OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of aquatic exercise on mental health, functional autonomy and oxidative stress parameters in depressed elderly individuals. METHODS: Initially, ninety-two elderly individuals were included in the study and were allocated into the depression group (n=16) and nondepression group (n=14). Both groups engaged in the aquatic exercise program for 12 weeks, including two weekly sessions (45 min/session) at a low intensity (between 50% and 60% of maximal heart rate or Borg scale scores of 13 to 14) throughout the intervention. All outcomes were evaluated at baseline and 12 weeks later. RESULTS: The patients were 63.5±8.8 years old. The following scores were decreased after training in the depressed group: depression (53%), anxiety (48%), and Timed Up & Go (33%). The following scores increased: Berg Balance Scale (9%) and flexibility (44%). Regarding the blood-based parameters, there were decreases in protein carbonylation (46%) and nitric oxide (60%) and increases in glutathione (170%) and superoxide dismutase (160%) in the depression group (p<0.005). CONCLUSIONS: The aquatic exercise program reduces depression and anxiety, improves functional autonomy and decreases oxidative stress in depressed elderly individuals.