A growing number of families are taking care of chronically ill patients in their homes, if possible, due to the current overcrowding of hospitals and risk of contracting nosocomial (in-house) infections in the hospitals, according to the Yad Sarah organization.
The rate of borrowing hospital beds for home use rose 17% in 2016 compared to the previous year. A total of 4,100 such beds were lent to families in 2016.
The voluntary organization, with over 100 branches around the country, lent out 338,000 medical devices last year, a 5% increase from 2015. These included walkers, walking sticks, wheelchairs, bathing chairs and other devices, all at no cost.
More than half a million residents benefited from Yad Sarah services, from visits to the elderly at home to laundry services for the bedridden.