My Dear Mother: Reforming Elder Care

Design: Einhar Design Ltd.

Dear Friends,


This time I am writing to you about a personal experience, that I imagine many of you have shared. My father, who died three years ago, was a diabetic and was confined to a wheelchair for more than a decade. As you can imagine, in his later years he was in need of constant care. We chose caregivers who helped him at home, despite the heavy cost of this on the entire family. At one point he needed nursing care 24 hours a day, which our whole family were involved with, both financially and emotionally. This wasn’t an easy time, but we obviously wanted to do as much as possible for my father.


What do families do if they do not have the means to pay? What kind of stress and tension does that place on a family of who needs elder care? I was especially outraged by the thought that we work all our lives, pay National Insurance (Bituach Leumi), and then when we are in our hour of greatest need, the State does not really provide us with support. It is not right, and it is humiliating.


Treatment and hospitalization for elder care in Israel is not included in the basket of public health services – but we have a unique opportunity to correct this injustice. In discussions concerning the 2017 budget, reforms to elder care are on the table again and public pressure is essential to ensure that decision makers make an important change that will ultimately benefit us all.


Many organizations, including ACRI, Ken LaZaken, the Association of Law in the Service of the Elderly, the Elderly Rights Clinic at Bar Ilan University, senior citizens and other organizations, have come together to generate public pressure. Next Tuesday 5 July, a conference will be held in the Knesset on this issue. Please come along, and show how important this topic is to the public. You are welcome to learn more on the campaign’s website and to send a clear demand to the decision makers to reform elder care. If you have experienced difficulties in relation to this system, we would appreciate you sharing your story with us.


Your assistance and participation are key to making this necessary change. Our parents were there for us and we will be there for them – we must ensure that they have the right to grow old with dignity.






Sharon Abraham-Weiss
Executive Director
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel

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Categories: Democracy and Civil Liberties, The Right to Health

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