Israel's older adult population has grown significantly in the past two decades due to the influx of immigrants in the 1990's and increased longevity among Israelis. This population requires new ways of thinking about services for older adults. Traditional services focused on meeting the needs of older adults in crisis and the immediate need of care, yet there is now a growing recognition of the need to intervene earlier to enable older adults to maximize their capacity and capability to live within the community.
Eshel's 2016-2020 Focus Areas
Centers for Planning Retirement
Empowering older adults to make the most of their post-retirement years by offering information and referrals on pre-existing, relevant services. Topics include healthy living, social and leisure activities, volunteering, retirement and financial planning, as well as tailored employment solutions.
The statutory retirement age in Israel forces many people to leave their work despite the desire and ability to continue working. Many seniors remain in good health well into their late 70s and 80s, and there is a need amongst many older adults to continue to be a part of the labor market. Therefore, Eshel is promoting employment as an avenue to self-sufficiency and independence. Eshel is assisting seniors to pursue diverse employment paths, including entrepreneurship, self-employment, part-time work and freelancing.
Integrated Client-Centered Services
Functional decline is a continuum of physical and emotional processes that diminish an older adult’s ability to manage his or her own life. This leads to increased dependence on family members and service systems.
To provide effective services adapted to the particular needs of each individual and his or her family during critical junctures of functional decline, based on services already existing in the community.
This model will consists of:
- Developing a local system for assessment and referral to existing services, promoting integrative, coordinated and person-centered care for frail older adults and caregivers.
- Developing individual monitoring units and care management within existing frameworks.
- Upgrading existing platforms: Expanding, adjusting and making accessible the basket of services offered to clients and their families within the existing infrastructure.
- Developing and implementing a supporting database: Establishing an integrative, client-focused information system that supports client management and enables decision-makers to use cumulative data for planning and measurement.
Life Long Community Care
Home and community-based care, the preferred alternative for older adults, their families and policymakers, is more cost effective than institutional care. In addition, the number of older adults in need of assistance for long periods of time is increasing at a significant rate.
To enable older adults to remain at home, it is necessary to develop an adequate basket of services in the community at an affordable cost. Eshel is working on developing the following:
- Developing home-based services for the care of frail older adults provided by geriatric institutions.
- Providing sheltered housing services to enable independent and moderately frail older adults to remain in the community.
- Developing services for older adults with declining functional ability who live at home so that they can continue to age in the community.
- To enable residents to remain in sheltered housing from the time they enter until the end of their lives, in accordance with their choice and that of their family members.
Rehabilitation and Re-ablement
In order for people with chronic conditions to maintain and/or improve functional ability, the continuum of services at the primary level needs to be broadened.
Eshel is currently involved in the following new directions:
- Promoting healthy environments - Recommendations for improving neighborhood, including the mapping out of safe walking routes.
- Healthy Lifestyle and Functional Fitness Approach for People with Multiple Chronic Conditions, Deconditioning and Geriatric Syndrome - Eshel is currently developing models for older adults who have become deconditioned, due to hospitalization or illnesses that required extended bedrest to try to restore or maximize their former level of functional ability.
- Mental and physical health – Eshel is investigating strategies to address these gaps and enhance health care for people with co-existing mental and physical health conditions.
Knowledge and Best Practices
The enormous amount of professional knowledge generated today is central to every organization that works with older adults. The challenge is to use this information in a productive way, to transform knowledge from the exclusive asset of few individuals into an asset of the organization and its stakeholders.
Using technology to provide more efficient services.