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Partners For Change: Older Americans

The generation that worked its way out of the Great Depression, won the Second World War, and endured the worst of the Cold War has seen harder times than these. But older Americans know that we can do better--by them and by future generations.

Older Israelis have certainly seen harder times. Many are Holocaust survivors and veterans of Israel's six wars. Jewish tradition emphasizes respect for the elderly and Israel has always made meeting their needs a priority. Perhaps the most important difference between Israel and the United States regarding the elderly is that the former has a comprehensive health care system that eliminates the element of fear about the cost of services.

Cooperative Activities

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Israeli Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MLSA) makes joint projects to help the elderly one of its areas of concern. For example:

  • Los Angeles and Jerusalem jointly developed and implemented a multicultural model for utilizing volunteers to work with frail elders.

  • The Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services and Brookdale Institute of Gerontology tested and expanded Israel's "Tracer" technique for monitoring quality of care in nursing homes.