Activities at the Geriatric Services Division during the Coronavirus Period
150 professional staff members
13 branches across the country
Thousands of dedicated volunteers
With the onset of the crisis, the entire Geriatric Services Division shifted to a mode of alternating home/office work. Authorization to work remote was given to 60 staff members who were provided technical support and computers, as needed.
During this period, the tremendous responsibility of the Geriatric Services division towards the highest-risk group in the world has doubled. This responsibility is reflected by work around the clock, with no breaks, in the division’s 2 primary areas of activity:
- Mentoring and guidance of new seniors, their caregivers and family members in obtaining a geriatric services stipend from Bituach Leumi (the National Insurance Institute)
- Placement of certified attendants in seniors’ homes
- Guidance in the process of obtaining a foreign worker
- Initiated phone calls every week to all the attendants, care recipients, caregiving family members (about 7500 calls a week)
- Frontal and phone visits to 3000 seniors
- Intensive work geared at giving the full number of hours of entitlement and care to the senior, in spite of attendants’ fear and concern of giving caregiving hours in the homes of seniors.
Operation of an active “Corona hotline” Sunday to Thursday from 8 AM to 10 PM and on Fridays and Erev Chag from 8 AM to 12 PM; Motzaei Shabbat and Motzaei Chag from 8 PM to 11 PM
The hotline provides a response to seniors, family members, and attendants in the following areas:
- Calls for emotional support
- Therapy calls with experienced professionals (social workers)
- Calls to obtain information about entitlements and assistance in making them happen
- Facilitating community and municipal services, especially hot meals!
- Facilitating Ezer Mizion services: loan of medical equipment,
- Arranging purchase of groceries, produce, home supplies and medicines and delivery via Ezer Mizion “Linked to Life” volunteers
- Tapping in to connections for the purpose of obtaining service from different entities, in collaboration with the Home Front Command, kupat cholim, etc.
Activating volunteers to relieve loneliness via:
- “Listening Ear” project — phone calls from volunteer emotional therapists
- “Adopt a Bubby and Zeidy” — in collaboration with Discount Bank employee volunteers who are set up with seniors to allay their loneliness by phone.
- Online physical exercise through a number of channels: website, online handbooks, etc.
- Distribution of physical exercise kits to the homes of seniors by volunteers
- Telephone guidance for active participants at the Senior Health Promotion Center by Center staff
Installation of Security Cameras
Tzipporah Fried Alzheimer Patient Support Center
- Outgoing support calls initiated by the Center’s professional staff to caregiving families who were in touch with the center in the past
- Online support groups via ZOOM
- Phone calls initiated by staff to all Holocaust survivors who participate regularly in the Ezer Mizion activities
- Provision of a full response to needs that arise in the conversations: cooked food, purchase of groceries and medicines, emotional support via therapeutic phone calls
- Home visits, in keeping with all Health Department directives (remote, porch visits)
- Establishment of a mobile library operated by means of a personal delivery from the municipal library to the Holocaust Survivor’s home – operated by the British Café staff
- Online/telephone physical exercise guidance
- Distribution of potted plants to 1100 Holocaust survivors across the country on Yom Hasho’ah