Not rude to protect your children’s health

My twin girls were born 10 weeks premature. They are now 7 months old, so we are getting out more. I understand that people want to coo at babies, and my girls always respond with beautiful smiles.

Dear Annie: My twin girls were born 10 weeks premature.

They are now 7 months old, so we are getting out more.

I understand that people want to coo at babies, and my girls always respond with beautiful smiles.

However, touching a baby’s hands can transmit illnesses, as babies frequently put their hands in their mouths.

This has happened in church, groceries and doctors’ offices.

I don’t want to be rude and ask well-meaning strangers not to touch my daughters, but I also do not want them to get sick.

A minor illness to an adult could be life-threatening to a preemie. Please tell your readers that we are happy to stop and chat, but touching any baby should be avoided. — Proud Mom in Lincoln, Ill.

Dear Mom: It is not rude to protect your children, and it can be done politely. Simply say with a smile, “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t touch the twins. They are prone to illness. Thanks so much for understanding.” You also can keep a hand sanitizer nearby.

Dear Annie: My 95-year-old father, “Fred,” lives on his own, far away from his three children.

Until now, Dad has been in good health, even still driving.

My siblings and I have been trying to convince Dad to move near one of us so we can care for him, but he refuses.

Dad has a girlfriend, “Gina,” whom he met right after Mom died seven years ago. Gina is 20 years younger than Dad.

At first, it was companionship that kept them together, but recently, Gina is more of a caregiver.

Dad is increasingly dependent on this woman and seems unable to make a decision without consulting her first. (They do not live together.)

We see Dad’s health deteriorating, both mentally and physically, and don’t think he is getting the basic care he needs. How do we get him to give up Gina and come live with one of us?

Are we doing the right thing to even ask it of him? We just worry we aren’t doing our best for our father. What do you think?— Confused Daughter

Dear Confused: We think you are caring children who want what’s best for your father, but it can be traumatizing and frightening to move to a new city, especially at the age of 95.

Dad has been with Gina for seven years and is undoubtedly quite attached to her. She is trying to care for him, but this is a big job.

Making these decisions and knowing when Dad is no longer capable of doing so on his own may require professional assistance.

We suggest you pay an in-person visit to Dad as soon as possible and assess the situation.

Does he need a housekeeper? A full-time caregiver?

If he cannot afford in-home services, could you move him to a continuing care facility near Gina? Are there day-care facilities nearby?

Would Dad visit you for an extended stay, perhaps becoming familiar with your neighborhood and less resistant to relocating?

Contact the Eldercare Locator (eldercare.gov) at 1-800-677-1116 or a private geriatric care manager (caremanager.org) to help you figure out the best plan for Dad.

Dear Annie: My former husband and I did not have sex. I was trim, fit and attractive.

He lost interest despite my efforts to involve him, including counseling. I finally decided life was too short, and we divorced.

My second husband and I had a wonderful sex life until he died. I am now on the “post” side of menopause, and I still want sex.

To the women who avoid sex with their husbands, do them a favor and let them go.

You want a roommate, and he wants a life partner. — Still Like Sex

Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Marcus Golczyk, with Taco Monster, hands food to a customer during Food Truck Drive and Dash in the Westerner Park parking lot in Red Deer Friday afternoon. The drive-thru event will run every Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through June. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff
Food Truck Fridays, Food Truck Drive and Dash return in Red Deer

Red Deerians are able to take in a drive-thru food truck experience… Continue reading

Don and Gloria Moore, of Red Deer, are set to celebrate their 70th anniversary later this month. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer couple to celebrate 70th anniversary

Red Deer couple Don and Gloria Moore are set to celebrate their… Continue reading

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
UPDATE: Central Alberta cafe owner arrested after anti-restriction protest

The owner of a central Alberta cafe, which was the site of… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer now has 911 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault chairs a premiers virtual news conference as premiers John Horgan, B.C., Jason Kenney, Alberta, and Scott Moe, Saskatchewan, are seen onscreen, Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Several provinces bring in new restrictions as high COVID-19 case numbers persist

Several provinces are gearing up to tighten public health measures once again… Continue reading

Members of the RCAF take part in a Royal Canadian Air Force change of command ceremony in Ottawa on Friday, May 4, 2018. The Royal Canadian Air Force is hoping Canada will open its doors to military pilots from other countries as it seeks to address a longstanding shortage of experienced aviators. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
RCAF turns to foreign pilots to help with shortage as commercial aviators stay away

OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Air Force is hoping Canada will open… Continue reading

An arrivals and departures information screen is seen at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Halifax on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The chief executive of Atlantic Canada's largest airport is hoping for COVID-19 testing for arriving passengers "sooner rather than later," as an added measure to combat the province's third wave of the virus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Halifax airport CEO hopes for more on-site COVID testing ‘sooner rather than later’

HALIFAX — The chief executive of Atlantic Canada’s largest airport is hoping… Continue reading

Shoppers wear mask as they shop at a nursery & garden shop on Mother's Day weekend during COVID-19 pandemic in Wilmette, Ill., Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Tearful reunions mark second Mother’s Day under pandemic

Last Mother’s Day, they celebrated with bacon and eggs over FaceTime. This… Continue reading

Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet, standing, watches the game during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. The Wild won 5-2. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Tocchet won’t return as coach of Coyotes after 4 seasons

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes and coach Rick Tocchet have mutually… Continue reading

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella shouts at an official after a fight between Columbus Blue Jackets' s Gavin Bayreuther and Florida Panthers' Sam Bennett during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, April 19, 2021, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Tortorella out after 6 years as Columbus Blue Jackets coach

COLUMBUS, Ohio — John Tortorella is out as coach of the Columbus… Continue reading

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada's vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel's approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

JASPER, Alta. — A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing… Continue reading

The smouldering remains of houses in Slave Lake, Alta., are seen in a May 16, 2011, file photo. The wildfire that is devastating large swaths of the northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray comes just five years after another blaze destroyed 400 buildings and left 2,000 people homeless in Slave Lake, Alberta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Jackson
Ten years later: Five things to know about the Slave Lake wildfire

A wildfire burned about one-third of Slave Lake in northern Alberta in… Continue reading

Most Read