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The social-economic situation in Moldova affects the elderly more than any other group of population. Among almost 5,000 elderly Jews,a vast majority are people who can hardly afford to pay utilities or buy basic foods and medicines. Many are alone, receiving insufficient - if any- medical care, and living on meager state pensions (average $30/month).
Thanks to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Swiss Bank Holocaust Settlement, International Commission on Holocaust, Era Insurance Claims allocations, methodological and organizational support from the AJJDC part a network of welfare centers. The first of such centers, known as "Hesed", was registered in Kishinev in 1996; similar model now operates in 5 towns, serving over 4,000 clients. Welfare programs are aimed at assisting the needy, disabled, handicapped and homebound elderly people.

They include:

§ Food packages
§ Meals-on-Wheels (daily)
§ Hot meals (every day in soup kitchens/cantines)
§ Supermarket sets
§ Home care services
§ Winter relief (warm clothes, blankets, coal for heating, etc.)
§ Warm homes
§ Rehabilitation equipment loan
§ Medical consultations
§ Medication
§ Hesed-on-wheels (reaching over 50 remote settlements through 13 different routes)
§ SOS (assistance in case of emergency)
§ Day Center

However, many elderly people place equal value on the opportunities to interact socially within the community. They have such opportunities through club activities at the Hesed and pensioners' club, JCC Yiddish center, and all-community holiday and cultural events.

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