OCTOBER 14, 2020 - Never alone: Municipal employees make thousands of calls to senior residents
Approximately 200 employees of Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality have joined forces to ensure the welfare of the city's 70,000 elderly residents.
Tel Aviv-Yafo, October 14 – Approximately 200 employees of Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality have joined forces in recent days to ensure the welfare of the city's 70,000 elderly residents.
The senior population has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis and the second national lockdown, which has led to increased feelings of distress, loneliness and anxiety. Such feelings have been compounded by the forced closure of adult daycare centers due to strict lockdown restrictions.
Recognizing the situation, Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has launched an initiative to call all of the city's elderly residents, checking their wellbeing and identifying any needs resulting from the current lockdown. Problems arising from conversations are transferred to social workers employed by the municipality's social services department.
Workers from all municipal departments are participating in the effort, conducting more than 37,000 phone calls to date and receiving warm responses from senior residents, who have often found themselves isolated from family members.
Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo: "Nobody is left behind in Tel Aviv-Yafo! During this time of uncertainty, anxiety and confusion, a phone call from a municipal representative is sometimes the only human connection to the outside world that is available to senior residents. I am proud of the municipal workers who mobilized themselves to assist in the battle against COVID-19 and ensure the continued proper functioning of the city."
The latest initiative follows a long list of activities launched by the municipality in recent months to benefit the city's elderly population, including: hundreds of outdoor events in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines; providing increased content for elderly DigiTel Resident Card holders; establishing support groups via WhatsApp and Zoom; distributing tablet computers to elderly residents to facilitate contact with family members; distributing meals; and operating a social worker hotline for elderly residents.
At the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, the municipality launched a panic button via the 106+ smartphone app, enabling elderly residents to call for assistance with food and medication delivery, or to receive important information or general assistance from municipal welfare services. In addition, residents were also able to call for assistance for elderly neighbors.
Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality will continue to assist the city's elderly population and their families, and provide a wide range of support and services, especially during this difficult and challenging period.