ENABLING HIGHLY DEPENDENT CHILDREN TO ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST

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ENABLING HIGHLY DEPENDENT CHILDREN TO ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018


ALEH is much more than a network of support care facilities.  For residents, ALEH is a warm and loving home, founded on the belief that every individual is special; that each human being is equally deserving of love and respect, and deserves the opportunity to develop to full potential and enjoy a high quality of life.

Almost 20% of ALEH’s full-time residents live in High Dependency Wings.  These residents require constant medical supervision and advanced nursing care due to their severe disabilities and complex medical conditions. ALEH’s High Dependency Wings, under the supervision of Israel’s Health Ministry, provide 24-hour care in the specialized medical environment they need, along with rehabilitative services, schooling, social opportunities, and interaction with family, volunteers and the community.

Without ALEH, these children would be forced to spend their lives in nursing homes or hospitals, with limited opportunities for rehabilitation, education, and the love and warmth of a home.

Most ALEH residents face a variety of challenges and critical medical issues including epilepsy, breathing difficulties and serious physical handicaps; some must rely on special seating apparatuses; many can only be fed through gastro tubes, and they require intensive support to perform daily activities such as eating, bathing, sitting and basic hygiene.  But highly-dependent residents require more: round-the-clock nursing and medical care with optimal attention given to nutrition, balance of medications and additional medical requirements. Their disabilities can be the result of cerebral palsy, neuro-degenerative metabolic illnesses, various syndromes including advanced neurological decline, brain tumors, car accidents, home accidents, and more.

Due to the wide range of diseases, genetic syndromes and exceptional medical situations and the high risk of infection and complications, the dedicated multi-disciplinary staff – including doctors, nurses, therapists, professional therapists, rehabilitation assistants, supportive staff and a cadre of volunteers –  must be prepared for any and all circumstances, often finding themselves in life saving situations. Ongoing treatment, consultation and follow-up is provided by pediatric specialists, communication therapists, orthopedists and neurologists.

The high dependency wing functions as a true home for all residents, with staff doing everything possible to ensure a warm, homelike atmosphere, including fulfilling recreational activity and avoiding empty hours of non-stimulation.

During morning hours, residents attend classes within the high dependency wing or in the special education school on premises.  In the afternoon, they enjoy a rich therapeutic extra-curricular program including animal assisted therapy, Snoezelen, music therapy and more.  Most of these activities are funded by ALEH privately with the help of philanthropic support, as government budgets for afternoon programs are very small and far from sufficient for a population that needs outside stimulation and help and support for all daily activities.