Elderly depression

My dad is 90 he has copd, mobility issues, heart issues, he is deaf and wears double hearing aids.i think he is depressed and lonely. I have contacted a charity who have arranged a volunteer to come and visit with him for tea and a chat. I have located a day club which he refuses to try. How do i help him if he wont help himself. Wont talk about it. I am at my wits end. Any ideas on how to deal with this.


unfortunately there are no easy answers. You can make enquiries and arrangements and do your best, but you can’t wave a magic wand and make him happy (even though you would if you could.) What were his hobbies/interests/occupation before he retired?


It’s really sad but I think you have tried your best.

To be honest, it can’t be much fun being very old with health problems/poor mobility or anything that goes along with old age can it?

I used to look at my Mum (who died at 96) and she couldn’t walk, had a stoma, had obsessions about going to the toilet millions of times a day, had dementia and other health issues and I used to feel so sad because she was such a positive, lively person all her life with so many interests and always up for a good laugh. She became a shell of herself and it was upsetting to see. Some days she would say she had had enough and wanted to “go home” which meant her childhood home.

Now my Auntie is saying the same, she is 92 and still lives alone but says she has “had enough”. It is very hard to know what to say to her when she talks like this but I do try to jolly her along. She says she is no use to anybody and she is fed up being in pain all the time.

I think just make sure your Dad knows you love him and you listen to him and offer him things like someone to come and have a chat and see how it develops. Lots of love. Xx

Dad was a mechanic but didnt retire until he was 79. He like model trains and has a layout at home but has lost interest in that. Complains about doing nothing but then wont try


Is there a local model train enthusiast group which he could attend once they start meeting again or who could visit him? Or perhaps a befriender young or old (perhaps a little boy who loves trains and his Grandad for example) who could visit and reignite his interest. Worth ringing around some of the charities etc perhaps.


Does he have a tablet or laptop?

Well you know, as you age, you realize many friends are gone already and you feel more and more not-needed, and I think that’s the issue here. Being 90, he has lived a long life but it doesn’t mean he isn’t needed or there is no more surprises for him out there. What I think helps is a simple hobby, something you enjoy to do, something to look forward to each day. It is pretty hard to pre-occupy yourself when you are 90 years old, especially if there were things he used to enjoy and is not able to experience again in the same form he used to. Many of us old timers are pretty set in our ways, and hardly look for a different way to enjoy life. Take for example university of third age. I attend, but of all people that I know, no one does that because they don’t believe its for them and they don’t even try.

I think what your father needs is just finding a way to enjoy his life, it can be spending time with family, maybe writing diary or maybe a book. Maybe he likes to share stories about his past? We old timers are a pretty chatty bunch, but often we feel the young ones aren’t interested in hearing some outdated memories. I make it a point to talk with my grandkids as much as I can, because they love hearing stories that happened in real life. Someone who lived 90 years must have tons to share, he might have precious knowledge and might not realize that he is a great person the way he is BECAUSE he is 90 years old and that being old is not a bad thing in itself.

Via a tablet he could find all sorts of things to interest him. My son loves his, he can’t read or write!!!