Three of the following statements about senior benefits in Israel are true.
Three are false.
Do you know which is which?
- 30% discount on residence property taxes
- Free consultation by Bituach Leumi about finding occupations for leisure time, aid with social and personal matters
- After hospitalization for a severe illness, discounted recovery days in a convalescent home
- 50% discount on will transcription fees when prepared by regional court registrar
- Disability pension may be used for laundering services
- Physiotherapy at home for bedridden seniors
If you’re like the people who participated in the Sandwich Generation in Israel – Information Needs and Benefit Analysis study, you probably only got one or two right, but most people have no idea what benefits are available to seniors in Israel.
Researchers Dan Bouhnik and Yahel Giat had a hunch that despite the pressure Israel’s sandwich generation is under to provide care for both the older and younger generations (often in addition to working!), they’re highly unaware of programs or services designed to aid them in providing that care.
Their hunch was borne out. Out of 18 statements like the above, 8 true and 10 false, the average participant got less than a third right. For almost all the true statements, less than 50% of the study participants identified them as a real benefit.
Ironically, the more educated participants actually knew less about the benefits their parents were entitled to.
This overloaded generation is missing out on benefits and services that could help their parent and ease the physical, emotional and financial burden.
Bridging the Gap
Bouhnik and Giat’s modus operandi was not just to identify the problem, but also to dig for a solution. As part of their questionnaire, they asked about respondents about their primary sources of information – and where they would prefer to be getting information.
Despite the prevalence of knowledge on the internet, most respondents actually wanted “low-tech” ways of receiving information. Getting printed booklets by regular mail topped the list of preferred delivery methods.
Don’t Miss Out
We hope that Bouhnik and Giat’s research will influence the way information about senior benefits is made available to the children who care for them. In the meantime, if you’re in that position yourself, be proactive in seeking out information.
Check out our list of senior benefits most people don’t know about (and our second list!). Speak to a geriatric care manager. Friends and family who have been in the same situation might have ideas. Dip into all of your information sources.
If there’s a particular issue you’re dealing with, whether it’s physical or financial, whether it’s primarily affecting your parent, you or the rest of your family – reach out and investigate if there’s help available. You may not need to shoulder the full burden by yourself.
There’s enough on your shoulders already.