Last Wednesday, the "Be'er Emunah Institute" (part of the Emunah Movement) opened a hotline for people who need advice regarding senior citizens and the coronavirus outbreak. For many years, this unique institute has specialized in the training of gerontological consultants.
The hotline is manned by graduates of the institute’s training program and will be open daily from 4.00pm - 9.30pm. On the very first day, the hotline was inundated with numerous calls for help and questions. Many of the callers asked for guidance regarding visits to elderly parents, issues pertaining to foreign care workers who themselves have fallen ill or asking for time off and additional concerns relevant to the current crisis.
Suzi Holzer, BSW, gerontological consultant, said: "The caring and concern shown by the children of the elderly, touches my heart. It’s clear that it’s important to them to honor their parents. The children go out of their way to provide solutions to the needs of their elderly parents. I am aware from our conversations that we are all trying to come up with creative ways to stay in touch with parents during these difficult times. Without a doubt, we have no control over the events that happen to us during our lives but we choose how to respond."
Tami Summit , the director of the Be'er Emunah Institute, said: "The coronavirus outbreak has created a new reality. An emergency situation, where the major concern is not as it usually is, for the well-being of the children but rather for the well-being of the seniors. We are privileged to live in a generation in which people live long lives and there are many grandparents amongst us. The current situation has created challenges that regular emergency preparations have not addressed."
What should we do? Do we visit grandma and grandpa? What are the rights and obligations of the care worker? How do we help an individual with dementia who is unable to understand what is taking place around them?
These dilemmas and others are the reason the Institute opened the "Coronavirus Hotline." The hotline is operated by graduates of the Be'er Emunah Institute, under the close professional supervision of the faculty of Emunah's Gerontological Consultancy and Case Management Program. The hotline provides answers to senior citizens and their families.
The response to the opening of the hotline is in itself proof of the necessity: On the first day, the hotline was swamped with many calls, which led the Institute to extend the hours of operation.
The phone number of the hotline, which operates between the hours of 4:00p.m. to 9:30p.m., is: 052-3534541.