by Susan Heagy
“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.” Psalms 82:3
As the Survivors age their needs change and increase. Visiting to alleviate the loneliness and bringing them visitors to lift their spirits- those we can do. But some goals in our original vision have been a bit more difficult to accomplish. But God is now making them happen.
Enter Leonid Kozlov, our current translator. I see his compassion as well as the observation their practical needs. In the last weeks I have been sharing with him ideas, desires and visions to improve the daily lives of the Survivors. He has stepped in and is making these things a reality.
1. Elderly, especially Holocaust Survivors, can apply for a government supplied caretaker for up to 10 hours a week. If more hours are needed they must pay for it themselves. For most Survivors their economic circumstances prohibit this. (See Blog: Poverty Among Survivors)
Where will they get the extra help? For several years AHI has already supplied additional hours for a few Survivors. But there are more that need this assistance.
2. For several years AHI has hired one metapelat (caretaker) to supply extra hours to 12 needy Survivors per month. That must increase the number of workers. Survivors, as they age and live alone, need help.
3.To determine whose need is greatest requires language skills and professional acumen. Leo, being trilingual (Russian, Hebrew and English) and as a trained nurse, can help in this area.
4. After Leo and I discussed the criteria of need, he began to visit Survivors to determined who should have the extra hours of assistance.
5. In addition Leo is supplying another desperately needed vital service, that of advocate:
- Accompany Survivors on doctor visits, giving physical, emotional and practical assistance
- Wellness visits, checking their blood pressure, heart rate and general health stats; reinforcement of doctor instructions and understanding prescription directions
- Evaluation of their home status for safety and abilities to thrive
- Visit Survivors now in Beit Avots (nursing homes) for encouragement and observation of their conditions
- Supply medical equipment requested
- Advocate for needs through goverment agencies
Loneliness is the #1 factor in the life of elderly Holocaust Survivors. We visit with the help of volunteers to bring them joy and love. But their physical needs must also be addressed. As they age they are desperate for someone to stand with them. Will you stand with the Holocaust Survivors in their last years?
Join us in this effort or this assistance will not be done. Let it be said of us that “…our faith was made complete by what…” we do. [James 2:22b]
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes or food… but [one] does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:14-17