Beit Halochem Canada, Aid to Disabled Veterans of Israel, is committed to rehabilitating, rebuilding and enhancing the lives of over 51,000 Israelis who have become disabled in the line of duty or as victims of terror. Beit Halochem Centres in Israel provide specialized sports, recreational and therapeutic programs.
Caring for disabled veterans and giving them the help they need is Beit Halochem’s top priority. Beit Halochem is a place where the disabled can regain dignity and quality of life. Here’s a look at where your dollars go:
A great deal of thought and effort went into the design and construction of Beit Halochem. All its facilities are specially adapted to various disabilities.
Particular attention was paid to the needs of the blind and those confined to wheelchairs.
Ways were found to make it possible for members to participate in most of the sports, classes, and social events held on the premises.
Research and Medicine
Beit Halochem Tel-Aviv initiates and encourages research on various subjects, such as sports for the disabled and problems related to spinal injury and brain damage. Various sociological and psychological aspects are studied at medical and rehabilitation centres, as well as in universities and physical education institutes.
Rehabilitative Therapy Wing
Severely handicapped members – blind, paraplegics, amputees and others with disabilities requiring individualized care – are treated in the rehabilitative therapy wing.
Beit Halochem is in close contact with hospitals and rehabilitation units treating wounded servicemen, so that they can reach these people as early as possible. Upon their release, newly disabled veterans are referred to the Beit Halochem nearest their homes, thus ensuring an uninterrupted course of treatment, which is so vital to successful rehabilitation.
Despite the guiding principle that Beit Halochem should not be regarded as a medical institution, it soon became apparent that there was a pressing need for personalized programs of treatment, specifically geared to paramedical rehabilitative therapy.
This program has proved itself at Beit Halochem as a most effective way to enhance both the emotional and physical fitness of those being treated.
Physical Therapy Institute
Treatment in the physical therapy institute complements other measures in the rehabilitation process. It is also available, if necessary, to members whose health has deteriorated over the years. A team of skilled physical therapists treats members referred to the institute by rehabilitation specialists in hospitals, or by clinics of the Defence Ministry’s Rehabilitation Division.
The importance of swimming in treating the seriously disabled has long been recognized. Toward this end, heated pools were installed in Beit Halochem, and the temperature of the water gauged to those suffering severe paralysis or orthopedic problems.
A hydrotherapeutic health unit is also maintained on the premises. It contains rooms for therapeutic baths, massage, and two well-equipped gyms for medical gymnastics.
The unit is staffed by expert hydro therapists, specifically trained to administer these treatments. In order to get rehabilitation off to an early start, therapy begins while the disabled Beit Halochem member is still in a hospital or rehabilitation unit.
Doctors at Beit Halochem may prescribe a combination of physical therapy and fitness treatments for a short or extended period of time. This combination helps improve body function and reinforces the existing potential for self-reliance.
Treatment is given on an individual basis by an experienced staff, under strict medical supervision.
Members are treated in fitness rooms furnished with the most up-to-date equipment, specially adapted for a wide range of disabilities.
In addition to therapeutic activities for the disabled, there are excellent facilities available for the entire family. Young and old can enjoy the congenial atmosphere and programs, such as hiking clubs and others, which enrich family life and promote togetherness.
The Art of Leisure
Members can fill their leisure hours at Beit Halochem with an exciting array of cultural and arts programs. In addition to plays and performances, dances and parties, they can attend stimulating lectures, discussion groups and exhibits of members’ arts and crafts creations. Current popular films are screened in the movie theatre, and well-attended celebrations mark the holidays.
Hundreds of members and their families take part in a variety of clubs and classes. Photography, ceramics, painting, sculpture, music, languages, kayaking and sailing are only a few of the many subjects offered.
Wives of the disabled also need a chance to get away from their cares and concerns and there are numerous classes they can attend (computers, bridge, alternative medicine, glee clubs, etc.) while their husbands participate in sports or therapy groups.
Games and Competitions
The social and cultural department organizes
a wide range of activities, some of which are competitive or achievement-oriented.
Chess and bridge clubs meet often and some of the players compete in different league tournaments which are held on the premises.
The billiards club is also very popular, particularly with members suffering from head injuries, who must improve their coordination.
Activities for Children
In line with the concept that rehabilitation of the disabled involves the family as a whole, members’ children also get their share of attention at Beit Halochem. Child care in a well-equipped nursery is provided during the afternoon hours, leaving parents free for their own activities.
During summer vacations, numerous crafts and sports clubs are organized for youngsters, as well as extra screenings of films and plays. Study groups, hobby clubs and social events are held throughout the day, giving members and their families a chance to relax and have fun together.
Not only do competitive sports present challenges to the disabled person as an individual – they are also an unfailing source of pride both to the State of Israel and the disabled as a group.
In addition to the personal pleasure derived from competitive sports, there is significant rehabilitative value as well.
By competing, the disabled learn how to rise above their limitations and face up to the challenge of their new situation more easily.