Synchronicity of Regional Rehabilitation Services
In Israel, 25% of older adults report a physical problem that interferes with their daily functioning and 50% of referred individuals do not receive the rehabilitation services they require. The World Health Organization reports that optimal functional ability is the primary goal to achieve healthy aging. In Israel, there is an overall shortage of rehabilitation services for older adults, and, nevertheless, the services that exist are underutilized. Poor regional geographic planning contributes to these shortages, and the level of rehabilitative care for older adults in the community, particularly in the peripheral areas, is poor.
Israel lacks services and an infrastructure that promote the preservation and improvement of functional ability among older adults – particularly in the geographic periphery. There is a need for continuous, holistic, and personalized approaches to rehabilitation to increase utilization of existing services and improve quality of life. An integrated database of available rehabilitation services should complement this approach, as well as an increased awareness of the importance of rehabilitation for functional preservation.
Eshel is developing a regional approach to community-based geriatric rehabilitation. This regional model has three components: a regional alliance, service utilization tool, and professional framework. Eshel established the Regional Rehabilitation Alliance, comprised of 30 health, social service and community organizations, to strengthen the collaboration and continuum of care among regional rehabilitation resources. The alliance is creating professional training modules and developing approaches to implementing a continuum of care.
Eshel created the service utilization tool by developing a self-assessment tool and geographic information system (GIS) of needs and available rehabilitation services. The self-assessment tool evaluates an individual's health status, personal wishes and functional, social and cognitive ability. The GIS maps out the existing infrastructure and services based on geographic region. The GIS will serve as a regional coordinating and monitoring system that will help to allocate resources for older adult rehabilitation. The interface between the self-assessment toll and GIS database will make personalized action plans possible.
Additionally, with the results of the mapping, Eshel will be able to identify both the redundancies and the gaps in services. Eshel will develop programs to fill these gaps and use the service tool for measurement and evaluation to inform its strategic directions.
- Public awareness of the importance of rehabilitation for older adults
- Active alliance that supports a continuum of care
- Geo-information system that creates a personal map
- Professionals with knowledge, access and skills in geriatric rehabilitation are known to older adults who require their services and utilized
- Optimal physical functional ability
- Utilizes services effectively in accordance with preferences and needs
Ministry of Health