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Ten Kavod

The Ten Kavod program, in English “Showing Respect”, was established in 2013 with the aim “to prevent the deterioration of medical health among the senior population,” regardless of religious affiliation, race or gender. The project works to prevent the all-too common instances United Hatzalah faces when encountering impoverished senior citizens who are unable to contend with the routine reality, who are suffering declining health conditions and even, at times, when reaching these citizens when it is already too late.

The department recruits volunteers from the community, trains them as first responders (they undergo the full first responders’ training), and coordinates between the volunteer and the specific senior citizen.

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Filling a Void

The Ten Kavod program, in English “Showing Respect”, was established in 2013 with the aim “to prevent the deterioration of medical health among the senior population,” regardless of religious affiliation, race or gender. The project works to prevent the all-too common instances United Hatzalah faces when encountering impoverished senior citizens who are unable to contend with the routine reality, who are suffering declining health conditions and even, at times, when reaching these citizens when it is already too late.

The department recruits volunteers from the community, trains them as first responders (they undergo the full first responders’ training), and coordinates between the volunteer and the specific senior citizen.

The Ten Kavod project is currently offered in 33 cities around the country – including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Elad, Herzliya and Ashkelon – where over 720 holocaust survivors and other elderly participants benefit from services by 700 trained volunteers, including weekly home visits, advice on social and financial benefits, medical checkups and access to our call-center staff.

The services provided by Ten Kavod are completely free to aid the elderly who are struggling financially. There are 190,000 holocaust survivors in Israel today, including 48,000 living below the poverty line, and 38,500 who report having to choose between food, medication and other necessities.

The volunteer visits his or her assigned senior citizen in his home and monitors his health and vitals in order to provide preventative care. Furthermore, the volunteer assists the senior citizen in contending with the digital world and making appointments at the Health Fund (Kupat Cholim). The volunteer also serves as a companion who engages the senior citizen and helps alleviate his loneliness, thereby, the volunteer acts as an additional field of warmth and protection for the senior citizen.

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Importantly, the activities of the current volunteers have far surpassed the initial and basic goals of the project – the volunteers form a deep connection with the senior citizens that includes assisting with other activities including shopping, and also participation in family events and celebrations.

In recent years, as part of this project United Hatzalah has distributed heaters and blankets, performed light home renovations, connected the senior citizens to other aid organizations for the provision of hot meals, and more.

For more information email Ariel ben David at [email protected].

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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.

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.

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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