The main function of rehabilitation services is to reduce physical impairment and disability caused by an acute event and to give the patients maximum functional ability by means of effective tools and treatment methods. In June 2009, in partnership with Clalit, JDC-ESHEL opened a rehabilitation center in Kiryat Bialik for patients with neurological disorders of all ages, but mainly for elderly stroke patients. The goal was to respond to the shortage of rehabilitation services in the area and make them more available for elderly people in and around the Haifa Bay suburbs.
The Center admits patients in need of at least two types of rehabilitation treatment, the intention being that it will replace or reduce the length of hospitalization. Another goal is for the Center to provide a gateway to the neighboring daycare center for the elderly, so that in addition to rehabilitation, the patients can receive a meal, personal care, and social and occupational activities.
Daycare centers in the community are commonly provided in other countries, but in Israel the service is available on a limited scale. JDC-ESHEL therefore commissioned the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute to conduct an evaluation study of the new Center. The study, which was conducted between June 2009, when the Center opened, and March 2011 (21 months), examined the development and implementation of the Center, in order to inform about its advantages and the challenges involved in administering it.
Among the topics examined:
The mix of patients suitable for community rehabilitative care as an alternative to hospitalization or shortening of hospitalization and the criteria for accepting them
The extent of the referrals to the Center and the steps required to increase the number of patients
The extent of the Center’s operation
The effect of the treatment, as perceived by the patients
The cooperation between the Rehabilitation Center and the adjacent daycare center.
The data were collected from the patients’ medical records, interviews with patients to examine their satisfaction with the treatment and ascertain their subjective assessment of the improvement in their condition, and interviews with staff members and key personnel at Clalit.
During the study, the research team was in constant touch with the Center staff and ESHEL, furnishing them with interim findings and regularly updating them about the challenges involved in developing the service. The study findings have been presented to ESHEL and the directors of the Haifa and the North District of Clalit and serve as an important input for further development of the Center and determining programmatic directions for such a service in other places.
The study was commissioned and funded by JDC-ESHEL.