Just before 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening, an elderly man who lives at home and has no family to care for him was brought a package of food by Orli Kadosh, the founder of a local community initiative “Adopt a Senior”. The man who suffers from a number of chronic illnesses was not used to receiving guests and did not get up to open the door. Orli, who has a long-standing relationship with United Hatzalah Chapter Head and local coordinator of the organization’s Ten Kavod project Vicki Tiferet, called Vicki and told her that she is worried about the man since he wasn’t opening his door.
Vicki wasted no time in calling United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center and requesting that help be sent due to the suspicion that the person may not be able to open his door and thus require medical assistance. Emergency medical service (EMS) volunteers from the organization were dispatched to the scene, and Vicki herself went as well.
Vicki has responded to medical emergencies and calls for help from Orly regarding this particular man multiple times in the past two years and Orli has been trying to get the man assistance from city services as the man is unable to take care of himself. “I’ve told the city that they need to find a solution for this man, and after a lengthy process it is finally happening and the man will be given a spot in a seniors residence with individual care at the end of the week. However, I was not expecting to receive another call about him in the interim, but that is what happened.”
Vicki went together with other first responders and finally managed to coax the man to open his door. “We arrived and after a long time got the man to open his door. He was completely out of it. He had taken his medication and still wasn’t feeling well. He had just recently had his Coronavirus vaccine and it was apparently causing him some side effects. After he opened the door and we saw that he was okay I told dispatch that the additional forces could stand down as there was no need.”
Vicki and the team saw that the state of the apartment in which the man lived was unbecoming and the apartment was a complete mess. There was moldy food in the fridge, the floor was dirty and flooded in certain areas, pipes were leaking, and the entire place was in a state of disarray. They knew that before this man moved to his new residence, he needed to undergo a Coronavirus test. Thus, two volunteers offered to take him to the test, while the others decided to surprise the man and clean his apartment. Vicki called in reinforcements from other EMS volunteers and volunteers in the Ten Kavod project and they arrived with just a few moment’s notice. They spent the next two hours cleaning the apartment. The volunteers washed the floors, walls, bathrooms, and appliances. They cleaned out the fridge and threw away the moldy food. Some went shopping and purchased fresh food with money that was donated from other volunteers who weren’t able to participate in person. All of this in order to make sure the man was taken care of for the next few days until he moved to his new home.
“We simply couldn’t leave the place the way it was. No one should live like that, “ Vicki said. “When the man came home the smile he had on his face lit up the entire room. He was shocked. Here is a man who spends most of his time alone, without interaction with other people. He even had a difficult time trusting us at first but when he saw his clean home, he was overjoyed and incredibly thankful. His joy spread to us all. I was so filled with adrenaline that I wasn’t able to sleep last night due to an overflowing sense of satisfaction.”
The volunteers who joined in the effort included Tair Aviani Carmi, Yechiel Binyamin, Victor Yaskov, Gil Ben-Nun, Anat Moller Matuk, Shimrit Levi, and Maor Hafuta.
“I’ve known Orli for a long time,” said Vicki, “and she often finds that elderly people aren’t feeling well but don’t necessarily need to go to the hospital, they just want to get checked out or have their blood pressure taken. In these instances, I go, or I send other volunteers from United Hatzalah’s Ten Kavod project and we check the person’s vital signs and we help them get in touch with their doctor. In the instances where the situation is more serious and if it is needed, then we call an ambulance for them. I get calls from Orli about these situations fairly frequently and we are always happy to help. After all, this is what the Ten Kavod project does as well. This is a type of preventative medicine in addition to alleviating the elderly person’s sense of loneliness. The continuing care that we provide during our weekly visits and whenever we get a call from Orli, this too saves lives.”
To support the work of Vicki and other Ten Kavod volunteers of United Hatzalah please click here: