July 14, 2009

Supplementing Funding For The Care Of The Mentally Handicapped In Israel

This proposal should be considered:



Proposed For Elwyn, Jerusalem, Israel

Objective: To supplement the low level of funding provided by the Israel's Services for the Care of Mentally Handicapped with an independent (additional) source of income.
The supplementary income shall be used to provide better care and services for residents of Elwyn, Jerusalem.
Specifically, if the salary of employees would be increased:
  1. Better qualified caretakers would be willing to work there.
  2. Medical staff would have increased hours and better working conditions. For example, it is impossible for the psychiatrist to a competent professional job when paid for only two (2) hours per week.
  3. Supervisors could work more hours if paid more, to ensure better care.
  4. There can be qualified rehabilitation personnel and rehabilitation activities, instead of the "custodial" caretakers now used as "rehabilitation" staff.
  5. The Rehabilitation Program can be expanded and made more effective, e.g. adding speech therapy, occupation and physical therapy to help the residents with eating, dressing and personal hygiene. There could be singing, dancing and play therapy.

Approach: Construct and operate a "Solar Energy Residence and Rehabilitation Center." The objective is the attract visitors and tourists from Israel and abroad.

Income will be derived from:

  • admission fees to view the solar energy structures and systems Incorporated in the building and to view the exhibit areas
  • a cafeteria on the premises, open to the public, tourists and visitors
  • donations from visitors and tourists

The building will also include additional residential quarters.

Method:Influence both philanthropists and manufacturers of systems and supplies for utilization of solar energy in buildings to finance construction of the residence and Rehabilitation Center.

The building will demonstrate how solar energy can be employed for heating, cooling, supplying electricity and improving the environment.

For example:

An enclosed roof-top swimming pool supplies heating for the living areas and is used in the rehabilitation program summer and winter. Electricity is supplied by a solar cell array. The walls and windows of the building will be designed to absorb and convey solar heat into the residential area. All systems used will be demonstrated as part of the public exhibition.

The cafeteria will not only be a source of income, but it will be part of the rehabilitation program. Residents capable of taking on chores and responsibilities will work there.

In the exhibition area, information about the sponsors will be exhibited, the manufacturers' names, descriptions of their products, systems etc.

It should be noted that today, despite, or maybe because of the international recession, the U.S. and other countries are still investing heavily in alternative energy sources. This is because of the need to reduce dependency on oil and to improve the environment.

The solar energy residence and rehabilitation center would be an attraction that would appeal to both manufacturers and philanthropists and would enable Elwyn to grow and become famous for its outstanding services to the Israeli Mentally Handicapped.

Staff, Resident Quota

According to law there must be one care-giver for every eight seriously retarded residents, even at night. In Elwyn, Jerusalem, for four different wards in different parts of the building there is only one night worker.

Even with all of the medications the residents are given, some are active at night. The one, solitary worker can't control what's happening. The results are violence and injuries.

Bare minimum is to follow legal guidelines. If there is a law requiring one care-giver per eight people, then there should be a hefty fine levied against any institution which doesn't comply. That way they can't claim that it's too expensive, that they don't have the budget.

If anyone knows of other situations, institutions which should have more staff, please let me know in the comments.


July 8, 2009

Goal of this Blog

The goal of this blog is to pressure the Israeli Government to increase funding for the care of the retarded, for the services. The minimum wage attracts weak, unqualified workers for a very difficult job. Salaries must be raised and workers' conditions must improve.

That will be better for the retarded, especially the institutionalized in residential establishments.

For example, in Elwyn, Jerusalem, there is one night shift worker for four wards. Beautiful buildings aren't enough.

Giving the best care and rehabilitation for the severely retarded is a mission, not the job for those barely capable of simple custodial care.

The First Post Will Appear Within The Next Few Days