(photo credit: COURTESY YAD SARAH)
More than half a million Israelis used the services of the voluntary organization Yad Sarah in the past year, which lent out 332,000 pieces of medical equipment from its more than 100 branches and provided a variety of other services for the elderly, sick and lonely.
Yad Sarah volunteers lend out a medical device every 100 seconds.
The biggest success in 5776 was the introduction of a device worn around the neck that, if the wearer falls and cannot get up, informs Yad Sarah’s emergency center which then sends help. The device has already saved the life of one elderly woman; the fire department was sent to break open her door and an ambulance took her to the hospital.
Among the hundreds of types of medical equipment lent to the public were 7,000 electrical hospital beds for chronically ill patients so that they wouldn’t have to be hospitalized for a long period. The less time patients with weak immune systems spend in a hospital the more likely they are to avoid infections resulting from a hospital stay.
In addition, its 6,000 volunteers lent 64,000 wheelchairs and special seats for the shower as well as 49,000 breast milk pumps.
In the past year, the 40-yearold organization opened branches in Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimel and Sussiya.
Branches in Kiryat Malachi and Yeroham moved to larger facilities.
Its vans took people in wheelchairs on 122,000 trips, and volunteers made 67,000 visits to those unable to leave home.
Its equipment display center volunteers explained how to use medical devices to 15,000 people, while its lawyers gave free advice to 9,000 elderly citizens.
Six thousand free dental treatments were performed on elderly people at home and in clinics.
“This year too we saw a rise in requests for help. We try to respond to all of them,” said Yad Sarah founder and President (and former Jerusalem mayor) Uri Lupolianski. “In its 40 years, Yad Sarah has helped one out of two Israeli families.”