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Caring for yourself during Ramadan as a parent of a seriously ill child

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Ramadan is a month of fasting where healthy Muslims fast from food and drink (amongst other things) during daylight hours.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes, there are some circumstances where adults do not need to fast, for example if the adult is pregnant, on a journey, ill, breastfeeding, menstruating.

Some parent-carers who miss days due to these reasons may want to ‘make up’ the days at a later date. If someone is medically unfit to fast, they may want to recompense in another way, for example by feeding those in need.

Useful tips

  1. It may be possible to plan your child’s care differently during this time so you are able to participate in community events, talk to your care team early and make them aware of any changes in routine during this time. You may also want to make them aware now if you are planning a holiday at the end of Ramadan or if you have specific questions about palliative care.
  2. Start preparation for Ramadan early. Think about how and when you’ll have time to go shopping or receive online deliveries to save yourself time.
  3. Caring for a young adult: If you are not fasting but the person you look after is because they are medically well enough, then make sure you speak to them about this and understand how their needs may be different during the month.
  4. Speak to your Imam, GP or other professional if you have any questions or concerns about managing your caring role during Ramadan.
  5. Think about how to make memories and include your child during this time, could your child help to prepare food or choose a charity to donate to? Or perhaps you make sure to keep your camera handy to capture your children playing together during Eid.

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