Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off concerns the high cost of health care for seniors:

“Dear Heloise: The cost of everything has gone up, but for people like me on Social Security, a trip to the dentist is becoming unaffordable. Not only do I not go anymore, but I have the responsibility of a brother with Asperger’s. His last exam, X-ray and cleaning was close to $300. My brother receives a very small Social Security check, which doesn’t even cover his food and clothes. I take care of many of his financial needs, but I’m a senior citizen with low income and diagnosed with cancer.”

- Anonymous Reader in Indiana


Good dental health is essential to everyone, especially the elderly. There are websites that can help. If you don’t have a computer, ask a neighbor, friend or relative to assist you. You also can call a dental school to see if it can do routine cleaning, X-rays and fill cavities. is a good place to start looking for dental help, and you also can try

- Heloise

Fast Facts

Dear Readers: Here are some new uses for old books:

- Cut out words to use in making sentences - a game for children and adults.

- Cut out pictures and paste in a blank book to make up your own story. A great exercise for children.

- Laminate a storybook page and use it as a place mat for a child.

- Heloise


Knotty thread

Dear Heloise: Do you ever get frustrated with long thread that twists and knots up when you are trying to sew with needle and thread?

To eliminate this annoyance, my grandmother would “wax” the thread before threading the needle. She took an old candle and laid the thread on it, put her thumb on top of the thread and pulled the thread through the wax once or twice to coat the thread with wax.

To thread the needle, she would “wet” the eye of the needle so the thread was easier to slide through.

- Georgia G., Omaha, Neb.


Waldorf salad?

Dear Readers: The original Waldorf salad was created for New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel in 1893. It consisted of chopped apples and celery mixed with a mayonnaise dressing. The Heloise version we ran recently is just one of hundreds of variations out there. In the past few years, some folks have been using unflavored Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. No matter what you like, or how you like to alter the ingredients, enjoy your version of the Waldorf salad.

- Heloise


Lint trap danger

Dear Heloise: I saw your recent hint about dryer fires. My daughter-in-law kept forgetting to clean the lint trap in her dryer, and it caused over $50,000 worth of damage in the house. Yes, some of the possessions are replaceable, but it was a terrifying experience and a lesson learned the hard way.

- Rosa Ann in Wyoming

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