January 21, 2007
Research at the Center for Research and Study of Aging at the University of Haifa reveals:
A quarter of the Holocaust survivors living in northern Israel that were released from hospitalization shortly before the war were in immediate need of help during the Second Lebanon War, but the some of the local authorities were unaware of their needs.
Researchers found relatively high levels of depression, somatization and
loneliness among Holocaust survivors who were residents of Haifa and northern Israel during this summer's war. The research was conducted by Prof. Ariela Lowenstein, Dr. Dana Parilutzky, Ms. Batya Rappaport and Ms. Dafna Halperin of the Center for Research and Study of Aging at the University of Haifa, conducted on behalf of the Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors in Israel. The research was presented at a conference at the University of Haifa on January 18, 2007, entitled: "The War That Hasn't Ended - Holocaust Survivors in Traumatic Situations in Israel".
The study found a quarter of the survivors in immediate need of personal care at home, food or medicine. "The study demonstrated the need for organizing and developing a program specifically for elderly Holocaust survivors that will answer their basic functional and emotional needs," stated Prof. Lowenstein, head of the Center for Research and Study of Aging.
The Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors in Israel provides services for Holocaust survivors after hospitalization. Following the Second Lebanon War, which was an especially traumatic event for the elderly survivors living in northern Israel, the foundation decided to initiate a survey to evaluate the emotional state of survivors who had recently been released from hospitals and outline their instrumental needs.
The survey identified three main areas of need: home care, medical care and medications and food supplies. Many home care workers left the area fearing the dangers of the Katyusha rockets. Many medical clinics were closed during the war, rendering medical care and medications inaccessible. The lack of mobility of some of these elderly survivors prevented them from acquiring adequate food supplies. About a third of the survivors found themselves living alone, unable to take care of their basic needs. The study found 25% of the survivors in immediate need of assistance and that the some of the local authorities were unaware of these needs. Following the survey, the Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors in Israel promoted coordinated efforts with the municipalities, local associations for the aged and volunteers to provide immediate assistance to those in need.
The survey also found relatively high rates of, depression, somatization and loneliness among survey participants. Common responses to the researchers' questions were: "I keep taking tranquilizers,", "I don't have anything to live for,", "If I had the courage, I would kill myself."
Prof. Lowenstein reported that researchers from the Center for Research and Study of Aging together with the Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors in Israel are currently working on a program that will train professional teams to deal with the special needs of Holocaust survivors in traumatic situations, based on the findings of the survey.
University of Haifa
Communication and Media Relations
Mount Carmel, Haifa, 31905 Phone: 04-8240092/4 8240402 Fax: 04-8246995
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/01/university-of-haifa-study-of-impact-of.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.