JOIN-LifeLine - Emergency Aid for Elderly

JOINing to help an elderly person in crisis

Thirty percent of Israel's elderly live in severe financial distress. LifeLine leverages the manpower, infrastructure and assessment of municipal welfare agencies in 5 cities to extend emergency subsidies to most-needy elderly who could not otherwise afford essentials like medicine, hearing aids, dental work, eyeglasses, and critical home repairs.

LifeLine empowers the professional social-work staff of the municipal Ministry of Welfare to identify and professionally assess the greatest needs of the elderly that cannot otherwise be met, and ensure their resolution. LifeLine extends the extensive professional manpower and infrastructure to offer help in ways that were not possible, and omits enormous amounts of wasteful duplication.


Stories of Success

No one knows why David and Rosa, a retired couple in their eighties, were thrown out of their home by their grandson. Unfortunately, elder abuse is not uncommon in Israel. An attorney helped them find a temporary apartment and tried to retrieve their property through legal means, but he suddenly dropped their case and disappeared.

With no home, no savings and only a meager pension to live on, David and Rosa should surely qualify for some kind of aid. But under government rules and with recent cutbacks, the Netivot welfare authorities cannot give them money for medicines or even basic food staples. LifeLine arranged for a grant to subsidize these immediate needs, so that David and Rosa can at least take care of themselves while they sort out their problems.

Ohr Akiva
Seventy-nine-year-old Brenda is widowed and lonely, having left her family behind in the Soviet Union many years ago. Saddled with severe health problems, including hearing loss, she is dependent on government welfare assistance. But the local welfare department couldn't buy her a hearing aid that would enable her to participate in social activities at the local senior center. Realizing how much Brenda was suffering both physically and emotionally, JOIN Israel subsidized the purchase. Today, thanks to a small hearing device, Brenda has the emotional strength to cope with her physical problems and greet other seniors with a smile.

Nazareth Ilit
Nurit, a divorcee in her sixties, was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and fought it with aggressive treatments. Recently the cancer returned. Nurit's doctor recommended a strong medication that is easier on the body than chemotherapy, but the health funds don't cover it. Nurit took out a bank loan and borrowed money from relatives, yet she still couldn't meet the $600 monthly cost. JOIN Israel stepped in to make up the difference, throwing Nurit a much-needed lifeline to help her succeed in her battle with cancer.

Beitar Ilit
Shifra is a housebound, 82-year-old resident of a Jerusalem satellite city that has scant local daycare facilities for seniors. She could be accepted in the Jerusalem day center, six miles to the north, but transportation is unavailable for people with impaired mobility. JOIN Israel's investment of $280 in transportation costs enables Shifra and nine others to get to Jerusalem twice weekly for a full day of activities and a hot meal – services that are worth thousands of dollars.

Ohr Yehuda
Ohr Yehuda is one of Tel Aviv’s poorest neighborhoods, and Sarah is one of its saddest residents. Her husband resides in a nursing home while she lives with her 45-year-old, mentally unstable son. Unable to qualify for government funds to institutionalize him, she copes valiantly with his mood swings, but life isn't easy. Several months ago her washing machine broke down and she was told that government funding was not available for that either. When the city social worker found Sarah washing hers and her adult son’s clothes by hand in a washbasin, she immediately turned to JOIN Isreal. By buying Sarah a new washing machine, JOIN Israel brought a tremendous smile to the face of one of Ohr Yehuda’s most desperate residents.

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