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Acts of kindness start at home.

United Hatzalah’s Ten Kavod (Care with Dignity) program is unique in its volunteer-based approach to providing a cost-free dependable holistic medical and social solution for Holocaust survivors and other elderly in Israel living alone in the community. Through free weekly wellness visits to elderly by trained volunteers, the Ten Kavod program secures the health of countless vulnerable Israelis.

United Hatzalah established the Ten Kavod program in 2012 in response to the many incidents of elder neglect reported by our volunteer medics. The program’s mission is to provide a safety net for Israel’s at-risk Holocaust survivors and elderly population living alone in the community. Our Ten Kavod volunteers undergo a 44-hour training course so that they can identify any medical issues requiring attention as well as carry out weekly vital signs checks.

Weekly home visits include vital signs checks (temperature, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, etc.), which help identify changes in the patient’s medical condition, prevent deterioration and repeated hospital stays. Our emphasis is on preventive care – such as early diagnosis of medical issues – to avoid prolonged and costly hospital stays and deterioration of current or new health conditions. We train our volunteers to recognize symptoms of dementia, injury, and poor nutrition.

Through these weekly home visits to their assigned elder, our volunteers ensure that the day-to-day needs of the elderly are met while monitoring their mental and physical heath situation and alleviating loneliness. Our volunteers report on the senior’s physical and emotional state via the project’s unique proprietary smartphone app, and the data is reviewed daily by our in-house medical staff, who follows up with a referral to the client’s HMO doctor if deemed necessary. 

Ten Kavod is a registered IDF IMPACT project; more than 175 IDF soldiers during and after military service have been recruited as volunteers for our Ten Kavod program. Additionally, the program is an approved Ministry of Education “Community Giving Program” for high-school students.  

 Ten Kavod volunteers often form close bonds with elderly participants, and frequently celebrate milestones including birthdays and other special occasions together. Weekly visits provide an important emotional anchor for this vulnerable population, and both Ten Kavod volunteers and the elderly benefit from the intergenerational connections formed during weekly visits.

Additionally, our volunteers go the extra mile to ensure the overall safety and wellbeing of the elderly. Volunteers view Ten Kavod participants holistically, and often invest time and energy, above and beyond their weekly visits. Ten Kavod volunteers call the elderly between weekly visits to ensure their physical and emotional health, buy them gifts, blankets for the winter and help them prepare for and experience the holidays. Many Ten Kavod volunteers, invested as they are in improving the quality of life of elderly participants, ‘adopt’ their elder as a family member.

Just One Touching Story:

In October 2021, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Talia Asher from Mevaseret Zion visited an elderly woman for the first time, as part of the organization’s Ten Kavod project. Upon arriving at the apartment, Talia was shocked by what she saw.

The walls of the apartment were cracked so badly that Talia thought they might endanger the structural integrity of the building. Talia photographed the walls and sent pictures to the coordinators of the Ten Kavod project to see what could be done to help. The coordinators immediately transferred the photographs to The Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs, who sent an engineer to visit the apartment for further inspection.

Upon his arrival and inspection of the building, the engineer decided that all residents of the building, including the woman whom Talia visited, needed to be evacuated until the building could be deemed safe for occupancy.

That evening, the elderly woman who Talia visited was taken to a nearby hotel to stay, at the expense of the government, and will be residing there until it is safe for her to return to her apartment. The elderly woman was incredibly thankful and moved to tears by the kindness and concern shown to her by Talia and the coordinators of the “Ten Kavod” project who accompanied her throughout the process.

Another United Hatzalah volunteer, Yossi Mandel from the Carmel-Nesher branch, was in the middle of his weekly Ten Kavod visit when he noticed that his elderly friend seemed distressed. Upon inquiring, Yossi determined that the elderly man’s house had recently suffered substantial damage to the plumbing system when an external sewage pipe became dislodged from his home.

Lacking the financial means to repair the damage, Yossi’s elderly friend was distraught.

Committed to protecting the health and safety of his elderly friend, Yossi took action. Networking with other United Hatzalah volunteers, Yossi was able to arrange the use of a crane, free of charge, courtesy of an associate who owned a transport company.

The elderly individual expressed his sincere thanks to Yossi, grateful for his dedication and generosity.

ADDITIONAL 2022 TEN KAVOD AID

In addition to weekly visits, and the nationwide vaccination transport initiative, United Hatzalah’s Ten Kavod program are offering the following special programs in 2022:

– Distribution of warm, winter blankets to elderly individuals

– Delivery of 350 Passover holiday kits to the elderly

– Delivery of 350 Chanukah holiday kits to Ten Kavod participants

These gifts helped ensure the safety and wellbeing of hundreds of Ten Kavod participants, bringing joy and warmth during the holiday festivities.

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