Dear Heloise: My husband and I were so excited about our trip to New Zealand that we POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA a lot of information about when we'd leave and return, and promised to post pictures of our trip.
While we were gone, we were robbed. Burglars broke into the house and took our computers, jewelry, golf clubs, appliances and more. They managed to disengage the alarm system to get inside. Stealing wasn't enough for them. They broke mirrors, sprayed obscenities on our walls and slashed open all the sofa pillows. The damage and theft ran into thousands of dollars. A word to the wise from the police: Never, never post travel information on any social media until AFTER you return, and maybe not even then. -- Henry and Evelyn B. in Indiana
SEND A GREAT HINT TO:
P.O. Box 795001
San Antonio, TX 78279-5001
IT'S ALWAYS LISTENING
Dear Heloise: We have a digital assistant, which is a voice-directed device. Once you activate this device with your wake-up word, remember that it's always listening. (It has to in order to function.) When you talk, it sends data into the cloud, where it could possibly be hacked. Yes, there are privacy settings, including turning off the microphone, which defeats the purpose of having one. -- Jason D., Amherst, Ohio
HOSPICE VS. PALLIATIVE CARE
Dear Heloise: What is the difference between hospice and palliative care? Or is there any difference? -- Nanette B., Hammond, La.
Hospice care is generally provided for patients at the end of their lives, or when doctors believe a patient has six months or less to live and if the illness has run its natural course.
Palliative care involves a team of medical personnel who will work closely with the patient's doctor to help come up with a special plan to provide relief from the symptoms of a severe illness, regardless of the diagnosis. Palliative care can start with the first diagnosis or late in the diagnosis. Hospice and palliative care are often confused because medical care organizations usually offer both. -- Heloise
THREE MAJOR LESSONS
Dear Heloise: I've made three major discoveries in my life over the span of a 22-year marriage:
Life will never go according to plan. No matter how carefully you set down your goals and plans, things will come up out of the blue that you never expected. Learn to roll with it.
A partner/spouse should act like a partner. This may not always be 50/50, but no matter what, you should not do it all. A healthy relationship works best on a give-and-take basis.
You're not unusual -- no one has it all figured out, and no one has a perfect life.
-- Mia G., Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Dear Heloise: I keep a wet, neatly folded paper towel in a pill bottle in my purse and use it to wipe off my hands, then I toss it in the trash. -- Sadie L., Griffin, Ga.