DEAR ABBY: I have never seen a letter in your column stressing the importance of always carrying identification, either in a pocket or attached to your clothing.
My neighbor spent last summer with her sister who lived several hundred miles away. During the visit, she suffered a massive stroke while shopping alone in a mall. Her purse was stolen and no one knew who she was. When she didn't return at the expected time, her sister became frightened and called the police, but the visiting sister couldn't be located.
Abby, a few nights later, her by-then frantic sister saw a news report about an unidentified woman who had a stroke in a mall and died two days later. She followed up on the story and discovered the unidentified woman was her sister!
Since then, I have been suggesting to friends and family that they carry identification on them at all times -- and although many promise to do so, they "don't get around to it." Perhaps if they see this in your column, they'll realize how important the message is and do something about it. -- ALICE JOHNS, NORTH PALM BEACH, FLA.
DEAR ALICE: I relayed that message to readers several years ago, but it bears repeating. It's also a good idea to carry essential medical information with the I.D. Should there be an accident or sudden illness that prevents communicating health problems, emergency personnel will know about allergies, possible drug interactions or pre-existing conditions.