Joffe Asks: Will You Recognize a Senior in Crisis?

Senior Market Specialist Bonnie Joffe asks, “Will you recognize the symptoms if a parent or loved one is experiencing an emotional crisis or depression?” in Part 2 of "Seniors in Crisis."

Cherry Hill, NJ, July 21, 2011 --( “Will you recognize the symptoms if a parent or loved one is experiencing an emotional crisis or depression?” That’s the question that Senior Market Specialist and founder Bonnie Joffe, addresses in Part 2 of her three-part series on “Seniors in Crisis,” released this week.

The “Seniors in Crisis” series addresses a number of complex issues faced by countless Seniors today. In Part 2, Joffe relates her personal experience with her aging parents and how emotional distress can take its toll – particularly when a senior parent, isolated from family by distance, is coping with the daily stress of caring for themselves and an ailing partner.

“One doesn’t necessarily have to be on death’s door, be over-medicated, or experiencing some type of elder abuse to be considered a Senior in crisis,” notes Joffe. “Emotional distress and depression can be just as devastating.”

Many seniors today have grown children who have relocated to different parts of the country. Conversely, many seniors have chosen to retire to locations that are often remote from their adult children. In other words, they are separated from family support…sometimes by thousands of miles. This can present many challenges as one or both parents begins to experience health issues and progressively demonstrates the growing need for that support system.

“From a personal perspective, I know that these issues can creep up on you so fast, you don’t even see it coming,” says Joffe. “It can become overwhelming.”

Separation from a family support system is just one of many potential life-altering situations that can lead to emotional distress and depression in seniors.

According to, many factors can trigger age-related depression and emotional distress including loneliness and isolation resulting from the death of long-time friends or loved ones, decreased mobility or the inability to continue driving. Retirement and physical limitations can lead to feelings of worthlessness; while illness, pain and disability can damage both body image and self-esteem. Many seniors find that fear of death, worries over financial problems or health, can also lead to depression.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, depression affects more than 6.5 million senior citizens in the U.S. Depression in elderly people often goes untreated because many people think it is a normal part of aging. As a result, these individuals, failing to get the help they need, spiral into illness, substance abuse and even suicide (seniors age 65+ account for nearly 20% of all suicides in the U.S., i.e. one every 90 minutes.) Recognizing the symptoms of age-related depression – social withdrawal, memory, sleep and eating problems, among others - and getting professional help are critical to helping seniors enjoy their golden years.

“My goal with the “Seniors In Crisis” series is to create awareness about a subject that is so profound and far-reaching that it cannot be ignored or shoved under the proverbial rug,” said Joffe. “Countless adult children today will be faced with the challenge of caring for an elderly parent. The ability to recognize the warning signs of a crisis is critical.”

Bonnie Joffe, a South Jersey resident, juggles work, aging parents and a busy household, all while running a growing business. A dynamic, engaging speaker and authority on the Senior market, she is passionate about helping Baby Boomers to navigate the challenging midlife years with confidence, grace and happiness.

To read Bonnies personal story in Part II of Seniors In Crisis: What are the Signs of a Senior in Crisis?, visit For more information or to schedule a date and time for Bonnie to speak to your group, call 866-886-8826 or send an email

Christina Daniels