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“Ten Kavod” (Care With Dignity)

Program For Israel's Elderly

United Hatzalah of Israel is an independent, non-profit, fully volunteer Emergency Medical Service organization that provides free emergency medical first response throughout Israel. United Hatzalah’s service is available to all people regardless of race, religion, or national origin. United Hatzalah has more than 6,000 volunteers around the country, available around the clock – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With the help of our unique GPS technology and our iconic ambucycles, our average response time is less than 3 minutes across the country and 90 seconds in metropolitan areas. Our mission is to arrive at the scene of medical emergencies as soon as possible and provide the patient with professional and appropriate medical aid until an ambulance arrives, resulting in many more lives saved.

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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. Through weekly home visits by trained volunteers, the program provides medical supervision and ensures that their day-to-day needs are met by assisting with maximization of benefits. In addition, the weekly visits improve the mental/emotional state of the elderly by alleviating loneliness. Our Ten Kavod volunteers undergo medical training so that they can identify any medical issues requiring attention. This is especially important for the elderly as they are susceptible to life threatening medical issues that were caused be medical neglect. 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 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. We can even send an ambulance directly to the elder if his condition warrants immediate intervention or hospitalization. Additionally, our volunteers are trained to offer advice on social and financial benefits and can make referrals on the spot or let our dispatch center personnel contact municipal social services on the ender’s behalf. Ten Kavod volunteers undergo periodical refresher training to ensure that their skills are always up to date, and that they are competent to recognize early signs of deterioration. Volunteer retention is a crucial component to the program’s success, and our annual volunteer appreciation events ensure that our caregivers stay motivated and continue their Ten Kavod volunteering for many years. Ten Kavod is a registered IDF IMPACT project; almost 100 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. While various social welfare organizations provide home visits to elderly service users, Ten Kavod is the only project that combines social and medical aspects of care, providing preventative and holistic cost-free support to at-risk participants. United Hatzalah partners with local welfare and elderly care organizations, which, recognizing Ten Kavod’s unique contribution to patient care, refer a growing number of elderly service users to the program.

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