Reforms to make life easier for elderly Israelis were announced Tuesday by the Deputy Minister for Veteran Israeli Affars, Leah Ness. The reforms will be implemented immediately in about 100 cities and towns across the country, and by 2014 will be implemented all over the country.
The reforms could take the form of reduced payments for services to increases in material benefits for the elderly, depending on where they live. As a first step, local authorities will develop an “elderly profile” for their town, showing the current conditions for elderly Israelis living in those towns. At the second stage, cities will write their own plans and implement them, based on the needs of current residents and what they expect in the future.
“Thanks to technology and medical advances made in Israel and abroad, life expectancy in Israel rose by nearly nine years over the past 30 years,” said Ness. “We expect the population of elderly to double by 2030,” she said. “The purpose of the reforms is to give local authorities the tools they need to get ready for that increase in the elderly population, to ensure that they can provide the quality of life the elderly deserve, and to provide them with opportunities to take advantage of the creativity and capabilities that the elderly have within them,” Ness added.
Ness made the announcement of the plan during a visit to the Golan Heights. Ness said that “in light of the events of recent days,” with Syrian guns and tanks aiming at the Golan, “it is significant that we are making the announcement here. It is clear that the Golan makes a great contribution to the defense of Israel,” she said.