Aging with Dignity by Kobi Arielli

pr depressionThis journey of mine into the heart of the Ezer Mizion world enters its eighth week. Every week, I reveal another chapter here, in our little corner. So far, we have only touched on a small fraction of the sweeping empire of activity.
Throughout this ongoing overview, during which I have met up with the people at work and have seen the various projects in action, I cannot help asking myself one question – a rather frightening one: What if all this did not exist? These are not government systems under official auspices. They are complementary, civilian, alternative systems. They are the product of private initiatives, supported by donations. They are a bonus that our civilian society is privileged to have at its disposal and that are so basic and self-understood!
Question: What does a family do when their loved one is stricken with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia?
The medical establishment will do its part to the best of its ability (in this case, that is easy enough: to inform the family that there is nothing to do…). But what’s next? How do you deal with a new reality in which a father or grandfather gradually loses his awareness and becomes helpless and disconnected, while his body remains whole and healthy? How do you protect him? How do you relate to him? How do you bear the pain and frustration? What do you do?
You turn to Ezer Mizion.
pr golden 2 14 yom tzilulim DSCF1639And what do you do in situations that are not quite so miserable, when you simply reach a stage where you are compelled to assist a parent or other relative who is gradually losing his independence and leaning on the care of others?
You turn to Ezer Mizion.
There, families of Alzheimer’s patients find their first hope for redemption from their impossible situation. They are presented with a course of action that ends up easing not only their burden, but the life of the patient himself. This takes place at the Organization’s Alzheimer’s Support Center, serving very many families in Israel.
This work is only a small part of the comprehensive system Ezer Mizion operates for the benefit of seniors and their families. Here, these precious elderly people, who initiated and established and exerted efforts and lovingly prepared everything for those who are now compelled to care for them and assist them – are given the special attention they have earned. A huge division of Ezer Mizion pools within it the spectrum of services needed by the senior and his family with an emphasis on setting up the environment so that the elderly individual will receive the optimum care.
Caregiver services, a counseling center, an empowerment center, walking groups, a variety of workshops, visits by volunteers, the Bonding with Motion program (a fascinating project that I intend to expand upon in the future) and more, without bounds.
I find it amazing. That there is an address. That there is somewhere to turn. That there is a way to ease pain that is not physical. That there is someone to talk to. That there is – Ezer Mizion.

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Behind the Wheel at Ezer Mizion

pr amb Shmuel Strauss interviewShmuel Strauss was hired as a driver. His job: to transport the elderly and disabled from here to there. But reading between the lines, he knew that an Ezer Mizion driver could do so much more.
“I often see the same people week after week and develop relationships,” he says. “One of my clients was a young mother of three whose husband had died four years ago. Now it was she who was battling for her life. I take her to the oncology clinic for treatment several times a week. Worries color her every waking hour. Will she…? What will be with her children afterwards…” Shmuel would speak warmly to her. His encouragement left her smiling, albeit wanly. One trip found her even more depressed than usual. Continue reading Behind the Wheel at Ezer Mizion

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Why Walk?

pr mental illness flowers 1542_ne_photo_stories1_98b2aFrom the Ezer Mizion mailbag:

I always knew that walking was important for your health, but after trying it, I discovered that it has a lot of other benefits as well, such as a positive effect on one’s mood and optimism, improved quality of sleep, increased limberness, and more.

All these benefits come into expression in Ezer Mizion’s weekly walking clubs for women aged 60 and up. The members of the group enjoy health and social benefits alike. One of the special things about the club is that it is led by a certified walking coach, who gives us tips for proper walking and teaches us how to derive the maximum benefit from the experience, while imbuing the group with a warm, friendly atmosphere. Access to the group is handy and convenient, thanks to a special bus that picks up walkers at set stations around the city.

In light of my very positive experience, I highly recommend to anyone who cares about her health to sign up for this walking club. To register, call Ezer Mizion’s Malka Hager Fitness Center, at: 073-3956317.

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Round Table

pr golden helping handWith the goal of efficiently dealing with anticipated changes in the lives of senior citizens and with the rise in life expectancy, the Rehovot Senior Citizens’ Department, a department of its Social Services Division, recently set up a municipal “Round Table” to discuss issues related to the senior population and provide a response for new needs as they arise. Continue reading Round Table

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“Intergenerational Family Relations in the Multi-Cultural Society of Israel”

The prestigious Journal of Intergenerational Relationships (JIR) has published an article prepared by Ezer Mizion’s Geriatric Services. JIR is published by Taylor & Francis, an international publisher whose headquarters are in Philadelphia and London. The article appeared in the recent special issue, “Intergenerational Family Relations in the Multi-Cultural Society of Israel,” guest edited by Ariela Lowenstein and Ruth Katz and is titled “Bonding through Motion: A Physical Activity-Based Approach for Strengthening Relationships between Elderly People and their Caregivers”. The article explains the Bonding through Motion project that was created by Ezer Mizion’s Geriatric Services professional staff which has been successfully implemented in hundreds of families caring for an elderly, homebound loved one. The article is available at
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15350770.2015.992954#preview

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A Letter Meant for Your, Our Dear Friends and Supporters

pr mental illness flower MB900449094When the doctor made his diagnosis and informed us that all the phenomena we had noticed recently in my mother were symptoms of Alzheimer’s, I was at a real loss.
I am an only daughter, my two brothers live abroad, and I just did not know how I would be able to deal with this distressing diagnosis.
Baruch Hashem, my neighbor told me that in Rosh Ha’ayin the city where I live, , there is a branch of the Ezer Mizion Tzipporah Fried Alzheimer Support Center, established specifically to offer a response to this kind of problem.
The pleasant demeanor and warm smile with which they greeted me at the center were like a breath of fresh air. I received an efficient, professional response. They set up a meeting for me with a social worker, and she helped me understand the meaning of my mother’s illness and what I need to do about it. She also guided me through the maze of bureaucracy, so that I could get the Home Attendant Law allowance from the National Insurance Institute for my mother. She did not leave me alone until everything was arranged in the best possible way.
Afterwards I kept up my connections with the Center. Whenever I come across a problem or question, I call them and always receive a sensitive, professional response. It’s no wonder that I feel they are my second family. They enable me to continue to honor my mother even during her illness.
For the benefit of others who may need the Center’s services, I am listing their information: The Shi”l House, 120 Rashi Street Rosh Ha’ayin, Tel: 03-574-5817

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Kinetic and Connected – for Seniors

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. pr golden helping hand Continue reading Kinetic and Connected – for Seniors

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“Kinetics and Connected”

Kivun Chadash – Gimla’im
July 16, 2014
By: Dahava Eyal

A new program training volunteers to assist seniors with cognitive decline
Earlier this month we gathered at the Tarbut Aleh café for the first get-together of “Kinetic and Connected” volunteers, along with representatives of our partners in the project – the Emda organization, Ezer Mizion, and Aleh Rechovot. Continue reading “Kinetics and Connected”

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Unique Health Maintenance Initiative in Petach Tikvah

Tami Maor July 2, 2014

Petach Tikvah Municipality and Sharon Hospital launch a joint initiative with Ezer Mizion to promote health for seniors

This week, a unique initiative was launched in Petach Tivkah, a collaborative effort of the Petach Tikvah Municipality and Sharon Hospital. The initiative on behalf of the city’s elderly focuses on preventing common health risks.

The initiative is part of a collaborative framework of the Petach Tikvah Municipality Committee for Health Promotion and Ezer Mizion.

Among the prominent participants in the event launching the project were Itzik Braverman – mayor of Petach Tikvah, Yonah Amrusi – Director of Neighborhoods Division, Dr. Carlus Gruzman – Director of Sharon Hospital, Dr. Dror Dicker – Director of Internal Medicine 4, Chairman of the Health Promotion committee, and member of the municipal Health Promotion Committee, Dr. Alon Peretz – Director of the Occupational Clinic, Lara Keselman – Director opr golden 2 14 yom tzilulim DSCF1639f Geriatrics, Shuli Reinhart – Municipal Health Coordinator, Ezer Mizion representatives, and representatives of the Community Center where the ceremony took place. Continue reading Unique Health Maintenance Initiative in Petach Tikvah

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