|Courtesy: Ilan Foundation
everything is done to help a family remain together, sometimes it is necessary
for a person to live in a group home. In Gilo, residents are truly members
of their community, where they all live under the same roof.
The multi-story complex houses 68 severely handicapped adults from all over
Israel. The home has 1:1 client-staff ratio. The multi-disciplinary staff
includes a 24-hour nursing team, doctors, social workers, and speech therapists.
The facility houses an indoor swimming pool, a synagogue, salon, sheltered
workshops, library and of course kitchen/dining room.
Seventeen residents live on each floor.
There are three to four staff people per floor, where women work with women
and men work with men. The goal here as in all aspects of Ilan life is to
treat clients with dignity and respect.
Each participant signs a contract
upon coming to live in the home. The contract between the residents and the
staff demonstrates awareness of the need to participate in programs to a
person’s greatest ability.
When the Gilo residence was dedicated,
all of the clients who joined the home were young adults (20-25 years old).
Today new residents are accepted up to the age of thirty. Socially it is
a good mix; in fact there are nine married couples who met on the premises.
One client who was mainstreamed and
graduated from high school later did a computer course and earned employment
with one of Israel’s high-tech companies.
Another resident entered the home speaking
only Arabic; today he is fluent in Hebrew as well.
In addition to the staff, the Gilo
home has volunteers from Israel National Service, Denmark, and Germany; as
well as sixth graders from the neighborhood.
Text by M. Kaplan-Green