts with home improvement contractors. New Jersey has promulgated the Consumer Fraud Act for the protection of consumers in various types of transactions. One type of transaction to which consumers are entitled to protection under this Act is home improvement contracts. “Home-improvementcontracts”areanytypeofcontract inwhichimprovements are made to the home of a consumer. When such a contract is entered into between a consumer homeowner and a “home improvement contractor,” certain information and language must be contained within the form of the contract to ensure that consumers within the State of New Jersey are adequately protected from potentially fraudulent and/or “fly-by-night” companies. The most important aspect of the Consumer Fraud regulations as they apply to home improvement contracts is the necessity for the contract to be in writing and for the written contract to include various pieces of information. The contract shall contain the contractor’s legal name, address and registration number; a copy of the contractor’s certificate of insurance; the total price of the contract including any finance charges; the right to cancel within a three day period; and a full and complete detailed description of the work with part numbers and manufacturers’ names if any equipment is to be installed. If the work under the contract requires permits from the local municipality, it is the obligation of the home improvement contractor to obtain same and insure that any such permit applications are closed out at the completion of the job. Importantly, the regulations prevent any home improvement contractor from demanding final payment of the contract unless and until any such permit applications are closed out to the satisfaction of the local municipality. Basically, all of these requirements are to prevent any confusion as to the terms and nature of the contract between the homeowner and the contractor. The good news for homeowners is that, in the event a home improvement contractor violates any of the terms of these regulations and such violation causes monetary damages to the homeowner, the homeowner may be entitled to triple the amount of damages together with counsel fees in the event the homeowner is required to bring a lawsuit against the contractor. Unfortunately, as I have seen many times in my practice, despite the fact that regulations are in place to protect the homeowner, oftentimes the contractor does not have sufficient assets to pay to the homeowner even if the homeowner wins their case in court. Importantly, based on all the above, I recommend to my clients that they utilize a home improvement contractor who has been in business for a number of years and has a long-lasting reputation in the community. First and foremost, if the contractor has such a reputation, the chances are that the work will be satisfactory. Second, in the event something does go wrong with the job, the contractor will have the assets to make the homeowner whole. If you believe you have been the victim of some type of consumer fraud, please do not hesitate to contact my office to discuss this matter with an attorney.

Large Firm Representation With Personal Attention

AREAS OF PRACTICE: • Municipal Court Practice, Including Defense of DWI, Traffic Tickets and Non-Indictable Offenses • Workers Compensation


• Personal Injury • Motor Vehicle Accidents • Nursing Home Neglect • Wills

• General Civil Litigation • Employment Law • Residential and Commercial Real Estate Transactions

Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney Member of New Jersey and New York Bars

David P. Levine, Esq. Of Counsel to the Firm Michael B. Shaw, Esq., Associate Attorney 200 Meco Drive, Millstone Twp., NJ Email: 732-410-5350 •

The Mourning After MonthlyGrief CounselingGroup Surviving&ThrivingAfter a Loss

When someone we love dies, it can feel as though an important part of ourselves has suddenly vanished. It is often hard to imagine continuing to live through the pain and turmoil of

grief. This grief counseling program uses a wide range of interactive and creative interventions to assist in the healing process. Meets 1st Friday of each month from 11:30 am - 1 pm Virtually Via Zoom Meetings If you are attending for the first time & to confirm the meeting schedule please call 732-577-1076

JOHN T. BAZZURRO, Esq. David P. Levine, Esq. Of Counsel to the Firm Michael B. Shaw, Esq., Associate Attorney 200 Meco Drive, Millstone Twp., NJ • BAZZURROLAW.COM

WWW.GIERS.ORG | | 732-577-1076 10 East Main Street Suite 5B, Freehold, NJ 07728

Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney Member of New Jersey and New York Bars


FALL 2021


• 1 Night at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge • 1 Night at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge • 2 Nights at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage • 2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 5 Dinners 7– Night Southbound VOYAGE OF THE GLACIERS HEARTOF ALASKA ESCORTED CUSTOM CRUISETOUR • 1 Night at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge • 2 Nights at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage • 2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 5 Dinners 7– Night Southbound VOYAGE OF THE GLACIERS


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FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A RESERVATION CALL BEST CRUISES (800) 576 2378 or email Summer 2022 Departures starting at $2999 pp * FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL BEST CRUISES (800) 576 2378 or email a safer way to cruise and travel 2021 Departures in May/June, July & August starting at $2999 pp * *Prices are per person, double occupancy based on May 30th interior category including government taxes, fees, and transfers. Airfare and travel insurance are additional. This offer is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time. Prices subject to change. Other restrictions apply. BEST CRUISES & TOURS Ruth and Jeff Sturman, owners of Best Cruises & Tours, have been helping people in the northeast plan the perfect getaway for over 25 years. They said they began their full-service travel agency (circa 1994) with a passion for travel. “We specialize in custom packages that require extra care, with a focus on outstanding customer service,” the Sturmans explained. To make planning a vacation easier for their clients, they first offer a range of vacation choices, from different types of cruises to all-inclusive vacations, land packages and family vacations. “Then, we help navigate the choices and select the vacation that’s right for you.” Best Cruises & Tours has received numerous awards for sales and customer service. They also have an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and have attained Top Producer status with major travel suppliers, which “allows us to offer our clients the lowest prices,” they adde . “We treat every vacation as though it were our own,” the Sturmans said, add- ing that they often receive kudos from satisfied clients. Jeff is a certified “Alaska Expert” with the Alaska Tourism Industry Association (ATIA) and has been hosting tours to Alaska for over 15 years. He feels that Alaska is the perfect destination for folks who are itching to get back to travelling. “In Summer 2021, hopefully things will be looking up”, Jeff says. “People are ready”. “Thank you for the effort you put into making our trip to Alaska a wonderful and memorable time,’ said one such pair of gratified travelers that enjoyed the customer service they received here,” the Sturmans, stated. “While Best Cruises & Tours is in Middlesex County, we have a very strong client base in Monmouth County – specifically in Freehold and Manalapan,” the owners explained. FOR MORE INFORMAT ON OR TO MAKE A RESERVATION CALL BEST CRUISES (800) 576 2378 r email Summer 2022 Departures starting at $2999 pp * *Price is per person, double occupancy based on May 29th interior category including government taxes, fees, and transfers. Airfare and travel insurance are additional. This offer is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time. Prices subject to change. Other restrictions apply. Here’s how seniors and retirees can file their taxes for free For taxpayers on a fixed income, every penny saved matters. Many of these are seniors and retirees who can file their taxes for free. IRS Free File provides free online tax preparation for taxpayers with income less than $69,000 a year. • Free File is one of several ways that older taxp yers can sav money and file their taxes. Here are some facts about these programs to help these taxpayers determine which one fits their needs. • IRS Free File is available on, and features 10 brand-name tax software providers. • Taxpayers can browse each of the 10 ffers or use the Lookup Tool to help them find the right product. • Each Free File partner sets its own eligibility standards. These are generally based on income, age and state residency. All taxpayers whose adjusted gross income was $69,000 or less will find at least one free product to use. • Two Free File products are available in Spanish. • Free File supports all the major forms that can be filed electron- ically. This means that even if someone’s tax return is a bit more complex, they can still use a free service. • Free File offers the new Form 1040-SR option for seniors over the age of 65. • Free File providers also offer state tax return preparation, some for free and some for a fee. Taxpayers can also use the Look Up tool to find the right state product. • Taxpayers can use their smart phone or tablet to do their taxes. They just need to go to on their device. All Free File products are enabled for mobile devices. • There are also programs where people can go to have their taxes prepared for free. VITA and TCE sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations across the country. Taxpayers can use the VITA locator tool to find a location near them. *Price is per person, double occupancy based on May 29th interior category including government taxes, fees, and transfers. Airfare and travel insurance are additional. This offer is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time. Prices subject to change. Other restrictions apply. DON’T BOOK ALASKA UNTIL YOU SPEAK TO AN EXPERT!! Don’t miss the 2018 ALASKA CRUISEFEST Tuesday, January 23, 2018 in FREEHOLD, NJ hosted by & If you are planning an ALASKA VACATION, this is one event you do not want to miss! Admission is FREE - CALL BEST CRUISES TO RSVP TODAY (800) 576 2378 or visit 4400 Route 9 S. • Suite 1000 • Freehold, NJ 07728

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