Our ‘later years’ are becoming longer. Old age is starting later and later and we live longer. There is a close link between our health and our quality of life in later years. Yet, there are other things which influence our quality of life, our body and our independence, such as retirement and/or loss of a partner. The health system in Israel provides health services to older people and, unlike other western countries, the medication and some of the medical treatments are subsidized. Women who did not work outside the home when they were younger, or did not receive the employer’s contribution to their pension fund, can find themselves, in later years, dependent on national insurance for medication and their basic needs.
The chapter focuses on chronic conditions, the available help for people with physical impairment, how to cope with loss of skills and abilities as well as with family loss or the loss of a lifelong partner. The chapter tries to paint a general picture of aging women in Israel while pointing out the beauty of this period and the difficult struggles we face.