Dear Abby: Five months ago, we placed my father in a very nice nursing home. My father, who was greatly loved by his nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law, as well as many, many friends, has not had one visit from any of these people. Can it be that we are supposed to "invite" them to visit him? They all know he's there.

When I visit my father, I stop in to say "hello" to other elderly folks on his floor. They are so grateful for company, I have trouble getting away.Abby, the plight of our elderly who are living out their lives feeling unwanted, unloved and abandoned just breaks my heart. Please tell your readers who have someone in a nursing facility to visit them as often as possible. It takes time and energy, but the rewards for them - as well as for you - will be gratifying.

- Sad in Studio City

Dear Sad: Your letter is well worth space in this column. By all means, issue an invitation to friends and relatives that a visit would be welcomed - also, cards, letters and telephone calls.

I hope your letter motivates the many well-intentioned procrastinators to visit family members and friends - soon. It's later than you think.

Dear Abby: Let me tell you why some of us grown children dread visiting parents and parents-in-law:

When was the last time you told your daughter/son-in-law that you were glad they married into the family? Have you ever told them they did a fine job raising your grandchildren - or do you complain about their hairstyles, tight jeans and their music?

Why can't you recall some happy stories about your family? Surely all those years were more than a series of funerals. We'd love to hear about how Dad had to assemble a tricycle at 3 a.m. on Christmas morning; the time you were carving a turkey and it slid off the platter and onto the floor; the costume parties; and the time your luggage was lost and you had to wear the same suit for three days. Get the idea?

Think about it another way: How would you like to visit your daughter and be greeted with: "Oh, these hot flashes are killing me"; "Junior has run away with a belly dance teacher"; "The neighbors are poisoning our cats"; "If I'm not pregnant, it must be cancer"; etc.

Frankly, my dears, you weren't very nice to me for the past 30 years and I'm a little gun-shy, so I've learned over the years to hold my tongue and keep my distance.

Forgive me, but enough is enough.

- No Name or City, Please

Dear Abby: Last summer, my husband and I had a friend visit us for three days. We had a nice visit. He called yesterday and said he was coming to visit us again this summer. We figured another short stay (three or four days), which would be fine with us, so we said we would be glad to see him.

Now we hear from mutual friends that he plans to stay three or four weeks! Abby, we do not want him for more than a few days. What should we do?

- Crowded in Florida

Dear Crowded: Since your mutual friends appear to be his "booking agents," call them quickly and tell them what you have told me. Better yet, take no chances - call your friend and let him know that three or four days would be fine, but you can't accommodate him for a longer period.

Abby shares more of her favorite, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, More Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)

1993 Universal Press Syndicate