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“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is
giving you.” Exodus 20:12

Folks, we hear this famous bible quote from our parents and elders throughout our lives,
especially when we misbehave or are disrespectful and disobedient towards our parents. But, let
me ask, how exactly are we supposed to honor our parents?” How do we fail to honor them? The
bible quote above does not exactly come with directions, suggestions, or instructions. Therefore,
most people create rules and processes to honor their parents.

Folks, let’s face it. We did not drop from the skies; we were born and raised by our parents, a
mother and a father. Some of our parents raised us in single-family homes, such as raised by a
single mother with an absentee dad or a single dad with an absentee mother. Let me ask. Do you
recall having meals, clothes, roofs over your heads, and receiving an education? I recall that and
then some. Our parents fed us, clothed us, and protected us. The list is endless. I remember my
mother running after a neighborhood boy who would not stop bullying my sister and me.
Seriously, this kid took every opportunity to subject us to physical and verbal abuse. (I’ll talk
about bullying on my blog segment for bullying! Buckle up!)

So, how do we honor our parents? Especially when they grow older. How do we honor our
parents when they can no longer take care of themselves? Do we provide them with financial
assistance from a distance? Do we throw money at them? Do we ensure that they have adequate
health care? Do we pay for them to be cared for by strangers? Do we put them in assisted living
homes? OR do we provide them the same and even better care than they gave us? How do we do
that? So many questions! Whew!

I have my idea on how to honor my mother, who is over 80. As an African child, I do not believe
in placing my elderly mother in an assisted living home. Actually, for most Africans from Ghana,
it is taboo to put their elderly parents in an assisted living home. If you can financially afford to
take care of your parent, please do so. I would rather stay under the same roof as my mother,
where I can keep an eye on her daily activities, ensure that she has healthy cooked meals, and
manage her health care with the assistance of a paid medical staff such as a nurse. Use some of
that money to pay for a live-in nurse or a visiting nurse who will provide help and care under
your supervision or watchful eye. Folks, this is what I know and believe: NO ONE, and I mean
NO ONE, can take care of your elderly parent the way you would!

Suppose you’re like me and you have an older parent, in my case, an octogenarian mother. In that
case, you’re probably facing challenges handling what I call ‘old-age’ changes, such as memory
loss or dementia. Oops! I mentioned the taboo word! DEMENTIA!
Hey, let’s discuss that in our next blog.


  1. Interesting comparison of value, believes based on tradional African thoughts against today’s modern view of healthcare with its attendant modern challenges. It will be interesting to hear how traditional families in Ghana or West deal with the financial burdens of the poor coupled with the emotional challenges that comes with adequate due care. I guess in all things love iS the greatest answer. Keep up the good work and shine more light on this proverbial challenge.. I look forward to your next bog!!!

    1. Helllooooo Nana Bedumgya! Thank you for reading and responding big brother! I agree with you, in all things, LOVE is really the greatest answer. The next blog is coming soon!

  2. This made me tear up and smile at the same time. It resonates with me so I’ll try to be brief!

    Our responsible parents deserve the best we can give. What happens to the irresponsible ones. Do we still have to honour them? I believe so. Since scripture instructs us to, without qualification, while adding the blessing of longer days for us, if we do.

    Still, there are some older people who seem so dignified in their old age but were/remain mean spirits. May we have Grace to take us through giving them the right care they need, since they are now vulnerable people in their latter days.

    A good reminder that we will all be vulnerable again and may need care one day, too. Plan ahead: spiritual grounding, adequate savings/investments, simple homes (that have downstairs bedrooms with a wet room), healthy lifestyles and social connections that encourage good mental stimulation. Most of all, be good to generations after you – they will manage your pension plan/life one day 😅

    1. Ewurasi! Thank you for reading and responding! I am glad this piece made you smile and resonated with you. I love your response. I had a question from a reader asking the same questions. “Asempe, what do we do with the mean-spirited, difficult and absentee parents”. (those who were absent during our youth, but show up for assistance in their old age). My response has always been, and will always be, treat them with the love and kindness they did not show you because you will be obeying God’s commandment. You point on planning ahead has given me yet another interesting topic to blog about. We need these reminders! Thank you, Sis!

  3. Interesting piece worth sharing and discussing further. It is important to note that parenting is not only biological. There are guardians who become one’s parent in the absence (for whatever reason) of the biological ones. Those guardian-parents must be equally regarded for their love and care.

    Nice work Akua Dede

    1. Nana Fredua! Thanks for reading and responding! I love your perspective on the guardian-parents. You have given me something to add to my subsequent blogs regarding this topic! Thank you!

  4. Thanks for the amazing post. For those of us who lost our parents early, we are not off the ‘hook’. We must do well to honor the older folk who kept an eye on us when we were younger. The teachers, aunties, etc. May God be our helper. 🙏🏽

    1. Helllllloooooooooo!!! Thanks for reading and responding! I agree, it’s not just about our own parents. As my cousin Nana Fredua has eloquently stated in his response below, “there are guardians who become one’s parent(s) in the absence of the biological ones. Those guardian-parents must be equally regarded for their love and care”. Amen! May God be our helper indeed!

  5. Great topic Akua Dede. More conversation must be had on these issues to reorient Ghanaians on mental health. I think the advent of professional services for mental health care (i.e. homecare) is great for those who can afford it, but as you say, STILL honor your parent and be part of that process of caring for your parents. We await the next piece

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