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Dear Abby: Unwelcome questions on girl’s clubfeet

Dear Abby: My beautiful 6-year-old granddaughter has clubfeet. Although she had several surgeries, her ongoing treatment requires her to wear her shoes on the opposite feet.

Every time we go out somewhere, well-intentioned people seem compelled to let us know she has her shoes on “wrong.” Have you any suggestions about what we could say to these people without getting too personal?

– Granny in Pennsylvania

Dear Granny: Assume that the people mean well and reply, “We’re aware of that, thank you.” Period.

Life with sis who’s a lazy slob

Dear Abby: My sister moved in with me after my husband died. I thought that it would be good for both of us and that we could go places together and share household chores. At the time, we were both working.

When I discovered she would sleep all day on our days off and didn’t help with the housework, I was very disappointed. She would clean her room only when I got upset with her. Now she does almost nothing. She won’t clean her room, and she sleeps for months without changing her sheets. I am sickened by the smell of her and her room. She hasn’t showered or brushed her teeth in almost two weeks, and it doesn’t look as if she’s in any hurry to do so.

I have begged, threatened and shamed, but nothing works. Help!

– Want My Clean House Back

Dear Want: Changes in behavior such as those you describe should not be ignored. Was your sister always like this? If not, she needs to be examined by a doctor to determine whether she’s mentally ill. She should also be seen by a dentist if her oral hygiene is as poor as you say – while she still has teeth.

The living arrangement you have doesn’t seem healthy for either of you. Before this goes any further, consult an attorney. You may need help in getting your sister out or in finding other safe living arrangements for her if she’s unable or unwilling to do so for herself.