(photo credit: COURTESY YAD SARAH)
Yad Sarah reported on Tuesday a 15 percent increase in its lending of electric-hospital beds to homes of the chronically ill in 2014 from a year earlier as internal-medicine wards were overrun with patients suffering from flu complications and other conditions.
In 2014, it lent out 3,050 hospital beds, as part of the voluntary organization’s “home hospitalization” service, which provides the beds to families who are reluctant to bring their loved ones to overcrowded hospitals where they could become infected with viruses or bacteria or simply because there is no room.
Yad Sarah also lends out other heavy equipment for home hospitalization, including oxygen tanks, special armchairs for geriatric nursing patients and devices to lift patients and set them down onto furniture. The value of its home-hospitalization units, which can be borrowed through the organization’s 104 branches around the country, totals NIS 17 million.
Last year, Yad Sarah lent out 303,000 pieces of equipment to keep the elderly, lonely, injured and sick at home rather than in hospital despite an 80% cut in financial support for its services from the Health Ministry, it said.
“Yad Sarah is boosting its efforts to get contributions so it can meet the growing needs for its services,” the organization’s spokesman said.
Last year, Yad Sarah transported some 200,000 wheelchair- bound patients to medical services and other locations in its Nechonit vans, while its 6,000 volunteers made 65,000 home visits and operated emergency beeper services for 20,000 people who can call for help around the clock. Volunteer dentists carried out 4,000 dental treatments in its clinics for the elderly, and volunteer lawyers gave legal advice to 3,000 older people.