When parents begin to age, you are suddenly exposed to an alien world: medical equipment you never were familiar with, medications you never heard of, strange medical terms, and above all – coping with the knowledge that the mother and father you love and cherish are gradually becoming dependent on you. Aging and illness also bring with them a financial burden – expenses for medications and auxiliary equipment, loss of work days for the children due to care of their parents, adapting and renovating the home in a case of motor disability, and more and more.
In order to help you and your parents get through this difficult period, the Ofek Center for the Elderly was established by Ezer Mizion. Ofek provides counseling and guidance in actualizing the entitlements of the elderly and their family members. At times, this may involve thousands of shekels a month to which you are legally entitled.
Zahava Schwartz, director of the Center, says that the idea arose as the result of her daily encounters with seniors and their family members. “We found that many of them are simply unaware of their rights. Whether we are speaking of Holocaust survivors, Alzheimer’s patients, stroke victims, or others, each one is entitled to an entire package of benefits. But as the situation has developed, many people are helpless; they don’t know what to do or how to act. There are government and social service entities whose entire purpose is to aid the senior citizen and his family, but you have to know to approach them and request help. That is why we decided to open the Center and make this information available to the public.”
The extensive information available at the Center is provided at no cost and focuses on a variety of subjects: Israeli and foreign home attendant services in the framework of the National Insurance Institute home attendant allotment, guidance in actualizing entitlements (discounts, allowances, etc.), medical and rehabilitative aid equipment and its adaptation to the senior or debilitated patient, counseling and support for families of Alzheimer’s patients, and more.
Services at the Center are provided in sync with Ezer Mizion’s holistic worldview, which envelops the senior and his family with everything they need, from the earliest stages of counseling and medical referral, through ambulance and volunteer vehicle transport, loan of augmentative communication devices, and all the way to the “Make a Wish Come True” project for the elderly.
Information at the Center is provided by a staff of experts with rich professional experience in working with the elderly. Zahava Schwartz: “Our motto is ‘Caring from the heart, calmness for the spirit.’ These are the two things we aim to give the senior and his family. We will be happy to hear from you so as to assist you in clarifying your entitlements.”
Know your entitlements?
1. The law allows each worker the option of six days absence from work a year due to illness of a parent or parent-in-law.
2. A child caring for his parent is entitled to a one-point credit on his income tax.
3. If a parent is eligible for a parking spot for the disabled, the label can be affixed to the vehicle registered in his child’s name with an affirmation before an attorney that the owner of the vehicle puts his vehicle at the disabled parent’s disposal on a regular basis.
4. A child with one or both of his parents in a nursing home/home for the debilitated is eligible for a tax credit of 35%.
5. A child caring for an ill parent is eligible for welfare payments without necessity for an employment check.
6. If the child had been employed and due to his care for the disabled parent, was compelled to discontinue his employment, he is eligible for severance pay.