What I saw in Israel; A lesson in aging

In my last trip to Israel, I made a point to stop at Yad LaKashish, the Lifeline for the Old.
Founded in 1962, just 14 years after the founding of the state of Israel, the elderly in Israel were faced with tremendous socio-economic challenges. They weren’t respected or paid attention to given the challenges the newly founded state was going through, and even worse, they lost respect for themselves.
Along came Yad Lakashish, where 8 local elderly men were trained in the art of bookbinding and for a small fee they serviced the community and local schools. They regained their self-respect and started connecting with community members.
Today, the non-profit organization supports and provides opportunities for over 300 elderly in the Jerusalem area. (In ten workshop ranging from silk painting and knitting to ceramics and textiles). Some are Holocaust survivors and some immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia. All creating magnificent pieces of art on a daily basis while socializing with their peers.
What Yad Lakashish accomplished is a lesson for all who are involved with the geriatric community. Often times we focus on the most basic level of care, how are we providing for the urgent needs right now. Typically, these are medical by nature and no doubt important.  What Yad Lakashish offers, however, is another form of care, just as important, it offers independence and purpose to the hundreds it services.
This organization is a reminder to look at quality of life across the board and not just a series of check boxes.
The Yad L’Kashish model is an inspiration for re-engaging with the elderly population and giving them the opportunity to connect and contribute. You can see more about the work they do here:
Categories: Aging