Depression at Age 78

by Tracy

Well, I've never been a person to suffer from depression. But all that seems to be changing. Altho I am very healthy for my age. Just turned 78. I walk at least a mile each day unless weather doesn't permit. I'm not wealthy but I'm not financially strapped either. I own my own home yet with all these good things I feel sad more than happy.

My children live on the other side of the country. Their busy lives don't provide them with time to come here. Because of their busy lives visiting them doesn't work all that well. I sort of feel in the way.

Consequently I'm beginning to feel like that one odd sock you find in the drawer that has no mate. I feel that life no longer has any use for me. Many of my friends have died or move into nursing homes. I visit sometimes but it's too depressing to see people who were once alert and alive just waiting for time to take them away. Nursing homes should be outlawed!!

So what does one do at this stage in life to be happy. I'm beginning to feel very sorry for myself and that's a really bad thing.

Comments for Depression at Age 78

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It's not just about keeping busy
by: Donna

I posted anonymously early on. My suggestions meant for you to try to get really interested in some other things. Not just find things to keep busy. What could be more depressing than just finding things to keep busy?

I am looking for things that I truly find fun, people that I really like being with, things that I genuinely care about and find interesting. I'm not quite there yet, although I've made headway.

That's what I meant. I don't wait for my family to call. We do call and e-mail each other, but we all lead our own lives. And when they do call, or I call or email them, I hopefully have interesting things to talk about, since I'm developing new interests. And hopefully they do, too. But increasingly, our interests are different, since we each talk about people the other doesn't know.

It's hard to find purpose. I'm working on that. Keeping busy is easy. It's having a passion for something that's the tricky part, IMO.

A lot of people do Facebook as a way of keeping in touch. I think Facebook is kinda creepy, but others seem to love it. If you have grown kids and grandkids who live elsewhere, that's one way to keep in touch with photos, "liking" things, jokes, etc.

follow up
by: Tracy

Thank you to all who commented. It's kind of funny in a way that most of the suggestions offered I've already 'been there done that'.

I do get really mad at myself that I can't get rid of this feeling of having no real purpose anymore.

I worked as an RN in a major city hospital all my life. Used to comment that I'd be so happy when I no longer had such stressful days. Clearly that was an example of "be careful what you ask for".

It's not that I don't find plenty of things to do during the day that keep me very busy. Busy is good but it's not the same as happy.

Like most I use to come home and my husband and I would hash over the days events.

Now with my husband gone I come home and altho the dog listens he's not much of a conversationalist.

by: Anonymous

Husband and I (he is 84 and Myself 76) when we officially retired we joined an agency called Minders Keepers. For the last 12 years the agency has found us many jobs moving into other peoples houses to mind their pets. We have looked after many dogs, cats, fish, ponies,sheep, guinea pigs, owls white rats, and even more. we travel to all parts of the UK.

Perhaps you have something like this locally you might be interested in? Many people take dog walking for busy working individuals not having a lot of time for their pets.

Are you interested in any sports? A lot of clubs would be very happy to let you have a trial membership to see if the sport would be of interest for you.

We joined our local church, had a most warm welcome, now we run a bimonthly Newsletter to be delivered to the parish area. Joined in the various volunteer activities, work in the vicarage office, and have made so many friends.

Please cheer up, life is really for living, no time for depression. XX

Lonliness and depression
by: John

Tracy - In a way I can relate to your feelings. I lost my life companion just 3 yrs ago. I'm now closing 75 and now live alone.

I get to see some family members on odd occasions, usually, it seems, when they need a carer for the children but I don't mind this as it helps to take away my feeling of being ignored.

I walk a lot and as I live in the central part of England. I am fortunate enough to get to many parts to visit different areas as I enjoy architecture and lovely scenery - in my area there's a lot of both so these jaunts help remove any feelings of depression (I do have them occasionally) so I can relate to how you feel but as you are able to talk to others IE via the web I would assume you're ready to fight it off.

Try and stay active and happy. Best of luck. John

I get it.
by: Anonymous

I, too, am single, no kids, siblings out of state. So I can relate.

The good: You are healthy. You DO have family (some don't have that). You are financially secure (some most definitely don't have that).


GROUPS. Are you in a city that has groups of people with similar interests that meet and do things? In my city there are groups for walkers, hikers, movies, fitness buffs, etc. You get to meet people who have similar interests, get to do the interest you like, & most of the people in the group are there to meet people. I joined groups through, but you could do an internet search to see what groups exist.

It also might be helpful to have just a FEW sessions with a therapist, if only to work thru this period.

I also suggest you broaden your interests, if walking is your only "thing." Gardening? Bowling? Idle hands are the devil's playground, they say! Sometimes you have to do the action first, & the feeling will follow.

Volunteering: I've read that one way to get out of a funk is to help others. You'll be focused on others' problems instead of yours.

Work, either through volunteering or an easy sometime job, could help. One of my friends got hired as a poll worker for the city government, to help during elections. It pays almost nothing & does require LONG days during elections. But it's a place to contribute & get paid something. It's usually retired people who do that work. Check your county's online election site.

EMAIL/PHONE. Don't forget to email or phone your family. It's not the same as living near them, but it's helpful to keep in touch.

INTERNET FORUMS. There are forums on the internet about all sorts of subjects. I bet you would have a lot to contribute to some. I participate in a political forum that also has parts that are non-political. It's fun & informative. It's better to be w/people in person, but if you're at home alone, these things will keep you in contact with other people, if only in cyberworld. Like THIS site!

All these things take effort, which someone who is depressed will find hard to do. But putting one foot in front of the other will lead to progress.

Please try to take some action to make new acquaintances. Join just one thing! Go do it! Pick one event & show up. Get the ball rolling! You have many years to go!!!!

by: Anonymous

Dear friend,

Make new friends all around the world and do not feel depressed.

1.Reading is important.
2.If you have creative hobby it will help you. create your own greeting cards. Draw in drawing copy. Slowly you will start enjoying. Organise exhibitionin your town.
3. Inspired an 85 year old lawyer and he published three books of his creations.

Enjoy and have friendshp with local people. Om

by: Anonymous

I retired 17 years ago due to my bad back. I only wish I was still working .I am now 77 and not in good health. As soon as i retired my health issues began to pop up. Besides that I am "legally blind" now.

But I've never been depressed.

Like Tracy I am by myself out here in California. I have a brother out in the surburbs here in SD. But he does not drive anymore either. His children are busy with their own families.

But i keep busy"being busy". I challenge myself with things. Well when not at a doctor appt I should say.(lol)
But I fortunate that I am doing as well as i am.

Tracy, if you want write to me I will answer all. Maybe we can help one another. You are very valuable to this Crazy world we live in my dear. Never forget that.

Blessings to you my dear.

Not being a priority...
by: Anonymous

I understand you completely. It's difficult to realize you are not a priority in anyone's life. I feel that to - it's real.

I am tired of getting phone calls from car when someone it traveling from one point to another. I should be grateful for the phone call at all, but often it is cut off as they lose the connection. On too many occasions I realize I've been talking to myself and have to repeat the conversation - only to find I was cut off again. They last time this happened (3 times in one call) - I didn't pick-up for the reconnect.

I understand needing time for immediate family, but being "filler" isn't good for the self-worth. I've thought of moving closer to family, but, if I can only be spoken to in between travels, I am kidding myself to think they would find time to visit and chat.

Not being a priority in anyone's life is lonely.
I do understand.

Disappearing Depression
by: Joe W.

@ Tracy, what did you do between age 62 and 78 years old? Maybe, start with a trip somewhere, anywhere including visiting your children. Secondly,something will tell you inside to pursue a new project. Happy Easter!

Joe W.

Ideas for happiness
by: Susan

I am so sorry you are feeling down..

In my towns, either Richmond or VaBeach, there are fabulous Retirement Communities, for Independent , that are upscale, gorgeous, and full of vibrant people. I know that when I get to a certain age where I feel lonely, and no longer want to maintain my home, I will move to one of them. They are NOT depressing.

Now for the assisted living people and the totally taken care of people, that might be a different story, but ....they need care, so there is no other option. Have you considered moving to one of those retirement communities?

Or, how about look for a Retirement Community on the other coast, near your children and grandchilden?

Those communities are full of great people, in the same situation as you?

Some Suggestions
by: Stephanie

Since you're physically healthy, I'd recommend volunteer work for whatever cause or causes appeal to you. Self-pity means you're focused on yourself, and there's no better way to get off that downhill slide than helping people less fortunate.

Journaling all the blessings in your life has also been known to cure depression.

I highly recommend the book *One Thousand Gifts* by Ann Voskamp if you're a Christian.

by: Joyce

Sorry to hear how bad you feel I am 78 this year but since my divorce years ago I am a different person after feeling sorry for myself and staying in for several months.

I started a computer course, joined clubs and went on holidays. I do get lonely mainly weekends, and I hate bank holidays, but I ring up anyone for a chat or go on coach trips, email jokes to friends I've made on the internet. I would like to know what hobbies you have so keep in touch.

joyce from portsmouth uk

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