A second group organized by ESRA visited the wonderful Yad Sarah facility in Raanana, one of five permanent Exhibition and Guidance Centers. The services of these centers include the lending of medical equipment, transport services for the wheelchair bound, day rehabilitation centers, geriatric dental clinics, emergency alarm systems, outreach services for the homebound, support services for caregivers, meals on wheels, guidance and resource centers, an enrichment center, a toy library for special needs children, and more. There are 103 centers all over the country that lend medical equipment.
We enjoyed every stage of the visit, meeting some of the 140 volunteers. We were taken around by Dvorah Baruch, herself a volunteer originally from South America, and were most impressed by the friendly and warm atmosphere.
The following is an article about a new service, which we were shown by Maureen Itai, a professional staff occupational therapist, originally from South Africa.
Exhibition and Guidance Center, Raanana
THE FIRST time I visited the Exhibition and Guidance Center I was shocked – if only I had known about the center a few years ago, how much frustration and aggravation I would have saved myself, my siblings and above all, my parents.
How much strength, effort and energy I invested in everyday activities such as transferring them from their bedroom to the sitting room or the bathroom, helping them with cooking and then feeding them. How many worries we had about their safety. Maybe they had left the gas on, or what could we do to prevent them slipping in the bathtub? The tour of the center also made me aware of several issues relevant to my own daily life and that of my children and family members.
The Exhibition and Guidance Centers of Yad Sarah work on several planes, with the primary one being functional solutions, finding suitable assistive devices to aid the functioning of people with limitations due to accident, illness, weakness or any other cause. There are solutions for all areas of living, from dressing, bathing, personal hygiene, mobility, devices to assist in simple household activities such as slicing bread, fruit or vegetables, eating and drinking, decline in vision, hearing and even memory.
The Center is also manned by a professional team to counsel in the area of adjusting housing to accommodate the patient’s restrictions when renovating or building. There are many customers who come because of illness, limitations or difficulties, or approaching old age and the desire to be prepared for all the problems it entails.
The staff try to save the customers unnecessary expenses – one doesn’t have to always run out to buy the first device one sees. That may not be the right solution - in fact, the right solution may already be among your household items, or available at your local supermarket. Perhaps you can locate it at the Yad Sarah Lending Center or through another organization. If there is no inexpensive solution the Center will provide information on stores and suppliers.
Are you aware of your rights? Perhaps the Ministry of Health or other parties will subsidize your purchase of expensive equipment? Should you purchase something new, or perhaps something used is available? The Center has answers to these questions, too.
Another service available is for tourists from abroad – the staff is available to coordinate the hotel room for the tourist before his/her arrival to accommodate special needs.
The centers are open for visitors, preferably through appointment in advance. But even if you arrive unannounced you will be greeted with warmth.
When faced with a new situation of a family member who has difficulty functioning, you feel at a total loss. It’s good to remember that at Yad Sarah there are these Exhibition and Guidance Centers to help you just for this purpose. Yad Sarah has five permanent Exhibition and Guidance Centers: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya, Rishon Letzion and Raanana, and one Exhibition and Guidance Center “on wheels” that travels all over the country (called, “HEDI”).
To set up an appointment for professional consultation, please contact: 1-700-501-200 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerusalem 02 644 4633
Rishon 03 954 3375
Netanya 09 830 3404
Tel aviv 03 523 1449
Raanana 09 770 6604