Watch: 25% of senior citizens struggle to stay warm

Taisiya Berger gives up basic needs like food and transportation to afford the winter heating bill.

By BENJAMIN SPIER,
February 10, 2012 00:34
Taisiya Berger

Taisiya Berger 311. (photo credit: Benjamin Spier)

Seventy-five-year-old Taisiya Berger struggles every month just to make ends meet.

The retired nanny lives on the NIS 2600 monthly income provided to senior citizens by National Insurance. However, the income barely covers the basic costs of living. That is why Taisiya must spend less on food or traveling to afford her winter heating bill.

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Taisiya is one of the estimated 190,000 elderly in Israel who cut down on basic needs like food and clothing during the winter months to afford the higher electric bills. That statistic comes from a survey commissioned last week by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which found that about one quarter of senior citizens can't afford to heat their homes.

The IFCJ gave out NIS 500 checks and blankets to 15,000 senior citizens earlier this week to help with their heating bills during the winter.

Taisiya says that although she manages with the monthly income from National Service, for some of her neighbors who have higher medical demands, the money is not enough.


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