We all can find ourselves sometimes in a funk or fighting some sort of depression. The reasons are vast but generally we can rise above it without any bad side affects or lasting issues from it. As people age however; the playing field changes vastly and there are a variety of different issues and problems that the elderly are forced to face. There are many older people that truly look forward to their older years and can't wait to be able to retire and really enjoy life. While on the other hand there are those who find themselves deeply depressed as soon as they retire and they, by mistake, suddenly feel they are worthless and no longer fit in society. If you know someone who is elderly or you work with the elderly you need to be able to help these people feel worthy and better about themselves.
If you know someone who is older and they seem extremely depressed the first thing you need to try and do is find out the underlying cause for their depressed state of mind. There are a lot of different reason that might include the fact that their closest relatives have already passed away or they live too far from them to see on a regular basis. They may not be getting enough exercise or activity to keep them busy during the day or there may be a million other things that could be affecting their state of mind.
Try to set aside some time in your schedule to meet up with your older friend or parent, for instance maybe set down a time every weekend or every other weekend to go visit them, but make sure that if you set aside this time that you stick to the schedule on a regular basis. Don't start something and then not keep to it.
Pets are wonderful companions for anyone but they are especially helpful for those elderly who are alone. So why not take time out to help the person you know to get themselves a pet. Probably the best pets for them would be a cat or a dog because they become friends instantly with their human companions and for some reason even faster with those who are older. Make sure though that the person is able to take care of the pet on their own.
Take them outside, try to go for walks with them in a park or around the area where they live if they are able to walk. Even if they are in a wheelchair you should take them outdoors somewhere. Being stuck indoors all the time will cause anyone of any age to become isolated and depressed.
If the elderly person you know is your parent, you might want to think about asking them to live with you. Older people a lot of times get extremely depressed when they are alone and have trouble doing some of the things they use to be able to do without help. If it's not a possibility for them to live with you then you might want to consider some sort of assisted living where they can not only get help but be around other people they can socialize with on a regular basis.
One of the most important things you can do to help lift a person's spirits is to give them plenty of encouragement and try and help them to keep active. Activity is the key to keeping a lot of things at bay, especially depression.