ERAN provides a special hotline specifically addressing the needs of the elderly.
The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is operated by volunteers professionally trained to understand the specific difficulties and needs of Israel’s elderly population.
Many elderly people in Israel, from various socio-economic backgrounds, are neglected and abused, which often leads to loneliness and other emotional problems. Eshel (The Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged in Israel), in collaboration with the University of Haifa, published a survey* in February 2005, which revealed that 18.4% of Israel's elderly are subject to abuse and that 25% of the elderly feel neglected. This abuse manifests itself in many ways, including carers who fail to bring their elderly employers or relatives food and medicine, while at the same time taking financial advantage of them.
Research indicates that many elderly people are ashamed to inform others that their carers or relatives neglect or ill-treat them and many are in need of emotional help but have nowhere to turn. ERAN’s anonymous service gives them the opportunity to talk about their problems freely and discuss ways they can address them.
Elderly people are prey to street criminals and violent crime against the aged is on the rise. This phenomenon causes emotional distress, not only for those who have experienced a violent assault but also for those who feel they are weak and vulnerable. Many old people are afraid to leave their homes for fear of being attacked in the street and consequently suffer loneliness and depression.
ERAN’s volunteers are specially trained to address issues regarding violence, loneliness, suicide, mental illness, distress and anxiety. Only experienced volunteers, who have been working on ERAN’s general hotline for a long time, are eligible for the special training course, which addresses the specific needs of the elderly.
ERAN's hotline for the elderly, works together with Israel’s social services to reach people in need. This hotline differs slightly from ERAN's general hotline, as the volunteers are trained to be more of an active participant in the conversation and gently ask questions that will help the caller express their feelings and indicate whether they are subject to violence. In the case of violence or neglect, and with the consent of the caller, ERAN contacts Israel’s social services who connect the caller to a social worker, who visits their house and helps them find a solution to the problem.
There are many excellent charitable organizations that address the physical needs of the elderly, such as providing food parcels or medical equipment, etc. However, emotional suffering goes together with physical distress and to fully help a person in need, one must also consider their emotional well-being. ERAN is the only organization in Israel which provides the elderly with a 24 hour hotline for direct emotional support.
YOU CAN HELP ERAN to maintain this vital service, and to fund volunteer recruitment, training and outreach costs, by donating now on the following link https://www.sslint.co.il/Eran/Donation.asp?LanguagePack=1.
Link to the Survey (Hebrew): http://www.eshelnet.org.il/img/dynpdf/f421b515189e3c.pdf