Professional carers come from all walks of life and backgrounds. Over the next month there will be carers working whilst observing Ramadan. To support them during this important time we have compiled some top tips for caring for themselves as they care for others.
So what is Ramadan?
Ramadan takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and is a celebration of when Muhammad received the Quran.
During Ramadan Muslims focus on prayer, family and charitable acts, whilst fasting during daylight hours. It is a way they can come together, show devotion, practice discipline and identify with the hunger of the poor.
So how can professional carers prepare for Ramadan?
Much like anyone working during Ramadan, there are some ways you can prepare ahead of time to ensure you are as ready as possible.
- Plan your schedule in advance. If you feel comfortable, it is worth communicating with your manager the importance of the month ahead for you. Speaking with them or a care-coordinator, you will be able to thoroughly plan a schedule that works well with fasting and fits around prayers if needed.
- Stock up on supplies. Just as you would with a service user, make sure you have enough food, water, and other essential supplies for yourself. Stock up on non-perishable snacks, nutritious fruits, and refreshing drinks that you can have during non-fasting hours ahead of time.
- Prepare a travel box. If you are working into the evening and after dark, it can be worth packing a box to live in your car which includes food, snacks and drinks to help you through until the end of your shift.
- Prepare and enjoy a good suhoor. Wake up early to have a nutritious suhoor meal to keep you energised and nourished throughout the long day. Also be sure to drink plenty of water during this time to keep you hydrated before you begin your fast.
- Remember to take breaks if you need them. Taking a short break if you need one can be a great way to support your own health, safety and well being. Ensure you have time before and after a shift to rest, relax and even nap if you need to.
- Make up any missed prayers. We know that sometimes it is unavoidable and you may miss prayer due to working and caring for service users. Making these up as soon as possible can help you stay spiritually connected throughout the month. If you are unable to make up missed prayers the same day, you could try waking up earlier the next day to pray before suhoor.
We hope these tips will provide carers with the support and energy they need as they deliver vital care services during the fasting and festivities of Ramadan.
If you are reading this during the Ramadan period, we would like to take this time to wish you and your family a blessed and peaceful Ramadan.