Call for vigilance in Israel: 121 people found dead at home

121 people found dead alone this year

“Neighbors told us that after a terrible smell started seeping into the stairwell, they called the police.”

Following the recent discovery of the decomposing body of a 42 year old man at his home in Ashdod, ZAKA Search and Rescue is calling for public vigilance. The man, who died a few days before his body was found, was the 121st person ZAKA reported finding in such a situation this year.

“This difficult incident comes on top of 120 other difficult incidents that ZAKA volunteers dealt with in 2020 throughout Israel in which elderly people who were alone and childless were found in their homes long after their deaths,” said ZAKA commander Lakish Avi Deri. “With pain and tears, we treated the deceased with respect.
If you have a lonely or childless neighbor, check on him at least once a day and ask the social authorities to save his life”.

The issue of the elderly who are often alone or neglected has become even more prevalent this year, as many have been forced to stay at home due to coronavirus containment and concerns about the virus. Each week, ZAKA treats an average of four cases of elderly people found dead in their homes.

In 2019, 130 people died alone.

“We found him lying on the ground in the house with no sign of life several days after his death,” said Yossi Landau, ZAKA operations officer for the Lakish region. “Neighbors told us that after a terrible smell started seeping into the stairwell, they called the police to the apartment where they found the body of the deceased in a state of severe decomposition.

Yad Sarah and ZAKA are working together to provide emergency alert buttons and sensors to the elderly to prevent such incidents.
During the first wave of the virus in Israel, ZAKA urged the public to call the elderly and lonely people every day to keep an eye on them, after several elderly Israelis were found dead in their homes.

On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the decomposing body of an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor was found at her home in Beersheba after her fall and death on the eve of Passover.

In Petah Tikva, ZAKA volunteers were summoned to an apartment where a mentally ill woman was trying to comfort and feed her 70-year-old mother, who had died more than a week earlier.

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