Melabev on the move

The fourth annual 'Don't Forget Us' Walkathon for families of victims of Alzheimer's, is set to kick off in the Negev at the end of November.

negev88 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
The Melabev community clubs for eldercare, a leader in Alzheimer's care, is holding a number of events for the general public and professionals over the coming weeks, with some unique local and international features. The fourth annual "Don't Forget Us" Walkathon two and a half days in the Negev in and around the Ramon crater will include several walkers from the US. Buses will take the walkers from Jerusalem to the start of the trail on the evening of Tuesday, November 27, for a moonlight walk. Bonnie Segal, co-chair of the Walkathon for the past two years, says of the nighttime hike, "The stillness of the desert and the play of moonlight and shadows on the hills and valleys will envelop the walkers, and distance them from the stresses of their daily routines." For the following two days, participants will choose from either a challenging all-day trek up and down the hills, or a half-day "hiker-friendly" route of more level terrain. The other half-day, for those choosing this option, will be spent at an archaeological or similar site. The two groups will rejoin for an evening barbeque and kumsitz. Every walker commits to raising sponsorship contributions, which are dedicated to Melabev projects serving the elderly who have Alzheimer's-like symptoms. Melabev operates nine day-care centers and a home-care program for over 300 elderly with cognitive and memory impairments, and offers support services to their family caregivers. Prof. Arnold Rosin, former Director of the Geriatric Department of Shaare Zedek Medical Center of Jerusalem and Leah Abramowitz, MSW - then the hospital's geriatric social worker co-founded this award-winning agency over 26 years ago. Melabev has since developed innovative therapies, such as their original computer software program, Savyon, for stimulating the remaining cognitive and memory skills of the elderly. Savyon, which can be used for Hebrew or English speakers, is currently distributed throughout Israel and in English-speaking countries. It is now being translated into Russian, French and Spanish. What are the options for the elderly of differing backgrounds, with different needs, in this country? The First Geriatric Study Tour in English is now accepting registrants from professionals for a survey of eldercare in Israel from 1948 when those over 65 years of age accounted for only 4 percent of our population, to today, when it's grown to 10%. The study tour will visit centers in Jerusalem, Beersheba and Dimona, venues for the healthy elderly as well as those with special needs. They will see a unique retirement village, a highly evaluated sheltered housing unit for Holocaust survivors, and comprehensive day-care centers, and will hear talks by experts and renowned lecturers. Issues to be addressed include "Services in a Multi-Ethnic Society." This three-day study tour will be held Tuesday through Thursday, January 8-10, 2008. Professionals from the US and various parts of Israel have already signed up, and queries are coming in from Asia and Africa as well. For more information on Melabev or any of the above activities, visit, or call 02-655-5826