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From the Desk Of 
Caryl Greenberg, MSW, LSW 
Plan Ahead and Rest in Peace: All about Funerals
    If you regularly read my page, you’ll know that I write about the funeral industry every couple of years. We are so lucky to have a non-profit consumer group that monitors this business and gives practical advice about funeral planning from an economic point of view. There are lots of ways to save money if you do your homework and shop before you’re in crisis mode! You wouldn’t walk into the closest car dealership and buy whatever car and options the salesperson recommended just because you need a new car but that is how most people buy funeral goods and services. Most people assume they should use a nearby funeral home or one they have used in the past. 
If you’re not using a funeral home for viewing or a service, you don’t need to use a local facility; there may be one in a nearby town that is half the price. That’s right; half the price!  
    When shopping for a funeral, bring a friend with you who will encourage you to stick to your budget.  It’s easy to fall into thinking that the more money you spend is a direct correlation to how much you love the person.  Sometimes unscrupulous salespeople may imply that doing anything other than the traditional is unsuitable and this feeds into feelings of guilt. Many people are finding themselves wanting unique and personalized funerals and memorials which is more meaningful to them and generally is less costly. Caskets and casket kits are available on-line for a fraction of the price charged by some funeral homes. Mortuaries are required by law to accept a casket from an outside vendor and cannot charge you a fee for ordering one. You can also call or visit any funeral home and they are legally obligated to give you a (‘GPL’) general price list which enables you to compare ‘apples to apples’ from various funeral homes. Should you prepay for a funeral? How else can you save money and what other legal rights do you have?  Come to the lecture on January 10th at 12:15 pm and find out!

How To Avoid Disappointment Near The Holidays

Do you put pressure on yourselves year after year because of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’? Many of us remember the plans and promises we made to ourselves the previous year, and even the year before that and realizing our disappointment when we don’t come near realizing those goals. Perhaps we aim higher the following year to compensate for not reaching our goal in the first place and become more disheartened when those goals are not reached yet again. So you get the picture. It can become a vicious cycle of setting ourselves up for failure. There is a lot of self-prescribed pressure for us at the end of each year. Reevaluating how we want to improve our physical, emotional and perhaps medical well-being is valuable. As human beings it’s important to constantly grow as a person, to improve interpersonal relationships and of course try to figure out how to be and feel healthy. So how can we achieve this realistically? Do not make goals that are unattainable and too specific. Hoping to achieve a 40 lb. weight loss is not unreasonable but if you have been hoping to achieve this for several years what makes you think this year will be any different? Modify the goal. Vow to take steps to be healthier and there is a good chance that a consequence of some behavior change will be weight loss. Don’t set goals that are beyond your control. An example of this is to aspire to reconcile friendships or family relationships. We only have control over our own actions. Decide to reach out to others by calling or writing and then at least you can achieve what you set out to do. If the relationship blossoms that is wonderful but you will gain satisfaction in knowing you did what you can do and met your goal. Here is something you can do for free and quite easily. SMILE. This simple thing lets people know they can approach you. So if you decide to make a resolution this year add smiling to your list and see what happens.

Monthly Bereavement Group: Monday, Jan. 14th 10:45am
Anyone who has suffered the loss of a spouse or partner
is welcome to attend the monthly bereavement group. Please do not be late. Questions?
Please call Caryl 732.329.4000 x 7212

Join A Group...

 on Your Mind 

"What's On Your Mind" meets on Fridays at 1:45 p.m. to discuss current events and information that interests you. We welcome new members.  You can drop in anytime.  Call Caryl for more information. 

Monthly Bereavement Support Group
Ongoing support group next meeting Nov 19th 10:45am. Participants offer mutual support to each other as we share our struggles and grief in a safe non-judgmental venue.

Book Club
A weekly group using literature as a conduit for discussion. Participants share thoughts and feelings about what they have read and relate it ‘if applicable’ to their life experience. We meet every Thursday (except the first Thursday of the month) at 10:30 am. Please call Caryl for more information.

Meets the first Friday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in the conference room.  This is an opportunity to meet new people, share information and benefit from mutual support. 


Veterans age 55 + meet monthly to share stories and strive to re-create the camaraderie that is experienced when sharing a common bond. This group meets monthly on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 10:45 a.m.

Social Work Services
As more individuals are choosing to ‘age in place’, the senior center offers ‘home visits’ by the Social Worker to the HOMEBOUND elderly. We can provide limited case management services, emotional support and counseling. Many issues include loss, care giving concerns and tensions, coping with health problems, relationship issues, independence, depression, substance abuse, isolation and more.  The Social Worker also sees individuals and couples on site. Please contact Caryl Greenberg for further information. 


I am now a NOTARY PUBLIC in the state of NJ. If you need something to be notarized, free of cost, to ensure you are not disappointed please call first to make sure I am in.

Office on Aging
Christine Wildemuth

Senior Center
540 Ridge Road
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
732-329-4000 x7670
(rotary phones)
732-329-4000 x7363
Center Hours
Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.