Centre of Excellence for Research on Environment, Health and Aging

Elderly Citizens' Homes

Elderly Citizens' Homes

  • Amutat Vatikei Hagalil – The Galilee Seniors Organization (GSO), Upper Galilee Regional Council, 12100 Israel. GSO was founded in 1993 and is a registered Israeli non-profit organization. The current organizational budget of GSO is 6300000 ₪ and It provides services to 2600 seniors in 29 kibbutzim.
  • The mission of the Galilee Seniors Organization is to provide care and empowerment to the elderly population of Israel's northern periphery, residents of rural communities situated near the Lebanese border. GSO's work is aimed at enabling the region's senior citizens to receive the services they need in their familiar surroundings, to be significant and active members of their communities, and to promote a healthy view of old age as a natural and integral part of the life cycle.
  • GSO provides direct services to the elderly population of 29 kibbutz communities in the Upper Galilee Regional Council. Most of these communities, once egalitarian societies in which all income was shared, are now privatized, leaving their elderly and retired residents at the lowest income levels within them. In addition to the financial difficulty, the region's proximity to the Lebanese border has created added hardship to its population, which has been the repeated target of missile attacks.

Organizational Capacity

  • Programs and Activities The Galilee Seniors Organization runs a wide range of programs and activities, as follows:
  • Day center for the elderlythat hosts approximately 500 people for various activities such as care for disabled elderly people, social and cultural activities, information on rights and services, and coordination of activities to connect different age groups in the region's communities with the elderly.
  • Rural community supportprovides services to the elderly in their homes and communities, serving 700 individuals in 25 kibbutz communities, 10 moshav farm communities, and three small towns. The services include emergency medical help, installation of emergency help buttons, home health visits, home repairs and upkeep, and social activities.
  • "A Warm Home" provides cultural and social activities on a regular basis to a total of 250-300 older adults in 26 kibbutz communities.
  • Work with local nursing homesin 15 communitiesto provide professional support and training to staff as well as paramedical services, physical therapy, nutritional advice, and occupational therapy.
  • College courses at Tel Hai Academic College host 100 older adults as auditors, studying together with their younger counterparts.
  • "A Beautiful Mind" program offers 200 younger retirees (aged 60-75) a variety of classes, workshops and courses.
  • Volunteer and occupational center gives opportunities for active older adults to work in its café, shop, sewing workshop, second-hand store, and computer multi-media center.
  • Volunteer programsIn addition to the ones proposed in this letter, GSO coordinates volunteer programs for active older adults working as guides in the Tel Hazor archeological site, as helpers for their disabled or frail counterparts, as tutors for learning disabled college students at Tel Hai, and as writers and editors of our newspaper "Kivun Hadash – A New Direction".
  • Larger activities open to the public such as hikes and tours for various groups of older adults, lectures, holiday celebrations, and conferences on issues of aging.
  • Management qualifications: The Galilee Seniors Organization has extensive experience in care and empowerment for older adults. It is a recognized non-profit organization and works according to the rules and criteria of the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Health, the National Insurance Institute, and the Ministry of Pensioners' Affairs.
  • Awards: GSO has received the Glickman Prize from JDC-ESHEL, the Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged in Israel, for its unique model of recording oral histories, and the Israel Arad Shield of Honor for the success and innovation of its volunteer programs for the elderly, granted jointly by a number of organizations including the Israel Pensioners' Association, the National Insurance Institute and the Ministry of Welfare.
  • Partnerships with other organizations are extensive, and include, on the local level, cooperation with Tel Hai Academic College (such as in this proposal), with the Upper Galilee Regional Council and neighboring municipalities, with schools, with the Ziv Hospital in Safed, and with regional caretaking companies and institutions. On the national level, GSO has collaborated with JDC-ESHEL, government ministries, national health services, the Israel Pensioners' Association, the Kibbutz Movement, and the Institute for Research on the Kibbutz at Haifa University. On the international level, we have partnered with the international JDC and the Claims Conference. http://www.vatikim.org.il/home/amuta_activity