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Mental health support for Muslims with dementia and their carers: practitioner perspective

Akhlak shares case studies of Muslim experiences of dementia

In this video, Akhlak shares case studies of Muslim experiences of dementia.

Firstly, Akhlak explains why people approach Meri Yaadain for support. He tells us that shared lived experiences of ethnicity, culture and religion are important, and that people appreciate services that are respectful and non-judgmental.

Akhlak then presents a case study of a family he had supported. There was an expectation from the extended family that the family were solely responsible for providing care. The family approached a mufti (Islamic scholar) to ask for an Islamically-informed opinion, known as a fatwa, on whether they could receive respite care. When the family did find a respite service, they were told by the service that the care provided wouldn’t be appropriate because their mother “wouldn’t fit in”.

Carers who approach Meri Yaadain are often “at their wit’s end”. Akhlak says that he is not an (Islamic) scholar, but he does try to reassure carers from a religious perspective and advises them to seek support by accessing mainstream services by, for example, contacting their GP, Alzheimer’s Society or Carers’ Resource (links below).

Akhlak provides another case study of a daughter who was concerned about her brother’s care of their mother, she was concerned about interfering when it wasn’t her place. Akhlak used Islamic reasoning to encourage the daughter to be more involved in her care, telling her that as a Muslim she was responsible to speak out against an injustice.

Akhlak suggests that Muslim communities and mosques need to be better informed about dementia so that those living with dementia, and their carers, can be supported by their faith community.

Signposting

Visit the Alzheimer’s Society website for support and advice

Carers’ Resource You are entitled to a Carer’s Assessment if you look after a relative, friend or disabled child who needs your support to live at home.

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Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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