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What is a Daycare Center?

Author:  Adina Schatz / Director, Daycare Center for the Elderly in Ramat Gan
Last update29/05/16
Intro: A Daycare Center for the elderly assists caring family members who would like to have some time for themselves, while the person in need of care enjoys the company of friends, personal treatment and a professional eye that watches his condition

A Daycare Center is a community service provided by a multi-professional staff within a caregiving and social framework.  It provides a wide range of services and activities for elderly individuals.  The program is tailored personally to each participant according to his or her needs, abilities and wishes.

The difference between seniors’ clubs and  daycare centers for the elderly

Both daycare centers and seniors’ clubs serve elderly individuals living at home. However, unlike clubs,  daycare centers target persons whose functions have deteriorated and as a result  find it difficult to run their households and/or care for themselves. Both clubs and daycare centers offer social activities, but centers tend to emphasize the care aspect – meals, bathing, help in feeding etc., as needed. Clubs, on the other hand, place an emphasis on social and occupational activities, mostly targeting independent seniors.

Who benefits from a daycare center?

Daycare centers for the elderly generally target:

– Elderly people who are living in the community and have functional  difficulies.

– Elderly people who are eligible for the Long-Term Care Insurance Law of Bituach Leumi.

– Elderly people who need a supportive social environment, but rarely leave their homes due to problems in mobility.

There is also a solution for elderly individuals who suffer from reduced cognitive abilities (difficulties in memory and orientation) in specialized day centers.

The population which benefits from the services of daycare centers is diverse and heterogeneous in many ways: culturally, ethnically, financially and academically. Daycare centers try to provide a wide range of activities and services, in order to meet all needs, tastes and wishes.

Available services

Transportation from home to the center and back

Hot meals (breakfast and lunch)

Social and cultural activities

Lectures, classes, arts and crafts, tours and parties

Individual care including: showering, changing adult diapers, help with eating (as needed)

Services of a social worker

Health counseling and guidance by a nurse

Supervision (in centers for the mentally frail).

How to register

To sign up for a day center, contact the social services in your municipality or local authority. In some cases, however, you may apply directly to the daycare center near your home, and they will guide you through the process.

It is advisable to arrange a trial day at the daycare center.  On this day, you will be able to participate in various activities in order to test the available services, including meals, and get a close-up impression of the staff.  Through this trial you can check if the daycare center is right for your personal needs.

Bring a letter from your family doctor, describing your medical and functional condition, and specifying any medicatuon you may be taking. People suffering from memory problems must present a specialist’s  psychogeriatric diagnosis. An ID card and photo are also required.

Following this trial day the staff will meet with you to set up  a suitable personal program and schedule.

Days and hours of activity

Most daycare centers are open Sunday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Some daycare centers are open six days a week (including Friday),  and some stay open until 4:00 or even 7:00  p.m.

Paying for a daycare center

People who are entitled to the Long-Term Care benefit from Bituach Leumi  may opt for a daycare center instead of home care, based on the following:

  • For those entitled to 9.75 hours a week: 2 home care hours = one day at the daycare center
  • For those entitled to 16 and 18 hours a week: 2.75 home care hours = one day at the daycare center

 An additional fee of 15 NIS per day is also required.

Those who are entitled to the Long- Term Care  Benefit  from Bituach Leumi, who do not wish to exchange home care hours for the daycare center, can pay from their own private funds. Persons entitled to 9.75 hours a week will pay 123 NIS, and persons entitled to 16 or more weekly hours will pay 167 NIS.

Elderly individuals who are not entitled to the long-Term Care Benefit may apply to the Ministry of Welfare for financial assistance, based on an income test. Documents verifying the person’s level of income must be presented.

Private payment – Those not entitled to either the Long-Term Care Benefit or assistance from the Ministry of Welfare can pay for the daycare center from their own funds. The full price for one day at the center is 123 NIS.

These prices may change, and are subject to the rulings of Bituach Leumi.

For a list of daycare centers for the elderly in your vicinity click here.

The information presented in the english website is partial. For full info please visit our hebrew website

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