Taking Care of the Elderly
The COVID-19 pandemic and repeated lockdowns have proven especially difficult for Israel’s elderly citizens who have remained isolated at home for long time periods – without being able to see family and friends or participate in any sort of activity. Many have experienced emotional exhaustion and physical decline.
Israel’s elderly comprise about 11% of the population – these are the pioneers who built the country, our parents and grandparents. 42% describe themselves as being in poor health and 20% live below the poverty line.
During this difficult period, the Spirit of Israel has provided assistance to 1,200 poverty-stricken older adults living in public housing around the country. Many are Holocaust survivors and most have not been able to meet with their family members for fear of spread of illness. Their current isolation is one of the most serious difficulties they have ever had to deal with. They need our help more than ever.
The Spirit of Israel has provided assistance for the elderly throughout the crisis and recently arranged for some musical relief: The Ben Yakir Youth Village musical ensemble held an outdoor performance at the Beit Amigur retirement home in Kfar Saba. The youths played, sang and entertained the residents who waved at them from their terraces, and then distributed Shabbat challot and cakes. To see the smiles on their faces was to see the huge difference that this small effort made. And it was yet another example that shows how values of solidarity are a beacon that guides our Youth Village students.
As one of the youths put it, “We were so moved that we could make these older people happy, they could be anyone’s grandparents.”