Thank you, Madame moderator.
I wish to thank the panelists for their informative and telling presentations—and to share a bit about Israel's experience.
Israel operates various programs to prevent violence by family members and caregivers towards older persons. These programs continue to expand from year to year.
We believe it is critical that older persons and their families are effectively informed about their rights and the services available to them, including through information centers and websites. Yesterday afternoon the panelist from the Danish government mentioned that computer access and internet usage can be a major obstacle for older persons. Israel is proud of our array of educational programs that help to address this challenge for older persons.
Israel has several laws to protect older persons, including the Guardianship Law, the Protection of Vulnerable Populations Law, and the Prevention of Family Violence Law. Israeli laws guarantee free care and protection for older persons. Under the law, reporting is mandatory in instances of elderly abuse.
The Government of Israel recognizes that families are usually the main caregivers for older persons. It has taken a number of steps to ease their burden. We have programs designed to free up caregiver families for part of the day or certain periods of the year, enabling them to work, study, and "recharge their batteries." Such programs include day care centers, enriched clubs, and short holidays. Families are supported with personal or group instruction, workshops, seminars, and fun days out, intended to provide information and emotional support.
I would like to ask the panelists about their views on complementing the necessary penal and protection measures with ways to alleviate the stress of family members and caregivers. To what degree do you think that these have a meaningful impact on the well-being of older persons, the care recipients themselves?