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My father was self employed for most of his career, and provided well for his family. He was still selling real estate into his late 70's, but the market dropped and he fell on hard times. He was forced to retire, but he's been lost and become depressed. Unfortunately, he never had any hobbies and very few friends outside of real estate associates. I don't know how to help him out of this depression, and no matter what I say he wants to be successful through working.

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As others had mentioned, volunteering is great. After my Dad retired from 40+ years with the same corporation, he and Mom decided to do volunteer work at a local regional hospital, manning the front information desk. Again, another good job for a retired Realtor, as visitors from out of the area need to find the closest shopping center, restaurant, hotels, etc. Even airports have information desks.

Can your Dad hang his real estate license [if the license is still active] with another real estate firm? He can be a *referring* Agent, meaning he still can find the clients but refer these clients over to another Agent and get a referral fee. Maybe he can mentor a brand new Agent :)
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"Dad, you have this wonderful opportunity to... help others by volunteering to (insert whatever has ever interested him)", "make a difference by getting involved with....", "visit with friends", etc.
Ask him for his advice on things whether you need it or not. Engage him & give him purpose. Right now he's probably lost and needs a push in the right direction. What does he complain about? Now he has the opportunity to do something about it. Be a volunteer/activist/entrepreneur/????
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Getting Older Doesn't Mean The Best Is Over!

Every stage of life comes with some difficulty. However, none is quite so progressive and irreversible as the process of aging. Degenerative diseases affect the function of every part of the body. Living a healthy lifestyle, avoiding stress and avoiding negative environmental factors may slow this complicated process but their is no cure for aging.

Aging can be a state of mind as well as body. To reduce the feeling that age is creeping up on you, take action and fight back! A healthy diet, exercise and a good attitude about life can keep you not only feeling younger, but looking younger too!

Reduce your calorie intake. Scientific studies show that what and how much you eat may affect the years and quality of your life. Specifically, animal research indicates that restricting calories up to 40 percent fewer than normal have a beneficial effect on the markers of aging and disease. Keep in mind that not every species has shown this improvement and studies on humans, and other primates are still ongoing.

Using your mind is the best way to keep it active. The elderly are often looked up to for wisdom, so don't ever stop educating yourself. Anything that stimulates the brain, such as a computer course or even a crossword puzzle, will keep your mind active, and you feeling on top of your game.

To help your mindset while aging, toss out any numbers that aren't really important, specifically your weight, your height and most importantly your age. These numbers may be important for your doctor (and they should be), but for daily living they are just barriers to the many, many things that are possible for you to do.

Understand hormone imbalances and be sure to treat them. As you age, many of the more difficult challenges are caused by imbalances in your hormones. This includes issues like depression, insomnia and weight increases. Go to your doctor if you are feeling off in any way and have yourself tested. Doctors can put you on a plan for supplementing your hormones.

One of the hardest things to manage for the person who is aging and for those around him or her is dementia. If someone you love, has dementia be as patient as possible with them. Often, they don't know the severity of their own condition. To help your own spirits, take their dementia as a mercy, as it must be hard to die having all your memories intact.

Depression is a "hidden" risk for developing osteoporosis. Cortisol is a stress-related hormone related to depression that depletes the bones of minerals. Studies have shown that women with depression have lower bone density in their spines and hips. So, if you're feeling down, see your doctor to find out if you have depression.

Throughout life, the body replaces and repairs itself. As we age, the body's ability to heal itself slows. Many people begin to feel the effects of aging as early as 40 but the generally accepted age when individuals become 'aged' is the age of retirement, 65. Despite this, many elderly individuals remain independent and free of serious disease.
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What about volunteering with SCORE?
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If dad's clinically depressed, then he probably needs medication. If he's just throwing pity parties for himself, then some ideas might help: You say he has no hobbies; give him the gift of a crafts class: bird carving needs very little equipment (cheap to do); or maybe he likes to feed the birds? Some bird feeders for his yard. Or, does he play cards? See if your town has a senior center with planned activities: pinochle groups, bridge, gin rummy, backgammon, etc. Find out what time and TAKE him the first few times to introduce him around.

"Dad! If you could do anything you wanted to do right this minute, what would it be?" Have a brainstorming session with him.

Or perhaps you could talk him into planning a vacation for him and your mom. Or for your whole family...an itinerary, suggested routes, sightseeing stops, etc.

You don't say how old he is, but, if he has some $$, maybe he could get back into real estate. Or drive a cab. Or join a forum on the internet. Something -- ANYTHING to keep his brain busy.

How about a dog? Or a kitten? The list is absolutely endless. Encourage him to try different things with no obligation to continue until, with a little luck (okay, maybe a lot of luck), he finds his bliss.

Good luck! You're a good daughter to be concerned.
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Is his depression being treated medically?
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