Protecting our most vulnerable from abuse and exploitation

Yad Riva – Legal Aid for the Elderly
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REQUESTED DONATION:

$28,000

STATUS:

FOR DONATION

AREA:

PROGRAMS / WELFARE

BACKGROUND 

Yad Riva is an award-winning non-profit organization (NGO) that works throughout the country to protect the elderly population from abuse and exploitation and assist them with recognizing and exercising their rights. It works in cooperation with another NGO, Yad Sarah, and operates advocacy centers and legal counsel services out of some of its branches. Yad Riva launched a legal aid program in Tel Aviv-Jaffa in 2004 in cooperation with the Social Services Administration to cater for the city’s 65,500 elderly residents. Since then, Yad Riva has witnessed an increase in the prevalence of abuse and neglect and an increase in the need for legal assistance.

THE NEED 

One out of every five elderly people in Israel suffers from physical, mental or economic abuse and neglect by a person they trust, such as family members and caregivers. Most do not know how or are unable to defend themselves. These situations cause feelings of helplessness and anxiety and may pose a real danger to victims’ physical and mental well-being. Studies also show that the phenomenon of self-neglect is common.

In addition to dealing with issues of abuse or neglect, many elderly also need guidance and legal assistance to deal with legal situations like exercising their rights in the areas of healthcare, housing, guardianship, support in making decisions, and power of attorney. As elderly population in Israel grows, the phenomena of elder abuse and neglect – and the need for legal assistance – have increased. However, the cost of legal services is often prohibitively high. In addition, many elderly people are confined to their homes, face language difficulties, or do not have access to legal services.

THE PROJECT

Protecting the elderly from abuse, neglect and self-neglect is Yad Riva’s flagship program. It includes:

– Legal assistance for the elderly, including representation in court;
– Legal support and supervision for social workers who care for the elderly;
– Multi-disciplinary teams (including social workers, doctors, and lawyers) to review complex cases of elderly exposed to abuse, neglect, and exploitation;
– House calls by lawyers to provide legal advice to elderly who are housebound;
– Educational lectures to inform the elderly population of their legal rights to prevent legal situations and incidences of abuse and exploitation;
– Telephone information hotline for elderly with questions about their rights;
– Legal and advocacy center for other areas, e.g. guardianship, power of attorney, National Social Insurance, disputes with neighbors, consumerism, long-term healthcare insurance, and inheritance law.

THE IMPACT 

Between 2015 and 2017 alone, Yad Riva provided legal assistance to approximately 800 elderly people, with many of the appeals dealing with protection from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

THE INVESTMENT 

Total cost $50,000
Funding from Amina $12,000
Funding from Yad Riva $10,000

REQUESTED DONATION: $28,000 per annum (2019-2022)

The services Yad Riva provides are essential to stopping elder abuse and enabling elderly people to live out their lives in dignity and without violence or exploitation.

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