My elderly 'friends' phone me non-stop and it's making me feel hounded in my own home

DEAR DEIDRE:  I AM increasingly distressed by two elderly women “friends” who are living vicariously through me.

I am a woman of 63, I live alone and still work.

Every night one, other or often both of them will phone me for a long chat. I barely get time to cook and unwind.

If I have a day at home they will be on the phone non-stop.

If I don’t pick up, they keep trying to get hold of me.

The conversation is always about the same boring topics.

Both are in their late seventies and are using me for entertainment.

I feel hounded at home. How can I free myself – kindly?

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DEIDRE SAYS: These poor souls are desperately lonely.

Bless your kind heart but it is perfectly reasonable to protect your relaxation time.

Be honest with them both. Say you feel stressed and need quiet evenings.

So they don’t feel unwanted, arrange a time to call them once or twice a week.

You will feel less harrassed if you initiate the contact.

Tell both of them about The Silver Line, which offers friendship and advice to older folk (thesilverline.org.uk, 0800 4708090).

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