With Carer’s Week falling during the month of Ramadhan, Shuria Alam (Carers Support Worker) talks about the impact of fasting and the need for culturally sensitive support for carers.
Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar, and this year will begin around 17th May and end around 16th June 2018. For 29/30 days depending on the moon, Muslims spend the daylight hours in complete fast, abstaining from all food and drink.
Ramadhan is a time to purify the soul, focus ones attention to Allah (God) practice self-discipline and sacrifice a time for reflection.
Ramadhan (Sawm) is one of the five Pillars of Islam, activities that shape a Muslim’s life, in addition to:
Shahada (Professing one’s faith)
Namaz (Prayer 5 times a day)
Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca)
The physical effects of the fast are felt by Muslims as a reminder of those who suffer throughout the year, and those who cannot meet their basic needs. It reminds Muslims not to be wasteful and to feel empathy for those who face hunger on a daily basis.
Muslims feel gratitude for the bounties of Allah: clean water, sufficient healthy food, comfort of a home, health of our family members. There are so many people in the world who must survive without these basic needs and Ramadhan is a time for Muslim’s to give thanks (Charity – Zakat) to those less fortunate.
The end of Ramadhan is celebrated with Eid al-Fitr. Muslims greet each other by saying Eid Mubarak! (Happy Eid!)
Support for Carers
The physical demands of balancing work, school and caring for someone while fasting all day, can take its toll, and it is important carers look after their health and well-being during fasting.
It is likely the person they are looking after may be exempt due to medical reasons; you can speak with your GP/local Imam (scholar) for further guidance.
Carers Leeds is working in partnership with Touchstone and Leeds & York Partnership Foundation Trust NHS (LYPFT) to support carers from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in Leeds.
Carer Support Workers can offer emotional support to talk about how caring affects you in a cultural sensitive way, in addition to breaking down language barriers.
Contact the Carers Advice Line on 0113 380 4300 to access support with:
- Welfare Benefits (such as Carers Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment)
- A break from caring
- Carers Assessments by Adult Social Care
- Social activities
- Health and wellbeing services
- Carer training and information workshops
Why not join the BAME support group?
Offering support to carers who are Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic community in Leeds. The group meet every two weeks on a Thursday between 11am and 1pm at Touchstone Support Centre, 53-55 Harehills Avenue, Leeds, LS8 4EX. Contact Touchstone to confirm the next meeting date, telephone 0113 219 2727