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Other — Not Foreign


Liron Meshulam

A Service for improved absorption and shared Living with a migrant caregiver worker caregiver

Yesterday Sandomali, a caregiver from Sri Lanka, moved in with Dalia. Dalia’s children explained to her how to treat their mother, but they were concerned, they were not sure she understood them. It is also her first time treating a woman with dementia, and they hope she wouldn’t be offended by their mother. They showed Sandomali the room prepared for her and asked if there was anything else she needed, but she only smiled. Was she really happy with everything, didn’t she need anything else. Together, they signed the contract they received from the agency, was it OK? They read different things in the Facebook group. After parting, they remembered they hadn’t told Sandomali what mom likes to eat in the morning, and where the nearest grocery store is located. 

Dalia’s family’s story is one of tens of thousands in Israel. Despite the huge number of families, each new family has to negotiate its path alone through the complexities of employing a migrant worker caregiver, and do so without government support or assistance. 

The relationship between the elderly person, her family members, and the caregiver is intimate and intensive, bringing together people in distress, who therefore quickly become highly dependent on each other. 

The caregiving family members are looking for support in solving personal problems related to the daily interaction with the caregiver, as well as information of various kinds, to help them bridge language and cultural gaps, information about their rights and duties as employers of a migrant worker and the definitions of her role, as well as information about the caregiving protocol. 

Lo-Zar is a digital service for optimal absorption and shared living with a migrant worker caregiver. The service is individually tailored to the country from which the worker arrives and to the illness she needs to treat, and it accompanies the family members and workers from the induction stage throughout the shared living routine. 

In Lo-Zar, Dalia’s family and Sandomali will find several tools for sharing and transferring information; practical information about the home environment and treating Dalia’s dementia; and official information on their rights and duties. The two parties will be able to get to know each other better by sharing personal information and getting to know the Other’s culture, as well as clear communication facilitated by a language-adapted message system. Finally, Lo-Zar creates supportive volunteer communities, that share their experience and accompany families such as Dalia’s and caregivers such as Sandomali.

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Liron Meshulam

A social entrepreneur and lecturer on design at Bezalel. Founder and director of The Diploma Program in Ceramic Design at Bezalel. In recent years, based on her personal experience, Liron has been accompanying caregiving family members, helping them cope and navigate in their new reality. This has also been the starting point for a study conducted as part of her graduate studies in design management and innovation. Meshulam is a graduate of the Musrara School of Photography and New Media, and has a BFA cum laude from the Department of Ceramic and Glass Design and an M.Des in industrial design (design management and innovation track), both from Bezalel.

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