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Mental health support needs of Muslim dementia carers

Akhlak describes the mental health support needs of those caring for their elderly relatives who live with dementia.

In this video, Akhlak describes the mental health support needs of those caring for their elderly relatives who live with dementia. Muslim carers need to be better-informed about dementia care.

Culturally, Muslims do not expect the elderly, particularly those with mental and physical health problems, to participate in daily household tasks – carrying out these tasks for them is seen as a sign of respect. However, carrying out these routine tasks can be a helpful form of physical and mental activity for people living with dementia.

Hadith relating to the care of parents are “very strong”. Caring for those with dementia can be positive for the mental and spiritual health of carers, it can give them a sense of achievement and make them feel like they are fulfilling their religious and family obligations. However, as dementia progresses, and behaviours become more challenging, caring responsibilities can be seen as a punishment from God.

Akhlak tells us that Muslim families in Britian, and in other minority contexts, do not necessarily live as extended families in the same household – this can make traditional expectations around the care of elderly parents more challenging to achieve.

In his work at Meri Yaadain CiC, Akhlak encourages carers to be mindful of their own mental health, and to seek support when needed. He advises them that by taking care of their own mental health, they will be better able to provide care for the person who is living with dementia. This may mean accessing external support services.

Signposting

Caregiver experience: A Fragmented Pathway: Experiences of the South Asian Community and the Dementia Care Pathway: A Care Giver’s Journey. Shahid Mohammed 2017

Dementia Dekh Bhaal Project by Together In Dementia Everday (tide)

Over to you

In this video, Akhlak mentions that activities recommended for people living with dementia such as crosswords, may not be culturally relevant for Muslims.

Using the video and your knowledge from other areas of this course (and perhaps more widely), can you suggest a culturally appropriate activity for Muslim people who are living with dementia?

Share your suggestions below.

This article is from the free online

Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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