Ocean County Caregivers Appreciation Event, Virtual Edition

Are you one of the 70,899 caregivers in Ocean County who provide care to a parent, spouse, sibling or child who is aging, living with a disability, chronic condition or mental illness?

The greatest discovery of the 20th Century is that our attitude of mind determines our quality of life, not circumstances.”
– William James


About Event

Even under the very best of conditions, we all know how challenging it is to be a Caregiver. But this year has brought new struggles that were beyond all of our imaginations. The Covid-19 Pandemic ushered in never before seen changes to the healthcare field and touched everyone’s lives, causing us to enter a world with masks, temperature checks, social distance, virtual care and more. But as always, with great challenges come new and creative solutions. For years, the Ocean County Caregivers Coalition has endeavored to bring together Family and Professional Caregivers in order to learn from each other and to provide a platform where those connections could flourish into new ideas and programs to serve the Caregiver Community. Part of this has been an annual Caregiver Appreciation and Education Event that enabled Service Organizations to gather together in one spot to meet with Family Caregivers and offer them their information and support.

This year, while social distancing has prevented us from holding an actual one-day physical event to gather us all together, we are excited to be launching the first Virtual Caregivers Appreciation Week! This page brings you information, resources, supports and exhibitors as you would similarly experience during our Annual Caregivers Appreciation Event.

Ocean County Office of Senior Services

Ocean County Office of Senior Services

Point of Contact:          

For Program Issues:  Wanda Alfaro, Supervisor of Senior Citizen Outreach & Referral


 (732) 929-2091

Administration:  Maria La Face, Director
(732) 929-2091

Webpage: http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/OC/SeniorServices/frmHomeSS.aspx

 Resource Directory: http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/OC/SeniorServices/frmConsumerDir.aspx


Ocean County Department of Human Services

Web link:   www.oceandhs.org

Point of Contact: Ocean County Dept. of Human Services, 732-506-5374

Description: The Ocean County Department of Human Services was established by the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders to initiate and support program development addressing human services needs in Ocean County. The Department aims to facilitate and oversee, through effective partnerships, a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of at risk individuals and families. The Department is comprised of different Boards and Commissions that focus upon specialized areas of service delivery and program development.


Advocate for Mom and Dad, LLC

Weblink: www.advocateformomanddad.com

Contact: Debra Hallisey 



About: https://youtu.be/Xz4HvFi10tQ

In 2015 everything changed when I became responsible for my disabled mother after my father’s death.  I found myself asking “what do I do?” and “where do I start?” as her caregiver, as her financial adviser, and as her daughter?  Figuring out the answers to those burning questions drove home the need we all have to be an effective advocate for our aging parents.

Through this life event my website Advocate for Mom and Dad was born.  Advocate for Mom and Dad offers practical advice for “what do I do?” and “where do I start?”  You will learn from the experience of others how they handled challenges on topics such as legal, financial, insurance, and caregiving issues.  Each story includes links to resources the family found helpful as an effective advocate for their parents.  The mission of Advocate for Mom and Dad is to build a community that helps families determine their best answers to the questions of “what do I do?” and “where do I start?”

Video: Advocate for Mom and Dad: Zoom with an Expert

Advocate for Mom and Dad FAQ 

Always Best Care

Website: https://www.alwaysbestcare.com/nj/manalapan/

Point of Contact: Mary Kaba Valis, Ocean County



Lisa Torre Janssen, Monmouth and Middlesex Counties

C: 732.318.7086 


Office: 732.483.4611

 About: Since 1996, Always Best Care has helped thousands of families with non-medical in-home care and assisted living referral services. In select markets we’ve also added skilled home care for clients that suffer from illness or injury.

Our passion for helping people maintain a safe, independent and dignified lifestyle represents the strong foundation of Always Best Care. Every client receives extraordinary care in an inspiring environment with caring and compassionate people. Our Care Coordinators have worked with thousands of seniors across the country, and we’re always ready to help you!

Video: Always Best Care


AriJoe Productions, LLC

Steve Besserman, Chief Storyteller

About: I specialize in video documentary storytelling. Whether you’re a business marketing a product or service, a non-profit organization raising funds, or somebody who wishes to capture preserve and share a personal life history, you have a story to tell, like Bunnie did. Let AriJoe Productions help you tell your story. Take it from Bunnie’s family, it’s priceless!

Visit www.AriJoe.com to see other stories I’ve helped to tell.

View the trailer for “Bunnie”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rsbwTeDfOM]

Contact: SteveB@AriJoe.com

Call 609-577-9206 for a free consultation and production estimate with no obligation.


Clare Medical of New Jersey

Weblink: www.Getclare.com


Deborah Scott   DeborahS@getclare.com (609) 474-0120 Ext 5

Holly Edwards, Carecoordination@Getclare.com (609) 474-0120 Ext 103

Designed to deliver excellent non-urgent medical care to Medicare eligible seniors in assisted and independent living communities who are limited in their ability to visit the doctor…Clare Medical services will be offered at no extra charge* for Medicare beneficiaries.

Think of Clare as a purveyor of the old-fashioned house call, only better! Visiting physicians and care providers outfitted with the latest in mobile technology working to provide clients with better access to the medical services they are entitled to and deserve. 

View/Download Clare Medical Facts



Weblink: https://www.harrogatelifecare.org/

Contact:Maria Penna



About: Let go of worries, and embrace a more fulfilling, experience-rich life – at Harrogate, Ocean County, New Jersey’s premier active senior living community, conveniently located between Toms River and Lakewood, New Jersey.

At Harrogate, you’ll have a newfound freedom to enjoy everything our 52-acre retirement community has to offer. You’ll have ample opportunity to tap into your new and rekindled interests for a better life. And your future health care worries — including skilled nursing and rehabilitation — will be buttoned up with the security of Life Care, a smart plan that covers your care and protects your nest egg.

Community, security, purpose, all at one “worry less, live more” spot: Harrogate.

Harrogate FAQ

Video: Harrogate Retirement Community: Discover the Value


Web page: www.hearusa.com

Contact: Chana Lerner, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

1228 Rt 37 West

Toms River, NJ 08755



Dr. Chana Lerner, Au.D., CCC-A has been providing elite hearing aid services for over 20 years. HearUSA accepts all insurances, including Medicaid, flexible schedule, lifetime no-charge hearing aid maintenance, exclusive provider for AARP, FREE CapTel captioned telephone offer available.

Ask about our convenient TeleHealth program. Test your hearing accurately from the safety of your own home.

Dr. Lerner earned her Master of Arts in Audiology from the College of New Jersey in 1999 and completed her Doctorate in Audiology from A.T. Still University, Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2005. Dr. Lerner is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (F-AAA), has earned her Certificate of Clinical Competence Audiology (CCC-A) in 2000, and is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

HearUSA Video


Instant Hearing Screening

Communicating With Face Masks

Frequent Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss and Dementia

Hearing Loss Facts

Hearing Loss Tips

Study: Hearing Aids Improve Brain Function

Invisible Hearing Aids 

How Else Can Hearing Aids Help Me?

Hellen Keller Quote

Heart – Hear Poster


Horizon BCBS

Name: Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield/ Braven

Website: https://medicare.horizonblue.com/find-events

Contact: Marlo Sutphin

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

1427 Wyckoff Rd, WL-03A

Wall Township, NJ 07727

Phone 732-256-5639

Customer Service 800-355-2583

Medicare Advantage Members – 800-365-2223  

Medicare Supplement Members  –  888-276-4299

DSNP Members-800-543-5656

Dental 800-433-6825

Description: Braven Health is a new insurance company created through a partnership with Horizon BCBSNJ and Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH). Braven Health, an affiliate of Horizon BCBSNJ, will offer Medicare Advantage plans in certain New Jersey counties effective January 1, 2021.

Braven Health will offer affordable Medicare Advantage health plans with access to the Horizon Hospital Network and the Horizon Managed Care Network. If you are a participating provider for Horizon BCBSNJ Medicare Advantage plans, Braven Health will be added as a new plan offering that you will service.


 Legacy Treatment Services

Crosswinds peer respite center offers a place for adults to stay on a short-term basis when they are experiencing or on the verge of a mental health crisis and need support and services. This program is a crisis alternative that aims to avoid the repetitive cycle of hospitalization.

Contact: Ryan Walsh



Website: www.legacytreatment.org 

Legacy Treatment FAQs

Video: Legacy Treatment Zoom with an Expert Session


 MassMutual New Jersey-NYC

Contact: Richard J. Pacesa Sr. & Richard J. Pacesa Jr.

Financial Advisors

MassMutual New Jersey – NYC

379 Thornall Street 9th Floor |Edison N.J. 08837

Office: 732-650-3221 – Cell: 732-306-0265


Weblink: https://financialprofessionals.massmutual.com/richard-j-pacesa-sr

About: Knowledge is the key to a successful financial future. We work with caregivers to be a resource when they need help makIng financial decisions which can sometimes be overwhelming. We take  pride in getting to know each client so that we can understand their individual needs and what matters most to them.  This helps us recommend products and strategies designed to meet their current needs, and more importantly, their future 

Video: MassMutual New Jersey 

EI CapTel Captioned Telephones

Weblink: oeius.org

Contact: Kelly Molnar, 732-552-6869, kelly.molnar@oeius.org

About: https://youtu.be/deeICLJiAdI

Ideal for people with some degree of hearing loss, the Captioned Telephone, or CapTel, works like any other telephone with one important addition:

It displays every word the caller says throughout the conversation. CapTel phone users can listen to the caller, and can also read the written captions in the CapTel’s bright display window.

Social Engagement & Hearing Loss White Paper

CapTel Social Distancing Brief


Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services

Weblink: https://www.preferredcares.com/

Contact: Lisa Gallicchio, SHRM-SCP

45 Main Street, US Highway 35N

Eatontown, New Jersey 07724                                           

Cell : (732) 547-9886 


About: Preferred Home Health Care has over 30 years of experience matching caregivers to our clients’ needs. We take pride in hiring qualified, compassionate employees who can provide excellent health care to all of our clients. Our highly skilled nurses and caregivers, who are fully bonded and insured, are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Our services are available on an hourly basis or up to 24 hours to meet all of your health care needs. We ensure that each caregiver will be properly screened before being placed with a client. We understand that selecting the right home care agency to provide services in your home or the home of your loved ones is an important decision, so feel free to call our office at any time to discuss your family’s needs.

Commercial: https://youtu.be/GN9gfk9nQUQ 

Right At Home


Right at Home provides optimal services to help keep you where you want to be-right at home and nowhere else. We assist with personal care, light housekeeping, meal prep, medication & hydration reminders, exercise, transportation, skilled nursing and much more. Right at Home has no hourly minimums meaning you tell us how many hours and days you want-even if it’s as little as one hour one day a week.  We are also contracted with the VA and help with VA benefits for veterans as well as surviving spouses.  

Call us for a FREE consultation and we’ll help you navigate through the healthcare maze.  

Contact: Bernie Branz




Right Care Flyer

VA V&V Flyer

Right At Home Care FAQ

CaringStars Brick 2020

Visiting Physician Services (Member of VNA Health Group)

Website:  www.vnahg.org/vps 

Contact: Donna Occhipinti

             Office:  732-571-1000

             Cell:  908-309-9860


About: https://youtu.be/sFFtmSwZbvI

Visiting Physician Services, part of VNA Health Group, is the largest home-based primary care practice in New Jersey. We have been making house calls to older adults and homebound patients for over 25 years. Our mission is to enable patients to stay at home as they age by providing quality in-home medical care.


Additional Dementia Resources

Teepa Snow
(PAC) Positive Approach to Care

Teepa is leading group consultant meetings with families and with professional care providers, in which the attendees bring a personal challenge to the table and Teepa helps figure out what to try to make things different. Once a month, Teepa hosts Ask Teepa Anything live on Facebook. She also does a quick session live on Facebook at 8 am ET every weekday morning. The team does Live at 5! (ET) every weekday as well. Teepa offers free 30-minute consultations with a Certified PAC Team Consultant.


Free monthly Online Dementia Journal

Dementia 101

(HL mimics dementia)

Difference between Forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s

Challenging Behaviors

Why Activities Matter

Filling the day with meaning

Alzheimer’s Activity Ideas

Brain Changes



Don't see your location listed? Apply to become a Coalition Member

Renata Svincicka, Health Coordinator

Lions Head Office Park
35 Beaverson Blvd, Suite 11
Brick, NJ 08723
Email: rsvincicka@familyresourcenetwork.org
P: (732) 262-8020, ext: 220 F: (732) 262-4373

As a coalition member, we will work to build upon the strength of the state's existing experts, services, diversity, and active Lifespan Respite Coalition to strengthen linkages to create a more coordinated system of accessible community-based respite care services for family caregivers of children or adults regardless of age or disability.

NJLRC Membership Application

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