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It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Middletown, NJ

Home Care Middletown, NJ

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Historic Portland Place gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Middletown, NJ is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Middletown, NJ

location Service Areas

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“Such an amazing company with employees who truly care about their business and those they take care of. Caretakers are top notch and customer service is great and they are available whenever you need them.”

Josie J.

“I can’t begin to tell to you how pleased I am with Always Best Care. Not only have they placed the perfect caregiver with my mother they also take care of the billing and when I need to speak to a receptionist they are always available. Thank you!!”


“I cannot thank Always Best Care enough for helping us find an ideal Assisted Living Facility for my mother. We moved to the city a month ago and had little idea about the local senior living communities. I’d like to thank the highly experienced and knowledgeable caregivers of Always Best Care for helping our family during the difficult time.”

Theodore S.

“Your manager is always nice and flexible, and the caregivers are sweet and wonderful”

Leta J.

“We are very happy with Always Best Care. They do 24hr care, and the caregiver is excellent. I would recommend them.”


“We have hired Always Best Care. We have them for 5 to 6 weeks now. My mother practically does everything herself, but sometimes they might fix her her lunch, there might be a little bit of shopping, and they take her to her appointment. My mother is fine. The hours are fine. She got the hours that she requested. I know she is being billed on her credit card. They have been very helpful and very cooperative. The women always call back.”


“We hired Always Best Care two weeks ago for my mom. The woman comes in three days a week to assist my mother with doing the wash, keeping the house picked up, and just talking to her. She’s wonderful. We interviewed several people, and there was just something about the way they were organized in their presentation and their follow up. that impressed us. They were a level above the other ones that we spoke to. They really listen to you about your needs and work very hard to match the caregiver up with what you’re looking for. We were very impressed with them.”


What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Middletown, NJ?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Middletown, NJ

Types of Elderly Care in Middletown, NJ

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Middletown, NJ
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Middletown, NJ
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Poricy Park Nature Center with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Middletown, NJ
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Oak & Reed or visit William Murray House, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Middletown, NJ

Benefits of Home Care in Middletown, NJ

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Middletown, NJ, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Middletown, NJ

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your NJ's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Middletown, NJ

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Middletown, NJ understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Middletown, NJ

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Middletown, NJ

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Arbor Terrace Middletown
  • Brighton Gardens of Middletown
  • CareOne at Middletown
  • Serravalle Senior Care Solutions
  • Promenade at Middletown
  • The Eliot Erie Station
Home Care Middletown, NJ

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Middletown, NJ

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Middletown, NJ 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Middletown, NJ

Latest News in Middletown, NJ

Middletown redevelopment project would transform ‘Port Belford’ into destination seaport

MIDDLETOWN - An ambitious project to redevelop almost all of the Belford section into a destination waterfront attraction is beginning to show signs of progress, after seeming to languish in the bureaucratic wilderness for the past six years.While the concepts are still evolving, the original redevelopment plan adopted in 2017 remains its official blueprint and calls for a neighborhood that has a pinch of the cosmopolitan vibe found in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, with a dash of Tuckerton Seaport’s rust...

MIDDLETOWN - An ambitious project to redevelop almost all of the Belford section into a destination waterfront attraction is beginning to show signs of progress, after seeming to languish in the bureaucratic wilderness for the past six years.

While the concepts are still evolving, the original redevelopment plan adopted in 2017 remains its official blueprint and calls for a neighborhood that has a pinch of the cosmopolitan vibe found in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, with a dash of Tuckerton Seaport’s rustic charm thrown in. There are even plans for a local museum on site celebrating Middletown’s unique maritime role in America’s history.

“We do believe that this is an incredibly important project for Middletown,” said township Mayor Tony Perry. “It’s understood that this is important for the economic success of our town.”

Encompassing an area of 384 acres in size and in made up of 46 existing properties on the local tax rolls, the “Port Belford Redevelopment Plan,” would see the entire waterfront area along the Raritan Bayshore reimagined as a trendy nautical-themed village divided into six sub-districts. There would be eclectic shops, restaurants, townhomes and of course the centerpiece fixtures from which this community will be built around — the existing Seastreak ferry terminal that will whisk passengers to New York or Jersey City, and back again, and the iconic Belford Seafood Co-Op Fish Market.

Related:Belford Terminal to get $4M from feds for ferry service upgrade

The neighborhood was identified in 2016 as a section of the township in need of economic revitalization.

Most of the redevelopment area in its current form has an antiquated feel to it, with dilapidated structures such as the Belford Marine Railway harkening back to an architecture with an early 20th-century feel. Wetlands grow wild and unabated around the area of Compton Creek, which serves as a geographic divide within the neighborhood and over empty marsh plains that hide capped landfills — relics of another distant time.

Directly to its east is the waterfront portion of Naval Weapons Station Earle, where its landmark 2.9-mile-long pier juts out into Sandy Hook Bay. The military complex lies in the adjacent Leonardo section of Middletown. The Port Monmouth section of town is the next neighborhood over to its west, just beyond the Dunes townhouse complex.

All of this waterfront area sits in the shadow of the towering New York skyline, which on a clear day seems much closer than its 19 miles north across the bay

One year ago, the ferry service Seastreak began operating the Belford-to-Manhattan ferry route from the Middletown terminal there (the most modern commercial facility in the immediate neighborhood), which was built by Monmouth County for $10 million in 2002. NY Waterway started service there in 2001 before the county took the company’s operating contract away and gave it to Seastreak last December because officials said NY Waterway had failed to provide guarantees that service would continue in the future even in times of financial hardship.

Before the pandemic, NY Waterway was moving 2,300 passengers per day but that number had dropped to about 1,000 riders a day by May 2022.

Monmouth County Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone said the county government was working in partnership with the township government, given its ownership of the terminal.

“In the short amount of years to come, we are going to see a revitalization of that area that is going to be unbelievable and it’s going to be extremely successful,” Arnone said.

But he warned that before then, there would most certainly be “stumbling blocks” ahead for a redevelopment project of its size and scope: Port Belford will not be built in a day.

Perry said 90% of its taxable real estate are homes, but that his administration has been committed to maximizing the economic potential of the Routes 35 and 36 corridors — the main highways through town. The Belford redevelopment project is part of that vision, Perry said.

“Because every day that we’re able to move $1 of property taxes away from our residents and to business, two things are happening: One, you’re making it affordable for residents to continue to live in our great town and our great county. … Second, you know, that the American dream and economic progress is happening (in Middletown), because people are willing to open up small businesses on our corridors,” the mayor explained.

In the late 2010s, the township held several outreach events with local residents to solicit their views and ideas for the Port Belford project. But the wheels of bureaucracy have moved slow and sometimes not at all over the past several years.

However, per municipal officials, the goals of the project remain the same, which is to maximize the economic potential of an underutilized section of prime waterfront real estate — much of which was literally a dump — that will attract commercial investors while preserving its environmental and historical character.

Any new development must also be resilient to future storm events, according to the redevelopment documents. Other components of the plan require that the project:

A pedestrian bridge over Compton Creek and possibly the replacement of the Main Street bridge is also on the drawing board, according to the plans.

The county government’s involvement is in its regulatory oversight of a planned solar farm and the promised property tax relief that is to benefit all Monmouth County taxpayers and in what Arnone described as “a very large parking garage” — four decks in size for commuters and visitors alike — which the county government is responsible for funding.

Middletown Township Administrator Anthony P. Mercantante said the old landfill sites in the neighborhood would be subleased by the municipal government for a solar farm.

Last month, the Township Committee announced it was entering into an agreement for 151 acres to be used by an entity operating under the name Port Belford Solar Farm LLC, a company owned by CEP Renewables. The parent power company has built solar farms in South Brunswick, Old Bridge and Mount Olive, as well as other sites in New Jersey and around the world.

In actuality, the 20-megawatt solar plant would cover about 42 acres of ground over the former landfill, according to plans submitted with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. The company will pay $750,000 per year to lease the Belford site. The county will permit the land to be used for the solar farm for 20 years with a return expected of about $15 million in property tax relief.

Mercantante said the project is still a number of years away before anyone starts to see major construction underway — think late 2020s — given its scale. There are design issues that still must be worked out and any number of environmental permits from any number of multiple state agencies, he said.

Nevertheless, it’s starting to come together, he said.

“We are very, very excited,” the mayor said.

Contact Asbury Park Press reporter Erik Larsen at [email protected].

All The December Events For Kids And Teens At Middletown Library

Free and fun library programs for children and teens this December. What's planned:MIDDLETOWN, NJ — Take a breather from the busy holiday season at the Middletown Public Library in December with free and fun library programs for children and teens. What's planned:STEM Session with Mrs. McChem – December 5 at 4:15 pm: Come and learn about STEM through hands-on projects with Mrs. McChem. Best suited for students in grades 3-5. Registration is required at ...

Free and fun library programs for children and teens this December. What's planned:

MIDDLETOWN, NJ — Take a breather from the busy holiday season at the Middletown Public Library in December with free and fun library programs for children and teens. What's planned:

STEM Session with Mrs. McChem – December 5 at 4:15 pm: Come and learn about STEM through hands-on projects with Mrs. McChem. Best suited for students in grades 3-5. Registration is required at

Cards for a Cause – December 6 at 4:00-7:00 pm: Teens in need of volunteer hours can drop in to make winter greeting cards for seniors in Middletown. Volunteer hours offered for each card.

Eyes of the Wild – December 6 at 4:00 pm & 3:00 pm (session for special needs friends): Meet another fascinating group of animals at this popular program for ages 3 and up. Please register at as space is limited. Please register at

Multigenerational Ornament Making – December 7 at 3:30 pm & 5:00 pm (for special needs friends): Come to the community room and create an ornament to keep or to give as a gift! Please visit the library calendar to sign up, as space and supplies are limited!

Find out what's happening in Middletownwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Mask Making & Storytelling for Tweens – December 8 at 3:00 pm: Decorate a masquerade mask and create a story based on your character at this creative tween program. Registration is required at

Bedtime Stories & Stickers – December 13 at 6:30pm: A gentle program for the “winding down” part of the day. We’ll share calming stories and create a sticker craft. Pajamas welcome. Please register at

Read to a Dog – December 14 from 4:00-5:00 pm & December 18 from 6:00-7:00 pm: Stop by the library to improve literacy skills by reading aloud to a non-judgmental therapy dog! Registration is required at

“Twilight” Teen Movie Night” – December 27 at 7:00pm: Relax, drink hot chocolate and enjoy a screening of Twilight! Please register at

New Year Bracelets for Teens – December 28 at 2:00 pm. Please register at

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More from Middletown

See Wag's 'Christmas Spectacular' Dec. 16 At Middletown Arts Center

MIDDLETOWN, NJ — Come see The Wag's "Christmas Spectacular" show Dec. 16 at the Middletown Arts Center.7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Middletown Arts Center, 36 Church Street, Middletown, NJ – This is a benefit show for the Monm...

MIDDLETOWN, NJ — Come see The Wag's "Christmas Spectacular" show Dec. 16 at the Middletown Arts Center.

7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Middletown Arts Center, 36 Church Street, Middletown, NJ – This is a benefit show for the Monmouth County SPCA Ticket link:

There's nothing like a good old-fashioned holiday special, and The Wag's "Christmas Spectacular" is just that. Steeped in the traditions of holiday TV shows of the past, The Wag brings back the memories of these specials while putting their own unique stamp on them.

Their show has all the holiday songs you know and love, plus dance numbers, costume changes and comedy sketches, along with some fun surprises, including a few original Christmas/holiday songs. The Wag’s sense of humor and their homemade props and costumes are worth the price of admission alone.

The show also features a running theme of "Christmas Around the World." There will be holiday songs and sketches from Ireland, Germany, Spain and more. The Wag's "Christmas Spectacular" is sure to please the entire family. For more information, visit

Other showtimes:

7 p.m. Dec. 9 at The Strand Theater, 400 Clifton Ave, Lakewood, NJ

Ticket link:

7 p.m. Dec. 23 at The Landis Theater, 830 E. Landis Ave, Vineland, NJ – Toys for Tots collection at the show Ticket link:

All The December Events In Monmouth County Parks

MIDDLETOWN, NJ — Brrrr! The weather outside may (sometimes) be frightful, but the Monmouth County Parks System has so many events planned to keep December cozy and delightful for you and your family:Winter Beach WalkFridays, December 1 & 15 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, ManasquanTake a guided walk with a Park System Naturalist along the beach collecting and identifying some of the ocean’s natural treasures. Make sure you dress in warm clo...

MIDDLETOWN, NJ — Brrrr! The weather outside may (sometimes) be frightful, but the Monmouth County Parks System has so many events planned to keep December cozy and delightful for you and your family:

Winter Beach Walk

Fridays, December 1 & 15 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan

Take a guided walk with a Park System Naturalist along the beach collecting and identifying some of the ocean’s natural treasures. Make sure you dress in warm clothing and bring along something to carry shells. FREE!

The Creative Arts Center Exhibit & Sale

Open December 2 through December 8, from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. all days.

Thompson Park Creative Arts Center, Lincroft

Celebrate the original artwork of the Creative Arts Center’s students and instructors during this show and sale. Admission and parking are free.

Casual Birder

Tuesday, December 5 at 9 a.m.

Fisherman's Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan

Join a Park System Naturalist for this laid-back morning bird walk and meander through the park for about an hour and a half to see what birds we can find. No need to be an expert at identifying birds to enjoy. A limited number of binoculars will be available to borrow if needed. FREE!

Cookstove Demonstration

Saturday, December 9 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

See what's cooking on the woodstove and discover how recipes, cooking techniques and kitchens have changed since the 1890s. FREE!

The Sounds of Christmas

Sunday, December 10 from 1-3 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

Celebrate the holidays by enjoying wistful music as Larry Moser and Mary Nagin play Christmas carols on the hammered dulcimer and fiddle. FREE!

Scene Showcase

Friday, December 15 at 7 p.m.

Freneau Woods Park Visitor Center, Aberdeen

Enjoy an evening of live theater during our Scene Showcase. Admission is free.

Nature Lecture: Snowy Owls of Monmouth County

Saturday, December 16 from 3-4 p.m.

Freneau Woods Park Visitor Center, Aberdeen

Find out where these owls come from, where they go, what they eat, and why they are so fascinating. FREE!

Story Time at Walnford

Sunday, December 17 from 11-11:45 a.m.

Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

Join us as we read a story in front of the hearth in the Waln House. Children are welcome to bring a snack and a mat, blanket or towel to sit on. Open to grades pre-K to second. FREE!

Under the Winter Stars

Sunday, December 17 from 7-8 p.m.

Dorbrook Recreation Area, Colts Neck - Use the soccer field parking lot.

Join our guide and look for key objects and constellations in the night sky. Bring a camp chair to rest on as we star search and a flashlight to light your way in the dark. Program may be cancelled due to overcast skies or inclement weather. Open to all ages; under 18 with adult. FREE!

To learn more about these Park System activities, please visit or call the Park System at 732-842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the Park System TTY/TDD number is 711. The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks, and Recreation agency.

Why Middletown Is Hesitant To Let Homeschool Kids Play Sports

Here is a summary of a meeting that was held last Thursday between the school district and Middletown homeschool parents:|Updated Tue, Oct 24, 2023 at 6:55 pm ETMIDDLETOWN, NJ — Last Thursday, Middletown school board vice president Jacqueline Tobacco met with homeschool parents who are asking the district to let their kids join school sports teams and clubs.The me...

Here is a summary of a meeting that was held last Thursday between the school district and Middletown homeschool parents:

|Updated Tue, Oct 24, 2023 at 6:55 pm ET

MIDDLETOWN, NJ — Last Thursday, Middletown school board vice president Jacqueline Tobacco met with homeschool parents who are asking the district to let their kids join school sports teams and clubs.

The meeting was attended by Tobacco, Gary Tulp, Frank Capone and Kate Farley, all BOE members who sit on the policy committee; Tobacco chairs that committee. It was also attended by acting Middletown schools superintendent Jessica Alfone, the district's two assistant superintendents, Patrick Rinella and Matt Kirkpatrick, plus several homeschool parents.

The meeting lasted for just over two hours, from 10 a.m. to shortly after noon.

Now on Monday, Tobacco discloses to the Middletown public what was said — and read to the very bottom for a response from one of the most outspoken homeschool parents making this request.

"The situation is not just do we want to be nice and let those kids play or not, which I think is how it's been portrayed," said Tobacco. "It's not as simple as should the board make an emotional decision and let the children play. If it was simply an emotional decision, we all of course would say let the children play."

Find out what's happening in Middletownwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

First, it is not just homeschool kids. Tobacco said there are actually three distinct groups of students who seek to join Middletown public school sports teams:

Tobacco said she "honestly does not know" how many students in total want to play Middletown sports/clubs.

"But it is not just those three groups. If we allow people who pay tuition to private school to come join our sports teams, does that extend to CBA students who now want to play on our football teams?" she asked, referring to the fact that Christian Brothers Academy, a respected local Catholic school, does not have a football program.

"Or what about kids who are at St. Mary's and want to join our band?"

No benchmarks for homeschoolers

Secondly, Tobacco said there are no benchmarks to evaluate if homeschool or virtual kids are eligible to play sports.

"There is criteria we have to enforce for our student-athletes that we would never be able to enforce with homeschoolers," she said. "For example, student-athletes cannot be failing a class; they have to hand in homework. It is difficult to enforce that with homeschool kids. Public school standards are never the same as homeschool standards of learning. Would we have two sets of rules for two sets of children — how would that work?"

Added to that are issues with HIB (harassment, intimidation, bullying) reports or other clashes students have with each other.

"As a school district, we have to investigate every HIB complaint, every instance of kids fighting. We could never investigate those complaints or enforce that code of conduct with homeschoolers."

Third, yes the Holmdel school district does allow homeschoolers to play sports, but that is only in the K-8th level, said Tobacco. Holmdel High School does not permit it. Brick Township does, but Wall Twp. recently reversed their policy and no longer allows it, because they had an issue with homeschool kids playing on their sports teams who did not live in Wall, she said.

Only four high schools in the Shore Conference allow homeschoolers to play, and they are all very small districts such as Barnegat, Tobacco said Rinella told the group.

Finally, one Middletown mother did tell the Board she is against this idea because, as Tobacco paraphrased it: "What if a homeschool child is very good at gymnastics and devotes four hours each day to practicing gymnastics. And then she has to try out against her daughter who is in public school from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and now she lost her spot on the team — when she is the one representing the school district."

"It really is very complex and a lot of these things are issues the administration has been bringing to us," she said. "We still have a lot of consider and a lot of work to do."

In summary, Tobacco said the policy committee will meet again before the next November school board meeting (Nov. 20) and discuss the issue again. Homeschool parents will not be invited to that next meeting.

Superintendent Alfone gave the following statement to Patch Monday:

"As an administration, we are examining the practical implications of homeschool student participation in co-curricular activities and athletics and the challenges that we would encounter from this shift," she said. "The most notable among these challenges is the determination of eligibility to participate. Students who are enrolled in our district are held to a consistent standard for academics and conduct that serve as a barometer for eligibility. Because of the autonomy involved in homeschooling, we would not be able to hold homeschool students to the same academic and conduct standards of those enrolled in district. Therefore, there would always be some degree of inequity in the determination of eligibility."

Tobacco stressed the district is "looking for solutions."

Homeschool mom responds

Belinda Rooney is one of the homeschool moms who has been petitioning the district to let her sons join sports and clubs.

"I am surprised they disclosed all of this after asking us to be patient as we waited for their response," she said Monday evening, in response to Tobacco's comments. "I can go line by line and respond to each point they made with a different perspective (as we did during our Oct. 19 meeting), but their input shows they ultimately do not want our homeschooled children to be included in school sports and clubs. I believe the Board of Ed. members are elected officials in our community that should seek the best interests of all students in the district, not just those enrolled in public schools. Until we get more Board members who feel that way, nothing will change."

Prior on this topic: Middletown Homeschoolers Meet With BOE Thursday On Sports Team Request (Oct. 18)

Middletown Home School Parents: Let Our Kids Play School Sports (Aug. 31)

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