Maintain routine as much as possible
During Ramadan, routines and daily schedules may need to shift to accommodate fasting and prayers. These changes can be difficult for individuals living with dementia. They may forget the significance of the month, feel disoriented by the change in mealtimes, or become agitated during prayers.
There may be family members coming together to share meals at the end of the day. This can be unsettling for someone with dementia, especially if they experience sundowning. This may normally be a time when the person is winding down and starting their night-time routine. People living with dementia may also become upset if they realise they have not fasted like everybody else.
Try to maintain some level of routine and consistency for the person with dementia. This may include maintaining regular sleep patterns, engaging in familiar activities and offering reassurance during moments of confusion.
Simplify religious activities
Praying and reading the Quran may be difficult for someone with dementia. However you can encourage them to join in simpler acts of worship, such as listening to Quranic recitations, making Dhikr, or engaging in acts of kindness.
Encourage reminiscence activities
Sharing memories of past Ramadans can be a source of comfort and familiarity for the person with dementia. Engage them in conversations about their past experiences and encourage them to share stories.
Acknowledge your own feelings and energy levels
Take time to reflect on how you are feeling. You may want to reflect on the spirit of Ramadan – empathy, compassion and selflessness in view of your caring responsibilities.
If you are caring for someone and fasting, you may find you have low energy levels meaning carrying out your daily caring tasks is even harder. Be mindful of how you are feeling and be kind to yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
As Ramadan is a period of reflection that brings families together, other family members may become aware of the changes in the person with dementia. This can lead to families considering how to best meet the needs of the person living with dementia.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be physically and emotionally demanding at times, especially during Ramadan. We are here to support you. You can speak to a specialist dementia nurse on our Helpline or in our virtual clinics.