Close to four years ago, the Minister for Senior Citizens, started an initiative “Yechidat Segula” (literally translated as the “Unique Unit”) aimed at helping elderly people being released from the hospital to understand their rights and the assistance to which they are entitled. Shaare Zedek Medical Center was selected as one of the first hospitals to be part of this effort. Today, this unit is guided by the Ministry for Social Equality under the direction of MK Gila Gamliel.
As part of this effort, Yechidat Segula, has been working to help Holocaust survivors by informing them of their rights and how to receive these benefits. Many Holocaust survivors are unaware of these rights explained Sarah Noam, Head of Shaare Zedek’s Administrative Services Department. When patients register in our admissions department, a computer program notes their date and country of birth. The names are then forwarded to the volunteers of the Yehidat Segula who contact patients to find out if they are survivors of the Holocaust and, if yes, the volunteers inform them of their rights and how to take advantage of these rights.
The benefits include free medications, 50 hours of nursing care at home after hospitalization,… The staff of our Yechidate Segula has formulated a process to try and identify all eligible patients. Since the service began a few weeks ago, the volunteers have found five to ten survivors each week who were eligible and unaware of these benefits.
Ms. Yona Tamary, the Head of our Yechidat Segula explained, “While some survivors are aware of certain benefits many are not aware of everything and it can make a very significant difference. We are constantly trying new approaches to identify more people who may not realize all the benefits available to them.”
One volunteer shared, “That moment when you are sitting and talking with a patient and they realize that they can have extra assistance is incredible– it is wonderful to see how relieved they are and how such benefits can really help them.”
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