Corona Caregiving by Ezer Mizion

Corona Innovation:  Ezer Mizion will be providing nursing caregivers for elderly quarantined and corona patients.  Caregivers either immunized or recovered from corona will be trained by Ezer Mizion to be able to provide a treatment response for elderly quarantined patients whose needs are unmet during this time due to safety restrictions.

Ezer Mizion has inaugurated an innovative and unique project to care for elderly who are quarantined or have tested positive for corona.  Caregivers who are either immunized or recovered from corona will be able to provide a treatment response for elderly quarantined patients who needs have remained unmet during this time due to health regulations.  Ezer Mizion has trained tens of caregivers and over the next month the project will expand with the training of more caregivers across Israel.

For months requests for assistance were absorbed by Ezer Mizion’s corona hotline without any possibility of providing a response. No solution was set up by any organization or government office. In recognition of the dire need, Yaakov Lapidot, Director of Ezer Mizion’s Geriatric Services Division, Ezer Mizion appointed a professional team specializing in the geriatric population, to create a service that would bring a response to the pressing need.

The project is led by Ravit Fernandez, CSW, who directs Ezer Mizion’s Geriatric Services in Israel’s Southern region. Dr. Rimon Artol, Deputy Director of the Geriatric Ward at Barzilai Hospital and Mrs. Masuah Ofir, Clinical Geriatric RN, formulated the project protocol according to the strict Israel Ministry of Health guidelines. Accompanying the project are Ms. Yona Gelman, Asst. Director of Ezer Mizion’s Geriatric Services Dept. and Orit Raz, CSW, who has a shining track record of program design at Ezer Mizion’s Geriatric Services Dept.

The service plan was submitted and approved by Bituach Leumi as per Ministry of Health regulations. This process took several months but took off immediately following its authorization.

The caregiver training is given by professionals specializing in geriatrics. It includes the protection protocol and safety measures required while caring for elderly patients who are unwell and/or quarantined as well as corona contamination precautions. Participants are taught the markers for when involving medical personnel is appropriate. They also learn to identify indicators of emotional distress, receive tools for relieving the distress and get to know who the relevant parties are to turn to if the need arises.

Yaakov Lapidot, Director of Ezer Mizion Geriatric Services Division: “Corona has created a new reality that is intolerable, where the elderly who are quarantined or sick are left without a treatment or care solution.   In response to the many requests we received on Ezer Mizion’s corona hotline, we initiated this program where recovered or inoculated caregivers care for the elderly. It is our hope that this will ensure that no elderly person is left without proper care.”

Ezer Mizion is proud to provide holistic and all-encompassing care to the elderly.  Beginning with assistance by the dedicated Ezer Mizion “Linked to Life” volunteers who purchase medication and provide transportation to medical appointments, and continues on to social activities, fitness programs, emotional intervention and now a response to the elderly who are sick with corona or quarantined.

Malka Chemed, who is completing Ezer Mizion’s unique Corona Caregiver program: “This project is the fulfillment of a dream for me.  I have always wanted to assist others who are suffering. The elderly people whom I will be caring for are in real distress, isolated and cut off from their surroundings. Many of them are truly helpless and very vulnerable. As soon as possible,  I joined Ezer Mizion’s program.  The help and care that I am able to provide is a privilege and merit for me.”

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