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Communicating with Hindus in care settings

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My scenario: A group meeting with the family of an elderly Hindu man living in a care facility for the elderly. The rest of the family are also from the Hindu religion. We will be discussing how the family are feeling about him living in the care home since he has been there for a month now, and I will try to find out any problems they have or any changes they would suggest to make. The Hindu man will also be present in the meeting. Due to old age, he has a mild hearing impairment. Hindus, unlike most religions, are free to practise their religion how they choose, so there aren't really any strict guidelines to follow. Because of this, I will have to ensure that in the meeting I discuss religious observance needs with the patient and his family, such as prayer, meditation, bathing and cleanliness, and dietary needs. Prayer and meditation are very important to Hindus, and although there are no set times for prayers, most Hindus pray in the morning, therefore I will arrange the ...read more.


Many Hindus are strict vegetarians, abstaining from all meat fish and eggs. They do so because of a belief in non-violence and that non-vegetarian food impedes spiritual development. Some Hindus, however, only chose to abstain from meat of particular days of the week, and some will not eat from plates that have previously been used to serve meat. Because of this, I will ensure to clarify the man's dietary preferences and make sure the kitchen staff are aware, for example, to serve his food on plates that haven't been touched by meat. Most Hindus will also only eat food with their right hand, as the left hand is reserved for other things like cleaning their bodies, and will not eat food served to them by a left hand. I will ensure the kitchen staff are also aware of this when serving him food. Many Hindus hold strong astrological beliefs and believe that the movements of the planets have an impact of their health and wellbeing. ...read more.


Effective communication requires the efforts of all people involved in the group meeting. Even when the patient with partial hearing impairment uses hearing aids, it is crucial that others involved in the communication process consistently use good communication strategies. These may rely on other factors too, not just the people, such as setting, lighting etc. To communicate with the patient I will face him directly, speak slowly, clearly and articulate my words, without shouting or exaggerating as this could offend him and his family. I will keep my hands away from my face to avoid the possibility of covering my mouth, as this will make my speech too difficult to understand. I will lead the group and ensure everyone takes turns speaking and sharing their opinions, and make sure I prompt the patient to speak if it seems like he's hesitating to say something he might want to say. I will also provide timetables and similar information in writing, to give to him and his family to ensure that everyone is clear on the specifics and have it in writing if they need to refer back to it or ask questions. ...read more.

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