Medicare now covers conversations about end-of-life care

submitted by E. Garrett Gummer, III, Esquire, and Maureen L. Anderson, Esquire, www.GummerElderLaw.com

Did you know that 40% of people over age 65 have not written down their wishes regarding life support and other end-of-life treatment? One reason for this may be that people have not had a conversation with their doctor about the options that are available.

In the past, Medicare did not cover these doctor-patient conversations – except during the patient’s initial “Welcome to Medicare” visit, a time when the topic might not seem very relevant. Under new regulations, however, Medicare will cover these conversations at any time.

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The reality of a dream home

submitted by Lynne Kelleher, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

Everyone has their idea of a “dream” home. The problem occurs when it has no basis in reality. Budget constraints, differing priorities, limited inventory and unrealistic expectations can all influence the home buying experience.

While buying a new home is never without its stressors, there ARE steps you can take to make sure your experience is as fun as it should be.

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Consider ‘fast food dentistry’ as a viable option

submitted by Dr. Michael Spadafora, D.D.S., Bucks County Dental Design

Good dentistry can be likened to fine dining. Just like a meal in a fine restaurant is prepared specifically for the individual, allowing time to prepare with great attention to detail and service, so also is good comprehensive dentistry. There are times, however, where an individual might need, or want, that fast food burger and fries.

In the world of dentistry, the same concept exists. Sometimes fast food is just right. When a patient is approaching a big event, he may decide that he would like to improve his smile – without investing a lot of time or money. The dentist can work with the patient to determine the cosmetic issues and offer some suggestions that fit the time and money criterion.

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How dentists help you maintain healthy gums

submitted by Dr. Michael Spadafora, D.D.S., Bucks County Dental Design

The goal of good and ethical dentists should be to help their patients maintain healthy teeth for a lifetime. Because teeth are attached to the gums, it is necessary to maintain healthy gums in order to hold on to those teeth.

The dentist has many procedures and tools at his disposal to aid in achieving this goal. One of them, gum grafting, has proven to be very successful. Gum grafts are routinely performed by specialists (periodontists) and also general dentists who have taken advanced training. Several issues indicate that a gum graft may be in order.

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Low inventory and high demand of homes in Bucks County

submitted by Lynne Kelleher, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

The trend in our local Bucks County market of low inventory and high demand is continuing. The gap between ready, willing and able buyers and available homes to sell them is continuing to widen.

In many cases where homes are priced properly and in good condition, we’re consistently seeing multiple-offer situations, buyers paying above appraised value and/or asking price, and homes selling in less than 10 days in our local market.

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Tongue-tied? Maybe you need a frenectomy

submitted by Dr. Michael Spadafora, D.D.S., Bucks County Dental Design

Occasionally a patient will show up at the dental office needing a frenectomy. This procedure is not a cause for alarm, but a fairly simple solution to a potentially troublesome condition.

A frenectomy is the removal (surgically with a scalpel or with a laser) of a frenum in the mouth. The lingual frenum connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth while the maxillary labial frenum connects the inside of the upper lip to the gums, just above the upper two front teeth.

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How do you know when it is time to take down a tree?

submitted by Joe McIlvaine, owner, Joe McIlvaine Tree & Lawn Service, Inc.

As spring arrives and the yard work begins, questions may arise about the health and status of the trees on your property. They could be getting taller than you thought they would or look like they have seen better days. Now the question arises, “Do I take it down?”

This can be a tough question for those who cherish their trees and the many benefits they bring. In these cases, it is beneficial to contact an ISA Certified Arborist to help with your decision.

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Top eight list of showing “DON’TS” for home sellers

submitted by Lynne Kelleher, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

  1. Don’t follow buyers through the house and try to “sell” them on all its wonderful features – get outta Dodge!
  2. Don’t leave out your bowling trophies, stuffed dead animals or plastic encased doll collection complete w/ certificates of authenticity. The goal is for prospective buyers to look at your space, not your stuff.
  3. Don’t dismiss the importance of Staging – it’s a critical step in a successful home sale.
  4. Don’t dismiss the importance of a deep clean – both inside and out. It is probably the single most important factor when showing your home.
  5. Don’t think that just because you can no longer smell it, your house doesn’t stink! Ask a good friend to come over for a “smell test” as unpleasant odors are a deal killer.
  6. Don’t keep up your wedding picture with the bad hair from the 70’s – or worse yet, the glamour shot with the provocative draping on the fake bear rug that hangs in your bedroom.
  7. Don’t make it difficult to show your home! When you refuse a showing and ask that they come at a different time, it often isn’t possible to re-route the entire itinerary, and you’ll be taken off the list.
  8. Don’t think a “lived in” look is going to cut it. Piles of dirty laundry, globs of toothpaste stuck in the sink, toilet seats in the up position and unmade beds are unacceptable.
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Tips on buying and selling a house in today’s market

submitted by Lynne Kelleher, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

The housing market has continued its recovery and continues to be one of the strongest sectors in the US economy, with 2015 sales up 6.5% – the best year in nearly a decade. Bucks County outpaced the national average and saw the number of settled units rise 14.74%. Northampton Township wasn’t far behind at 14.4%. While home prices rose 6.5% nationally, the local markets didn’t keep pace, with the average sale price in Bucks County rising 1.49% and Northampton Township’s at +3.2%.

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Seniors and the condition of ‘dry mouth’

submitted by Dr. Michael Spadafora, D.D.S., Bucks County Dental Design

Caring for elderly patients in the dental office can be challenging, but also extremely gratifying. It is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to see a patient age while maintaining healthy teeth and gums. This is rarely achieved without truly focusing on oral health.

One major problem that senior citizens can encounter is the condition of Xerostomia, or dry mouth. While the name sounds frightening, the actual effects on the mouth can range from a nuisance to serious.

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