Dear Readers: Today's SOUND OFF is about age discrimination. - Heloise

"Dear Heloise: I retired last year from a job I held for over 25 years. I'm in excellent health, and I want to work part time. Before I retired, I was a district manager and well-respected in my field. My resume was done professionally and mentions the awards and achievements of my career. The problem is, no one seems to want to hire people my age. "I'm not alone, because I've heard the same thing from other retirees who want to put in an honest day's work but can't get hired. We'll work for the money that's offered; we'll show up on time and do the job. We have so much experience and numerous skills, but age discrimination is our biggest problem. Employers should really take a second look at retirees and give us a chance to show how loyal, trustworthy and reliable a senior employee can be when given the opportunity."

- Roger H., South Bend, Ind.


Dear Readers: For those who receive a daily paper, here are some suggestions for the plastic sleeves that go over the newspaper:

• Use as an umbrella cover for storage.

• Decorative outdoor banners can be stored in them.

• Slip over golf clubs for storing.

- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Improving your health is as easy as brushing and flossing your teeth, or so says my dentist. Is this really true?

- Alicia V., Lincoln, N.D.

Alicia, yes, it's true. Research has found a link between oral care and overall health. Bacteria will in time build up in the mouth, making the gums susceptible to infection. Before long, the infection becomes gum disease, which affects the whole body. Your dentist can tell you more in detail. Readers, I strongly suggest making an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning and X-rays to ensure you stay as healthy as possible. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: My daughter-in-law was given a medication for my grandson, and the nurse told her to give him 1 teaspoonful at bedtime. It's even written on the bottle's label. The following day, I noticed half the bottle was gone! My daughter-in-law had inadvertently overdosed my grandson, apparently believing that if a little is good, more is even better. Please tell your readers that it's crucial to read the prescription label, listen to the doctor's instructions and follow them to the letter. My grandson suffered no long-lasting harm, but not all children will be as lucky as he was. - Y. in Texas


Dear Heloise: How can I get my husband to remember me on Valentine's Day? He says it's a made-up celebration so shopkeepers can make money. He doesn't even give me a card. - Poppy in Washington

Poppy, it's time for a sit-down with your husband to let him know it hurts your feelings when he ignores you on Valentine's Day. Your husband will make points with you if he remembers to buy you a box of candy or flowers, or does some thoughtful gesture. - Heloise

Save energy and money

Dear Readers: Are you interested in learning more about SAVING ENERGY AND MONEY while keeping your home comfortable, well-lit and insulated? The answer may be as close as your utility company. It may offer a special customer service exhibition, with experts, dioramas, videos and other displays to educate and inform you and your family on the newest technologies and practices in the industry, such as LED lighting and discounted weatherization programs. Check out your utility's website, or call for more information.

- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I received a lovely leather handbag for Christmas, and in the packaging was a care tag. Here are some of the hints:

• Leather items should be kept away from water, grease, natural (sun) and artificial light, heat, humidity and cosmetics, including alcohol-laden perfumes.

• Carrying too many items inside the bag is not recommended; this can misshape the bag.

• A leather conditioner should be used regularly to keep the bag malleable, soft and strong.

• Dark fabrics, like denim jeans, can transfer their ink onto light-colored bags.

• When not in use, pack the bag fully but loosely with tissue paper, and store it in its dust bag. These bags can cost a pretty penny, but proper care can prolong their life.

- Julie W. in Dallas


Dear Readers: Be aware: If you are using your vehicle in a ride-share program to earn extra money, you will need to make adjustments to your auto insurance. It may be called gap coverage or extended coverage - call your insurance provider for more information.

- Heloise