Old people’s home seeks lifeline from Nigerians


The Head of the Holy Family Home for the Elderly, Reverend Sister Anthonia Adebowale, has appealed to public-spirited Nigerians to come to the aid of the inmates of the home.
Adebowale said that it had become imperative for the society to care for this special class of people.
The reverend sister, who oversees the old people’s home located at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Mushin, Lagos State, told our correspondent that due to scarcity of resources, the home alone could not meet all the needs of the elderly inmates.
Adebowale, therefore, urged philanthropic Nigerians to make more funds available to the ministry to enable the home to achieve some pending goals, including the procurement of equipment for the easy mobility of the 14 elderly inmates of the home.
The 30-year-old ministry, she disclosed, had been enjoying support mainly from the Catholic Church, priests, corporate and philantropic organisations, individuals, tertiary institutions, other Christian denominations and others.
She described caring for the elderly as a vocation in Christianity, adding that it required a lot of patience, understanding and love on the part of the care-givers.
“Once they see that you love them, they accept you and they are happy. Some of the elderly people in our home spend between eight and fourteen years before they pass on and because of the patience and knowledge about trying to understand their own ways of life, it helps us a lot,” she said.
Adebowale added that deep understanding was required in attending to the old people because the elderly “are unique in their own ways.”
She said contrary to insinuation in certain quarters, the staff of the home were forbidden from maltreating the elderly inmates.
Adebowale also said that the home’s caregivers had been instructed to treat the inmates with respect and love, just the same way they would want to be treated at old age.
She said that the Biblical injunction that we should honour one’s father and mother in order to live longer was not limited to biological parents alone, but also to all the elderly ones in the society.
She said, “Especially our caregivers, I have told them about my vision on giving the elderly life. But if at this stage, we beat them or maltreat them thinking that they are nobody, there is no way God will be happy with us and bless us.”
“When you have passion for something, you make it work. They know that we are for them, we don’t beat them here. I have taken them as my own parents because some of them do not have children either. So, I treat them the same way I would treat my parents,” Adebowale said.
The reverend sister further noted that it was her responsibility to help the elderly inmates to seek the face of God, saying, “If I maltreat them, there is no way some of them would know God, because they were not really close to God when they were younger.
“But at least, now, they are gradually getting closer to God. We don’t change their religion, no matter what. Some of them are Muslims and Non-Catholic; we only encourage them. Some of them have even been converted to the Christian religion because the way and manner we treat them.”