The Association for the Elderly of Kfar Saba
“Ha’amutah Lma’An Hakashish- Kfar Saba “or “The Association for the Elderly of Kfar Saba” is a fully recognized and registered, public non-profit organization. It is dedicated to providing a full range of programs and services to the significant elderly population of Kfar Saba.
The Association was established in 1984 and provides assistance to senior citizens in many aspects of their daily life including aid, rehabilitation, health, leisure and social activities all aimed at enriching and improving the quality of life of the elderly.
The Association and all of its programs are coordinated with the municipality of Kfar Saba and the national and local Departments of Social Services.
The Senior Adult Day Care Center
The operation of The Senior Adult Day Care Center is the largest and most successful single project of the Association. The Center, one of the largest and most active in the country, currently serves over 250 seniors per week with an average of 140 seniors visiting daily. The Center operates from 7:30 – 14:30 daily, Sunday through Friday. Members of the Center all live in Kfar Saba and have various degrees of limited functioning. Additionally, the Center operates separate, self-enclosed Alzheimer and Senile-dementia unit. Many members are completely home-bound other than their visits to the Day Center.
The many and varied services that the Center provides includes needs appropriate daily transportation service, including buses specially designed for the handicapped, three meals daily, daily personal care, social services, physical and occupational therapy, art, ceramics, lectures, and much more. The Center provides a tailored program for each member designed for the specific needs of the senior citizen. Members include new immigrants as well as native Israelis, seniors from 18 different countries. Special programs and classes are regularly held in Russian, Spanish, Yiddish and English to meet the individual needs of the new immigrants.
The Center also provides hundreds of subsidized hot meals each month to homebound seniors who are unable to provide for themselves. The meals are freshly prepared daily in the kosher kitchen of the Day Center and delivered to the door of the senior by the Center's staff. This also provides an opportunity for someone to check the health and welfare of the senior and provide additional help where needed.
The Amutah is in the process of completing a complete renovation of the Day Center. The renovation is nearing its completion and already the Center is filled to capacity and plans are being made for a new Center to be completed by December 2012.
Home Care Service - Sha’al
The Association operates a full-scale home care service program that provides assistance to seniors in need of home visits. Sha’al provides daily home visits by trained nursing assistants under the supervision and guidance of registered nurses and licensed social workers who design a tailored assistance program for the senior. Sha’al’s trained staff assists the family whenever necessary in many difficult life care decisions.
Sha'al operates under the supervision of the Department of Social Services and the National Social Security Institute and works in conjunction with other agencies such as the Claims Conference and The Department of Defense. Frequently, Sha'al provides pre-certification nursing help to needy homebound seniors who do not have insurance coverage.
"Chayil" –Chayim leshanim (Long Life)
Chayil is a program designed to promote health living among the local senior population. Its programs include over 40 senior citizen volunteers that have undergone special training.
City-wide exercise groups – more than 20 exercise programs are provided citywide, each led by professionally trained instructors. All told, over 330 seniors over 55 years old train each week.
Home-Safety Program-This is a joint program with Teva Pharmecuetical Company. Chayil volunteers along with Teva employees make home visits where they inspect senior's homes for safety in an effort to prevent falls and other common home accidents. Free improvements and modifications have been made to over 160 homes including installation of grab bars, wheelchair accessibility, and others. The materials are funded by the Teva Pharmaceutical Company.
Other programs include:
· Free Sight Exams
· Free Hearing Tests
· Classes on maintaining proper balance
· Seminars and lectures.
The newest project of the association is the operation of the Supportive community within the community of Kfar Saba. Members of defined geographic areas are provided with emergency panic buttons that are staffed 24 hours per day by trained staff. The call button connects an open telephone line to the call center that establishes communication with the senior and simultaneously calls for emergency assistance. The service also includes reduced rates for emergency assistance, a trained "Community Father" will provide small repairs, reduced fees for medicine and more.
The package of services helps the senior live a healthier more secure life with peace of mind and around the clock security that they have 24 hour assistance 7 days a week. Members often meet socially and look forward to the fascinating field trips that the Amutah provides.
The communities have grown tremendously from one community that served 135 members just two years ago, to two communities that each serves over 200 homes. As a result of this enormous success, plans are being made to make Kfar Saba the first "Supportive City" in Israel.
Care for Holocaust Survivors
The "Kfar Saba Club" is a highly successful program that was inaugurated in August 2004 to provide special services specifically for holocaust survivors and their spouses. The club was created based on many of the unmet unique needs of the survivors in the Kfar Saba community. It meets each Tuesday afternoon at the Day Center with a wide variety of activities that include social gatherings, Yiddish concerts, lectures and specially designed field trips that all understand the unique needs of the holocaust survivors.
The professional staff includes a licensed social worker, a program coordinator and many professional volunteers. The program has already grown to over 80 members.
"Testimony Theater " – is an extremely unique, multigenerational program, whereby 11 members of the "Kfar Saba Club" and 16 local high school students meet weekly under the supervision of the well known directors Ezra and Irit Dagan. The holocaust survivors discuss their experiences – often for the first time in their lives, as the youth listen, question and discuss. The highlight will be a city wide performance later this year where both the survivors and the students share the stage, as the children play the role of the survivor and tell the story of their survival.
Holocaust Memorial Day -Multi-generational Community Wide Panel
In 2004 The Amutah reinstituted a tradition of multi-generational community wide discussion of related to the holocaust. Participants include many survivors, second and third generation "survivors", high school students and others. It is hosted by a prominent national expert on treatment of holocaust survivors such as Dr. Natan Dorst, founder of Amcha and others. The event has attracted overflow crowds of over 150 people and has provided extremely emotional and provocative discussions.
"Bayit Cham"is a innovative program that addresses the special needs of the senior Ethiopian immigrants in Kfar Saba. The group was established four years ago in a community bomb shelter. The group now has about 30 active members. The group meets once a week and its activities are organized by two members of the group. Activities include Café type meetings, social games, movie clubs, trips and health awareness programs.
Other programs include:
· Bi-monthly newspaper written by local senior citizen for the senior population of Kfar Saba;
· The provision of recreation kits for the homebound seniors,
· Distribution of hot meals;
· Operation of local television station that broadcasts unique senior related programs that specifically geared to the senior population. All of the production staff are senior volunteers;
· distribution of blankets for the winter;
· subsidized eyeglasses for the needy and other senior adult education activities.
Some of the programs that are presently being planned include:
· A new Day Center.
· "City wide Supportive Community".
· Broader Holocaust survivor treatment programs.
· City wide preventive medicine/ health awareness programs.