Five Bat Yam retirees awarded the “Golden Volunteer” medallion for 2016 for their volunteer work in the community. Another 16 were honored for their volunteering
For the sixth year running, the “Golden Volunteer” ceremony was held in Bat Yam, as part of the schedule of events for “Retirees’ Month,” which salutes the senior population.
The highlight of the event was a film describing the retirees’ volunteer activities, including interviews with the people who nominated the awardees for the honor. Five seniors were awarded the “Golden Volunteer” medallion and another sixteen received certificates of honor.
The five recipients of the “Golden Volunteer” medallion were: Rabbi Yaakov Rozha, neighborhood rabbi, Reservist Lieutenant Colonel serving in the Military Chief Rabbinate, and a volunteer for Zaka (identification of terrorist victims); Chava Stern, community volunteer for decades in the Cancer Association, Akim, Ilan, and the Soldiers’ Benefit Association; Ruth ben Simchon, volunteer at the seniors’ day center; Mirit Dayan, volunteer at Wolfson Medical Center’s oncology ward; and Binyamin Abramov, volunteer at the Bat Yam branch of Ezer Mizion.
This 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.
And 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.
From 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.