Elderly couple (illustrative).
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Aging parents often resist or refuse needed help from their adult children, showed a recent survey of elder care experts, issued by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers in the United States. Resistance to getting needed medical care is the easiest for children to overcome, while decisions about whether to continue driving and getting home care and help with household chores are the most common trouble spots.
It is estimated that in Israel there are 832,000 people over the age of 65. About 155,000 of them receive assistance from Social Security payments. The rest, however, often depend on help from family and friends.
But what happens when the immediate family lives far away? “It is very difficult for us as kids to see our parents in need of help, and not being able to assist them. It can cause great stress in families,” says Ma’anit Shlezinger, who together with Rita Avramov founded Seniority, a personal geriatric care management company that specializes in helping elderly people who live far away from their adult children.
“Or you can look at it the other way around. We help the adult children who live abroad, who are struggling to take care of their aging parents who live here in Israel,” says Shlezinger.
Both Shlezinger and Avramov have extensive training and experience working with older people, those with disabilities and families who need assistance with caregiving issues.
Avramov is the former manager of social services at Hadassah Hospital, and Shlezinger is a social worker with a strong background in manpower.
“In this day and age it is very common for people to move around following their careers.
And when someone moves from Israel with their family they do not take into account that their parents are staying behind and may one day need help,” says Avramov. “So we took the American model of geriatric care management and are implementing it here.”
Seniority is among the first companies that provide assistance to children who live far away. “When it comes to health for example, we are not in competition with health providers,” explains Shlezinger.
“We do not substitute the service, we connect and make all the arrangements for the parent on behalf of the children.
The emphasis is on both the technical assistance, providing the information, and then the decision-making and following up with those in need.”
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