Health of Holocaust survivors worsening

Around 88% suffer from at least one chronic illness.

Holocaust survivor. (photo credit: AP)
Holocaust survivor.
(photo credit: AP)
On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the number of survivors in Israel stands at some 207,000, people whose health is worsening, according to the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel.
The foundation, which provides assistance to about 55,000 Holocaust survivors, also said Sunday that around 88 percent of survivors suffer from at least one chronic illness and that 66% reported difficulty maintaining their residence on their own. In addition, a majority reported that their health problems had worsened over the past year.
Around two-thirds of survivors said they suffer fromemotional problems and a large majority reported trouble sleeping anddepression. Also, a quarter said that if they were to suffer some sortof personal crisis they would have no family or friends to counton.
The foundation added that the health problemsfaced by survivors demandassistance in the provision of medical equipment, medical proceduresand nursing care.
In a press release issued on Sunday, the foundation’s chairman Ze’evPaktor, himself a survivor of Auschwitz, said, “To our distress, manyHolocaust survivors are suffering from emotional distress, depression,loneliness, chronic physical illnesses.
“The Israeli public has a moral and ethical responsibility to providewhatever they are lacking in the final years of their lives.”