The aged find love again in Kohima’s home for the elderly
KOHIMA, AUGUST 1: With no one to look after him after his wife and only daughter passed away, a totally dejected 92 year old Sodzii lost all hopes of living and dying in dignity. It was a few years back. Today, the veteran is expressing gratefulness to Neithonuo Liegise for giving him a new ray of hope to live a quality life though her love, care and prayer support.
Sodzii was speaking with two other members of an institution for the elderly in Kohima on Monday. The 11th foundation of the Kohima Old Age Home was celebrated with poignant stories of both lives lived and hopes existing.
During the event, the elderly citizens spoke about how their lives had been transformed after coming to the Kohima Old Age Home. They thanked its ‘mother,’ Neithonuo Liegise, the founder and managing director of the home, for accepting them and caring for them at their weakest stage of life; in their sicknesses and tending to both their physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Kohima Old Age Home was established in 2005 under the aegis of Good Samaritan Women Society to support and aid the needy old citizens in Nagaland with a vision to provide and promote quality geriatric care with pleasant and secure environment, to support the elderly to retire with dignity and encourage them to complete their life journey peacefully.The institution also ensures to provide quality health care for their physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs, and at the same time give family counseling on elderly being abused and to create good relationship between parents and their children.
Attending the program as a special guest was Kelei Zeliang, IAS, secretary to the Rural Development department. In his address, the official expressed gratitude to Kohima Old Age Home and its managing director Neithonuo Liegise for the social work. She has been running the home as a ‘faith venture’ and a mission of God’s calling for over a decade, the official said.
Zeliang was full of praise for the managing director, an ‘indomitable woman,’ for choosing to work for the comfort of others, leaving behind her own comfort ‘in order to rescue and safeguard the old, needy and the helpless, and giving them a home to live in dignity and die in dignity as well.’
Wishing her and the team all success in their endeavor in the service of mankind, Zeliang expressed belief that God would abundantly reward them for their noble works.
Sharing her experiences, Neithonuo Liegise, recalled how she had to face much criticism from various quarters of the community in the beginning.
Liegise said there were a good number of destitute and needy elders in the society who were in need of love and care, who were alone and neglected by their children ‘who have lost their sense of responsibilities.’
Stressing on the need to change mindsets towards elderly citizens, she asserted that they need love and should be provided with quality care. Liegise explained that said that citizens can be role models to be an instrument for God to love and care for the elderly citizens. They can also promote a good culture among the Naga people by ‘creating awareness’ among the people to take care of their old and needy parents.
The managing director assured that the home will continue to serve the people as their mission. ‘Let us give our love and respect to our elderly parents,’ she said.
Earlier during the program, a minute of silence was observed in remembrance of twenty-four departed members.
Youths of Tsiesema Baptist Church and members of the women department of CRC Mission Church Kohima also sang for the gathering during the event.
There are currently 22 elderly citizens who live in Kohima Old Age Home. Three more are expected to join the home very soon.