August 23, 2021

Israel addresses the needs of seniors with thoughtfulness and measurement

Allison Nagelberg Director of Global Connections NJ

I’m thrilled to share the news that earlier this month, the Israeli government adopted JDC’s Optimal Aging Dashboard as the National Index for Optimal Aging.

This means, that for the first time ever, Israel’s government ministries and agencies will have a shared set of indices for determining and measuring levels of optimal aging among Israeli citizensincluding health, and living independentlyThe dashboard will help guide policy making, budget allocation and program development accordingly.

This is a major step toward moving the needle on one of Israel’s most important social challenges: Optimal Aging. With the dashboard as Israel’s policy makers’ and program developers’ “north star” going forward, all efforts in this realm will be directed toward the same goals and be measured using the same indicators. This will greatly amplify potential impact on the issue.

The significance of bringing together government ministries and partner organizations in the aging eco-system to work towards a common set of measures cannot be overstated. It is a major strategic achievement that is set to benefit all of Israel’s older adults, today and in the future. Furthermore, it will assist the Israeli economy and the country’s public services to meet the challenge of an aging population.

The Dashboard is a set of indicators which define the key elements of optimal aging and presents their status nationally. It was developed by JDC-Eshel and the Israeli government, through an in-depth, strategic process, together with the data, research and consulting support from Myers-JDC-Brookdale. The Dashboard was created based on a review of over one hundred longitudinal studies. A set of predictive indicators was also developed to predict good health, economic resilience, and a sense of meaning in life. These were then compared to international OECD benchmarks to identify priority areas for focusing resources to achieve the greatest impact on optimal aging in Israel.

Congratulations to JDC Israel and particularly the ESHEL team, led by Yossi Heymann, and the Myers-JDC-Brookdale aging team.