Yated Ne’eman – Reshut Harabim Yated Ne’eman
Oct. 28, 2014
I was confused and helpless. My mother was afflicted with Alzheimers and I was at loss as to how to deal with it. What would contribute to her well-being? What would be detrimental? What activities, projects will she benefit from? I wanted to help but had no idea how.
I didn’t know how… but Ezer Mizion did. Their professionals had developed a program entitled “Kinetic and Connected” which is designed to fill the time of Alzheimer’s patients with activity that can enhance their quality of life, while simultaneously relieving the family members caring for them. Volunteers are thoroughly trained and provided with an accessory kit with stimulating games, books, and exercises intended to improve Alzheimer’s patients’ quality of life. The kit was developed with an understanding of the processes the patients are experiencing. A trained volunteer is assigned to each patient. A social worker would mentor her as she worked with her patient and she also participated in a support group for volunteers. These resources helped her deal with a range of challenges that cropped up in the course of her work.
I was fortunate. A volunteer was available for my mother. It is hard to describe the change that took place in my mother as a result of the program! The smile returned to her face. She again had areas of interest and challenges she could relate to. Even her physical condition showed marked improvement.
When I related all this excitedly to my friend, whose father is also an Alzheimer’s patient, she rushed to call Ezer Mizion and ask to participate in the project, but to her great sorrow, she was told that right now, there was no available volunteer, so she would have to wait. My friend was devastated. I understood her feelings, having undergone the trials of handling Alzheimers with no assistance just several months ago.
And I understood something else. With all my experience with my mother, using the techniques which the volunteer had taught me, I was a perfect candidate to become a volunteer for others. And so the circle completed itself. I quickly offered to volunteer in the project, having learned how much it contributes to the seniors and what a tremendous chessed it is, while also offering an interesting and stimulating challenge for the volunteers. The training sessions were fascinating and enlightening. Today, in addition to working with my mother, I also volunteer for another Alzheimer patient and am gratified to see the amazing improvement in her as well, baruch Hashem.