How can I tell my mum I think she has cataracts?

Dear Janice, I think my mum might have cataracts, but she refuses to get her eyes tested.

She insists her eyesight is fine, but I have noticed small subtle changes in the things she does.

For instance, she helps me clean now and then, and let’s just say her standard of cleaning is not what it used to be.

She has gone out recently dressed in clothes which have small stains on them which she hasn’t even noticed. She would never have done that previously.

Health wise she is in great shape for a lady her age so there is no worry there but, because I can see her eyesight is failing, I worry that she puts herself in danger whilst out on her own.

What do you advise? Karen.

Dear Karen, our senses begin to fade as we get older, some more rapidly than others.

Ironically, rapid deterioration often results in us tackling the issue, but when it is gradual the failings in our hearing, sense of smell and our sight for example, tend to go unnoticed because we adapt (or think we do) to the small changes, and suddenly we have a problem.

It’s partly a generational thing, in your mum’s day that generation didn’t have the option of regular appointments, and they never wanted to seem to be a bother to anyone. But our bodies are just like our vehicles, they need regular maintenance and MOTs to keep us safe and healthy. Perhaps you could explain it to your mum in these terms.

Book an optician appointment where she will get a series of eye tests and if the optician thinks your mum may have cataracts, she will be referred to a specialist.

Make a day of it. Treat her to lunch and turn a negative into a positive. You never know, she might have such a good time that she’ll want more than her eyes tested!

Dear Janice, my kids are two and four and I can’t cope with them. I have an extremely busy job. On top of that I help out with the local under 12s football team several times a week. In between all of that, I have my list of household chores, shopping etc.

It’s just not adding up anymore and I rarely have time for myself.

My wife and I row endlessly over our family life (or lack of it according to her), and I am at breaking point.

I feel like jumping in the car, driving, and never coming back as all I can see is years and years of the same drudgery. I know I should be grateful for what I have but I just feel angry and resentful most of the time. My mum said I’ve made my bed and I should appreciate what I’ve got. Help. Joe.

Dear Joe, you are spinning a heck of a lot of plates which will come crashing down if things don’t change. So... before they do, let’s try and ease your situation.

It may not seem like it now but before you know it Joe, your young kids will be teenagers and you’ll look back and wonder where their childhood years went. Therefore, it is important to prioritise your time with them now. Ditch the football coaching until your kids are at an age where they can take part. That way your time will be doubly valuable.

As for your mum, well she was brought up in a different era, so forgive her curt response. However, ask if once in a while she could mind the kids for you while you spend quality time with your wife as she is most likely as frazzled as you are.

Life seems overwhelming at the moment and you can’t see a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel, but I promise you, if you structure your work/home life better, it will not always be the case.

Dear Janice, I have been on yet another totally demoralising Tinder date. Reading his profile, he ticked all the boxes, but when we met up, he was nothing like he described himself. And I don’t just mean looks wise.

He didn’t do any of the things he claimed to, hillwalking, cinema, city tours, and admitted he just made these hobbies up so that his profile sounded interesting.

Seriously, why can’t people just be honest?

I’m tempted to pack it in, but my friend says it’s a numbers game and there will be decent guys out there somewhere. Should I stick with it? CK.

Dear CK, you’re right. Some online profiles turn out to be as authentic as if it were compiled by James Bond or Harry Potter. They are almost fictional, which does only lead to disappointment.

Some people delude themselves for all sorts of reasons and you will never change that. I would suggest next time anyone catches your eye, set up a video call with them. Check out their interests and ask them to describe the places and things they’ve done.

That way you will be able to suss out if they are genuine or not. If they refuse a video call, bin them.

Another option is to join a few walking/hiking groups. This way you will have an instant connection with everyone in the group, and you might be lucky to meet someone you fancy too.