DEAR ABBY: My wife and I recently hosted some longtime friends for a few days while they were passing through our area on vacation. We had a fine time reconnecting, although my wife commented after they left that they seemed to have "slowed down a bit" -- to which I responded, "Yeah. Us, too, I guess."
We just received an email from that couple's adult daughter, with whom we're also friendly, asking about our perceptions of her parents' well-being. We are not comfortable responding to her very pointed questions about their eating habits, bedtimes, taking of medications, mental sharpness, etc. while they stayed with us. Is this kind of inquiry common today, or do these folks have "helicopter kids"? -- ANYWHERE, USA
DEAR ANYWHERE: If it's common, I'm unaware of it. It's the first question of this kind that I have received. Clearly, the daughter has noticed something going on with her parents that has her worried. Because "the kids" are so concerned about their parents' welfare that they feel compelled to ask these kinds of questions, perhaps they should travel with them so they can supervise.
If you choose to answer that email, an appropriate response would be, "I think we have all slowed down a little, but if you want to know what your folks ate (etc.) while they were with us, you should ask them."