Hibuk Unit

Hibu”k – how it works

Connecting health and community: This is the rationale that underlies the activities of the Hibu”k unit. We have created a sustainable model for accessing solutions and services in the community for chronic patients and relieving loneliness for those who rarely leave the house due to their medical conditions.
About 75% of Israeli citizens over 65 are diagnosed with one chronic illness. Many of them suffer from physical disease and the epidemic of loneliness. In the shadow of their illness and living conditions, they rarely attend social gatherings and do not receive a satisfactory response to emotional needs. Their loneliness poses additional challenges: partial contact with welfare factors, optimal management of the disease and the required treatments,
difficulty orienting oneself in the bureaucratic spaces of public medical systems, and more. This is where we come in and connect the exact answer to each patient. The Hibu”k unit gives countless patients the extra tier alongside the medical treatment – giving them the feeling that
they are not alone, that a listening ear and a directed hand that helps them. Rights and optimal self-management. We guide chronic patients with the help of scholarship students from the health professions from various fields: medicine, nursing, social work, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, communication clinics, and more. We create an empowering synergy where all parties benefit – on the one hand, students indirectly meet the patient’s range of physical and emotional needs at their home, beyond the immediate medical and physical condition. On the other
hand, chronic patients receive guidance that helps them break the cycle of loneliness and comprehensive response to their emotional and existential needs.  The community benefits from such a connection as well; family members accompanying the patient receive a response to many needs that arise due to the disease, and thus, the therapeutic burden is reduced for them and the community while improving the patient’s quality of life. Along with this accompaniment, within the framework of the association’s learning center, we connect to health professions students, who have undergone dedicated training and are guided by us (Know How) – to patients to provide them with application tools. The students join the Hibu”k unit receive scholarships for the accompaniment period and training and professional follow-up on behalf of the association while providing an emotional and logistical response to the accompaniment process of the patients in the project.

How does the Hibu”k unit work?

Most of the activity is part of a “one-on-one” escort (student-patient). As part of this activity, A student from a therapeutic health profession accompanies the chronic patient (the foundations refer to the student. Over the years, we have built a wide range of embracing programs tailored to the current needs of patients and according to the inquiries we have received from our various partner bodies: municipalities and more. The scholarship student meets
with the patient at home and/or makes telephone contact with him and, during the introductory conversation, maps out the exact needs for him in person.  As part of the student’s process with the patient, their home behavior is monitored closely to offer the relevant
services.  After mapping and identifying all the patient’s needs, the student contacts the relevant bodies (medical, welfare, community, etc.) and assists in connecting with them, emphasizing providing a customized response. As part of the learning center, the student embraces and guides the patient in a dedicated and personal program “tailored” to his needs to motivate him to manage his self-care and improve health outcomes. In the era of COVID, the feeling of loneliness is intense and constitutes an epidemic. During this period, the students participating in the program perform various activities to alleviate the loneliness of people with chronic illnesses, including the elderly. These sessions help the patient relieve his loneliness and reinforce the feeling that he is not alone in facing the challenges of the disease and its treatment.

Examples of projects we have done in recent years as part of the Hibu”k unit:
• Joining in collaboration with the health funds for chronic patients confined to their homes.
• Active embrace in collaboration with JDC-ESHEL and the nursing division at the Ministry of Health for senior citizens
to motivate them to lead a healthy and independent lifestyle.
• Bone marrow donations and transplants are referred from hematological departments in medical centers.
• A Hibu”k for loneliness in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Equality and Science and Technology in Society for
chronic patients, some of whom are elderly who experience loneliness.
• Support for coordinating treatment in collaboration with Maccabi Health Services for chronic patients, usually
without the support of a family and/or and low socio-economic background.
After dozens of successful Hibu”k unit projects nationwide, the unique and social model we have created is a WIN-
WIN – WIN situation for all involved: the patients and their families, the students who are the caregivers of
tomorrow, and the public and welfare medical systems.

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