Dear Readers: Today’s sound off is about the lack of nurses in hospitals.

"Dear Heloise: I was a patient in a hospital recently and was appalled by the lack of nurses on staff. My nurse greeted me and told me to call her on my cellphone if I needed anything, then gave me her number and left. What if I had fallen out of bed, couldn't get up and needed help or possibly had a stroke after surgery and couldn't talk?

"Hospitals charge a hefty amount of money for patient care, but I don't think we're getting the care we need. It's not that nurses aren't trained properly, there just are far too many patients for the limited number of nurses available.

"There was a time when American medicine was the best in the world. But is it still? I have every reason to believe it's gone downhill."

Henry P. in Atlanta

Dear Readers: Here are some storage options for tiny items like beads, sequins, snaps, etc.:

● Empty pill bottles.

● Foam egg cartons.

● A compartment organizer for earrings.

● Fishing tackle box.

Dear Heloise: Want more juice from a lemon or lime? Cut the fruit in half, then cut off the bottom end and place in a citrus squeezer.

Helen B., Sitka, Alaska

Dear Heloise: I put my outdoor flag in my washing machine to clean it, and instead it was ruined. It shrank, and a little of the red color in the stripes bled into the white stripes. How should I have cleaned it?

Kay D., Columbus, Mo.

Kay: Try to limit your flag’s exposure to the elements, such as snow, rain and wind. Wash by hand with warm water and a mild soap. Thoroughly rinse, and if storing, make sure it is completely dry. Inspect your flag often. If it becomes too badly damaged to be flown, dispose of it properly. Check with the Veterans of Foreign Wars or any veterans organization on how to properly dispose of an old flag.

Dear Heloise: There are a couple of old scams that your readers should be aware of and take measures to protect themselves. The "Can you hear me?" stunt is being used again. A caller assures the listener that this is not a sales call and will ask, "Can you hear me?" Do not answer. Hang up. They wait to hear you say "yes" and use your voice to okay credit cards and other purchases. The second scam is to tell you that your Microsoft license has expired. The caller will say to send a certain amount of money or give a credit card number and all will be well. This is a scam, and you should ignore it. Don't speak; just hang up on them.

Walter D., Amherst, Mass.

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

2019, King Features Syndicate