Dear Readers: Did you know that by age 65, one in three Americans has some form of vision-impairing eye disease -- and no, poor vision is not a normal part of the aging process. This is why I want to tell you about a campaign for seniors called "Don't Lose Sight of Your Independence," which runs through Sept. 4. This national health campaign is intended to remind the senior community about the value of eyesight by offering an eye exam and up to one year of treatment at no out-of-pocket cost.
EyeCare America's Seniors EyeCare Program is designed for any U.S. citizen or legal resident who is 65 or older and has not seen an ophthalmologist (a medical eye doctor) in three or more years.
Call (800) 222-EYES (3937) to see if you, a loved one or a friend is eligible to receive a referral to one of the 7,500 volunteer ophthalmologists across the country for an eye exam and care. This Seniors EyeCare Program help line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round, so don't hesitate to call. And you can visit www.eyecareamerica.org for more "in-sight" on this wonderful program. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have an excellent suggestion for people who carry credit/debit cards in their wallet. To save a lot of headaches if your wallet or purse is ever lost or stolen, make a list of all the card numbers and keep it at home in a safe place. If the need arises, it will be easier to cancel those accounts when you have the numbers all listed. Janis P., Campbellford, Ontario, Canada
You can also make a copy of both the front and back of each card, since most credit/debit cards have a toll-free number to contact in case of loss or theft. Keep these copies in a secure place, and hopefully you will never need them. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I was reading a recent column and had another idea of something to put in a condolence basket: a phone calling card.
Last summer, my best friend's (who lives in Georgia) mother passed away. I sent her a 1,000-minute calling card, and she told me how much it helped to call her mother's family, who lived in another state. Kelly, Rosemount, Minn.
Dear Heloise: As my relatives have aged, I have found it extremely effective to always clearly call someone's name before speaking, to ensure that I have his or her attention first. What likely has been considered a hearing problem or diminished capacity in older folks is actually the fact that they're often absorbed in their own thinking and are not initially responsive when thus engaged. Addressing someone by name first, to assure that he or she is listening, invariably will prevent unnecessary frustration and concern. J. Reynolds, Houston
Dear Heloise: When I give a wedding gift or any shower gift, I write what I gave and my address on the back of the gift card. Address labels are best for this. Amelia Brown, Marvell, Ark.
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate