We are currently promoting various projects at the center in order to maximize the patients’ quality of life. We need donations to complete these projects optimally for the welfare of the residents and their families.
Animal-Assisted Therapy Petting Zoo
We are planning a 100 m2 petting zoo on the first floor of the Cognitively Incapacitated Ward in the yard shared with the other wards.
The petting zoo will have large cages housing various different animals, including birds and parrots, hamsters, rabbits, and chinchillas. The cages will be constructed in a way that patients can enter them and participate in a portion of the treatment sessions inside the cage. It will also be possible to take some of the animals out and pass them around among the patients.
The petting zoo requires the purchase of suitable animals and ensuring their ongoing care. Estimated annual expenses are as follows:
1. Animal-assisted therapist – $60,000
2. Animal caregiver – $30,000
3. Animal maintenance (including food and licenses) – $24,000
Studies have shown that activities done in the therapeutic garden, such as pruning, planting, and cutting are very effective in soothing restlessness among Alzheimer’s patients and also help preserve their functioning capabilities.
We want to build a 150 m2 therapeutic greenhouse in the Ward A yard (Cognitively Incapacitated Ward), complete with a climate control and irrigation system. We would also like to build a sensory garden with wide pathways, a variety of plants, and abundant colors and sensory stimulation for the residents.
The snoezelen rooms are multisensory stimulation rooms that are designed to provide the residents and their relatives with a pleasant and calming space.
The snoezelen room is meant to cause controlled sensory stimulation. The environment is adapted to the patients’ needs and environmental changes are made to enable it to function within its limitations (compensation).
There are several stimulants in the room that enable communication conditions and they can be activated in a controlled manner with regards to the amount and intensity of stimulation (stimulation from afar – hearing and sight; stimulation from up close – touch, taste, and smell).
There is currently one snoezelen room at the center. We would like to set up a snoezelen room in every ward, where it will be possible to conduct various different interventions in this pleasant and more accommodating room, including administering medication, physiotherapy, and potentially painful treatments.
Music plays a very important role in working with Alzheimer’s patients, since the patients’ musical capabilities remain intact. Research has shown that music therapy is one of the most effective non-pharmacological interventions with Alzheimer’s patients, and that patients continue to respond positively to music on the cognitive, behavioral, physical, and social levels even at advanced stages of the disease.
The center has a music therapy room that was built at the highest professional standards and is used for individual and group therapy. The 40 m2 room is equipped with all the instruments required for music therapy (piano, percussion instruments suitable for Alzheimer’s patients, a sound system, and recording capabilities). The room was also built in a way that enables the sessions to be observed for learning purposes (a one-directional window).
Dr. Ayelet Dassa, the center’s Music Therapist, is in charge of the Music Room.
Due to the positive effects of the various aspects of music, we want to build additional music rooms and to deepen and enrich the music therapy provided at the center. Setting up additional music therapy rooms will make it possible to continue researching the field of music therapy, and to expand an instruction program for music therapy students completing their practicum at the center.
When a family visits a patient at the center, they will have the option of leaving the ward and either going for a walk around the grounds or meeting with more family members. This outing is very important for the residents, who enjoy the change in routine and atmosphere.
The entrance lobby and café that will be built in the new building will address this need and provide a nice and inviting place on the premises to meet and spend time together, with the option of ordering food and drinks.
When residents’ families come to visit the center, they have the option of going outside to a dunam and a half sized yard, which is designed to provide children with something to do. A playground with swings and slides, an area for ball games, and more are planned for construction.
This family area will make the center more enjoyable for families and young children to visit. The patients will be able to enjoy a change of scenery and spend time with their loved ones in a familiar environment.
Residents’ Outdoor Gym
A section of the yard is designated for an outdoor gym for the residents’ use.
The need to work the body is clearly important, and the gym will be designed specifically for the center’s residents that are interested in exercising their bodies.
The 60 m2 synagogue is intended for all residents in general and observant residents in particular. The synagogue will be an important religious center, with services during the holidays, Torah and heritage lessons, and welcoming the Sabbath every Friday evening for all the residents and their families.
The synagogue will also conduct various life cycle ceremonies, such as Bar Mitzvahs, brit mila [circumcision ceremony], and more, enabling residents whose medical condition no longer enables them to leave the center, to participate in family events.
The synagogue will be adapted to patients at all stages of the disease, so that even wheelchair-bound patients or those that use walkers can partake in the activities and religious ceremonies conducted at the synagogue.
The planned 60 m2 library will have books, films, and other multimedia for the staff and families.
We understand the immense importance of training and instructing the staff caring for Alzheimer’s patients and the patients’ families, and monthly training sessions are currently conducted at the center for the staff on the various relevant topics. Workshops are also given to the residents’ families.
The library will include professional books and films that can help keep the staff and families up to date and to enrich their knowledge on various topics pertaining to Alzheimer’s and treating the disease.