CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR RETIREMENT .
JACK & SHIRLEY SONENBERG
service of the Area Agency on Ag-
ing, is designed to guide people to
resources in the community.
But the main reason is that
there are simply not enough sub-
sidized services to meet the de-
mand. Balancing the budget often
boils down to "a question of who
gets service this week and who
doesn't," says Renee Mahler of the
Area Agency, echoing complaints
/- of other community service ad-
ministrators, who affirm that for
every person who is helped, a
dozen must be refused for lack of
The Yamrons discovered this
with shock. "As we grew up, we
were always under the impression
that when you were older, if you
were without means, that the
Jewish Old Folks Home was your
place, that they would take you.
We found out that, even though
they were well intentioned, this
was just not so," explains Ralph.
"My father passed away a rela-
tively short time after he became
a burden. What we would have
done if he had had a lingering ill-
ness, I don't know. I don't really
think that the Jewish community
understands that there isn't a
place for them to go, a place that
an ordinary person can afford and
is there when you need it," he says
bluntly. "We've always been
taught to give charity. We've been
the ones to give. Then when you
turn around and say 'I'm Jewish.
I'm part of the Jewish community
and I need help,' and find it isn't
there, it's a shock."
Often, the financial and emo-
tional moment of truth comes, as
it did for the Yamrons, when nurs-
ing home care seems inevitable. It
catches many people unaware,
unprepared and under emotional
stress following the hospitaliza-
tion or the sudden deterioration of
the elderly, which can make ad-
vanced planning so difficult. Yet
some forethought, however un-
palatable, is advisable. Finding
the right, available facility is dif-
ficult enough without the added
stress of panic.
Agencies, physicians and social
workers can and do give valuable
advice. Citizens for Better Care
will send a list of licensed nursing
homes with , basic information on
the type of care they provide and
advice on what to look for. They
will also furnish, on request, in-
formation on any public health
violations recorded against indi-
Since many patients enter
nursing homes immediately after
hospitalization, hospital social
workers have a crucial advisory
role. At Sinai," says Michael
Margolin, of the hospital's Medi-
cal Social Services department,
"we give as much help as we can.
We work as hard as possible to
ready the patient before they have
to leave the hospital. Our dis-
charge planning is very, very flex-
ible. We identify the resources
and list appropriate homes, but
we cannot make specific recom-
mendations. We do not take re-
sponsibility for placing a patient.
The decision must be taken by the
patient or the family."
In some instances, advanced
Continued on. Page 58
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