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Can outcomes-based philanthropy save lives?

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23.11.2020

When the COVID-19 lockdown was at its most severe in Israel at the end of April, I was scrolling through headlines and came across a deeply troubling article detailing the discovery of a dead body in a small apartment in Beer Sheba.

The body was that of Dr. Magda Graif, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, who apparently died from natural causes, but whose body was found two weeks later, after neighbors complained of a stench coming from her flat. Though Dr. Graif was a lecturer and member of the faculty at the Ben Gurion Medical School, as well a pathologist at the Soroka Medical Center, the main hospital in the South, she lived alone and died with no one close to check in on her.

Loneliness is one of the less spoken diseases of the 21st century. Here in Israel, the number of elderly citizens characterized as lonely stands at approximately 300,000 (Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, 2016 figures), or one-third of the country’s elderly population. Loneliness affects both physical and mental well-being. According to research by Age UK, It can double the likelihood that an elderly person will develop dementia, the frequency with which they visit the doctor. It has the potential to triple the likelihood of requiring ongoing hospitalization and nursing care and increases by a factor of six the chances an elderly person........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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