Passover & The Elderly

Birthdays, anniversaries and holidays can be a particularly trying time for all sorts of demographics, including the elderly. Families are getting together; expenses are incurred and for those who are homebound, lacking in financial resources, or facing the event without a loved one, this is undoubtedly a challenging time.

One organization that is attempting to keep these issues at bay in New York over the upcoming Passover holiday celebrated by Jews, is DOROT (which is the Hebrew word for generations). Last week, the organization delivered over 650 packages to those elderly individuals in the Westchester and NYC areas, who have been identified as being isolated. The non-profit organization DOROT – whose tagline is ‘Generations Helping Generations,’ – seeks to “alleviate social isolation and provide concrete services to older adults.” It offers a slew of programs and services for the aging, while focusing on creating an “alleviate social isolation and provide concrete services to older adults.”

More than 500 volunteers worked on the project this year. As such, the elderly had the resources to participate in the vital holiday while spending time with the volunteers who delivered the packages that it has been doing so for more than four decades. Each package contained: an apple, an orange, canned carrots, gefilte fish, grape juice, horseradish (used on the Seder plate on the first night of Passover) matzah (the food used instead of bread over the Passover holiday), pitted prunes, macaroons, matzoh ball soup, and a Yahrzeit candle (traditionally lit on the eve of Passover in memory of lost loved ones).

DOROT’s example is a great start. A couple of years ago, a very helpful article was written by Anita Kamiel in The Huffington Post entitled Tips to Reduce Elderly Depression During The Holidays, where she suggested that one really engages the elderly, letting them talk; ask them if they can help you so they do not feel irrelevant; help plan a holiday schedule for them, and more.

There is a lot to be done over the holidays for the elderly that does not take that much time and can make a huge difference for seniors in our community.