I CAN’T decide which of two press releases I believe. I’m drawn to one which I received a fortnight ago but in my heart of hearts I think the second which arrived the other day is more likely to be true.

The first was headlined Kids Support Recession-hit Parents to the Tune of �16 billion. It made me rub my hands together in anticipation.

This claimed that almost one in 10 of adult children give money to their parents.

The average amount the generous off-spring donate, the so-called “sap back” fund, is �8,250, which is nicely up from �6,500 two years ago.

Over a third of parents who receive this largess use it to pay off debt while around the same number use the handout for spending money and living expenses.

It sounds good to me in my circumstances with a grown-up family.

But then last week came a different release which was not exactly relevant to me but it could be in a couple of years or so.

This was headed: Adult Children Bank on Retired |Parents and made for depressing reading.

It claimed retiring parents face increasing financial pressure from adult children in our part of the world.

Although work and wages may have come to an end, the bank of mum and dad is expected to stay open.

Researchers came up with some chilling statistics. One in four of parents set to retire anticipate adult children will need financial help, they concluded, while 30 per cent of adult children expect cash aid from their parents now in their slippers-by-the-fire phase.

Two-thirds of parents are set to help their children to pay for their dream wedding while over half of young people are expecting just that.

Paying for the deposit on a home is the second most popular reason for the old fogies to splash the cash with half of parents expecting the help and nearly 44 per cent of their children relying on it.

I have a philosophical attitude: if you don’t have the money to help then that is too bad but if you do, you can’t take it with you so why hang on to it until your last breath.

There’s no need to make yourself ill over it. There’s a much quicker way to do that – look on the internet.

We are a nation of hypochondriacs, I learn from a new piece of research just out.

It seems that millions of people in the UK are convincing themselves they are seriously ill or dying by going on the web to diagnose their symptoms.

Six out of 10 turn to that source when they are feeling unwell. Many conclude that a tummy upset is really food poisoning, a common cold is an attack of influenza, indigestion becomes a heart attack and a migraine has become a brain tumour

A little knowledge – and especially the misinterpretation of it – can be a dangerous thing.