New year for the golden-agers

Nonprofit Aleh goes beyond just caring for Rehovot’s seniors, by providing them with a sense of belonging and cultural enrichment.

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September 29, 2016 18:36
Nonprofit Aleh

Getting current: Learning how to use a computer and iPad. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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In a hustling world driven by fast turnover, the elderly often feel left behind. Respect for grandparents seems to exist only in societies that cling to traditional ways. Wisdom gained over a lifetime spanning three, or even four generations, isn’t considered relevant. But intellectual vigor, curiosity, the longing to contribute, the need for society and friendship are things that continue living in the mind, even as the body ages.

And what of needy elders who live alone, those who have outlived family and friends? What about Holocaust survivors on their own, elderly immigrants who don’t speak Hebrew, can’t understand official letters and utility bills, and don’t know their rights? Far too many of them feel like travelers cast adrift in a sea of people who don’t care. Seniors make up 10.8% of Israel’s population. Who’s taking care of them today? In Israel’s early years, social services for seniors were skimpy, even nonexistent.

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