Who? What? Where?
The National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) operates a Counseling Service for the Elderly which is designed to assist the elderly and their families in resolving problems they may be facing.
The service is available to any elderly person in Israel who requires assistance, and is offered in all Bituach Leumi branches throughout the country. Click here for contact information.
The service is provided by retired volunteers who are trained in courses given at universities and colleges to provide counseling, guidance, and practical assistance to the elderly.
The Counseling Service for the Elderly operates a special telephone line for the elderly and their families on aging-related issues. The service, which is provided by specially-trained volunteers, operates Sunday - Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m (you can leave a message if there is no response) and is available in the following languages:
English - 02-6463404
Hebrew - 02-6463400
Arabic - 02-6463401
Russian - 02-6463402
Amharic - 02-6463403
Counseling for the Elderly and Their Families
The elderly and their families can obtain information, assistance, guidance, and support related to claiming rights and services for the elderly from Bituach Leumi and other organizations, offices, and service providers.
Regular Home Visits
Volunteers visit the elderly on a regular basis once a month, for about two hours. The visits are only made with the consent of the elderly person and at his/her request. Through these home visits, the volunteers forge a personal, understanding, accepting, and sympathetic relationship which is so important to the elderly, to improve their emotional and economic situation. These regular visits help the elderly, reduce their loneliness and improve their lives in general.
One-Time Home Visits
Seniors who may be at risk or in distress are identified by means of one-time home visits, which are coordinated in advance with the elderly person or his/her family. The target population includes those defined as being at risk due to impaired functioning and dependence on others, advanced age (above the age of 80) or family status (widowed). The information is obtained from the Bituach Leumi database. Those found to be in need of assistance, such as referral to a care facility, some kind of intervention or regular home visits, receive continued care and follow-up.
The types of support groups vary from one branch to another, and are established according to the unique needs of the local population, such as the elderly blind, spouses of long-term care patients, and the middle generation who are coping with the age-related crises of their elderly parents.
Support Groups for Widows and Widowers
There are support groups for widows and widowers at every branch. The main purpose of these groups is to provide emotional assistance during the crisis and support in preparing to return to their normal lives. The group facilitators are social workers and professionals in the field of elder counseling at the branches. The groups contain up to 15 participants and the meetings continue for about three months, once a week for two hours each time. Participation in the groups serves as a significant anchor for the participants - they share with other group members the process of working through their grief and coping with their personal loss, and they acquire the spiritual strength and personal validation they need to return to a normal life.
For more information on Bituach Leumi's Counseling Service for the Elderly, click here.
For more information on rights related to seniors, check out our All Rights Index.