Looking for faith-based care options
If you’re looking into care homes, you may be looking for an option where either your religious faith, or that of a loved one, is reflected in the service provided.
If so, you may be able to turn to a specialist organisation that provides specific care-related information to people from certain faiths in the UK.
However, bear in mind that local faith-centred care options are generally few and far between. Presence is often driven by local demand – so, for example, if you’re Sikh and live in an area with a large Sikh community, you’ll have a stronger chance of finding Sikh-centred care.
If you can’t find an obvious faith-based care option near you, don’t give up the search. As well as information about specialist organisations, we also explore other ways to search for culturally specific care.
Specialist organisations for faith-based care choices
First of all, it’s important to acknowledge that there aren’t many of these. Some notable absences are specialist organisations for Muslim, Hindu and Sikh people.
Here are some that do exist.
For Jewish people
- Jewish Care: this is focused on London and the South East of England. It also runs the Jewish Care Interact website, where you’ll find a full directory of residential care homes that accommodate the religious and cultural needs of Jewish people.
- MHA: formerly known as Methodist Homes for the Aged, is a care provider that was originally set up by members of the Methodist Church. MHA now welcomes residents regardless of faith, background or belief. It supports more than 18,000 older people across the UK.
For Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Jah-Jireh: to cater for the needs of Jehovah’s Witnesses who need nursing or residential care. It has care homes in Blackpool, Leyland and Wigan.
If we haven’t listed a specialist organisation for your religion or denomination, that doesn’t automatically mean it doesn’t exist. There are often smaller groups that offer support and advice on a local basis to specific religious or cultural communities. To find out whether there is one, a quick Google search should reveal all.
Even if there isn’t an organisation that specifically helps you find the right care option with your faith in mind, there may still be local options that tick the right boxes.
Faith in Older People is a charity that works with care providers and faith communities to promote a better understanding of the spiritual dimension to the wellbeing of older people.
Ways to find local options that work for you
Here’s our advice on finding local care homes that will work best for you, thinking specifically about your faith.
- Use specific phrases on a search engine, such as ‘Muslim care home Sheffield’.
- Speak to your faith leader, as they may have advised on this before.
- Talk to your peers, as someone else may have already done the research.
- Ask your local Age UK branch, which may offer good tips.
What if I can’t find anything?
It may well be the case that you exhaust all of the above research routes, and can’t find a local option that fully caters to your faith-based needs.
Choosing what to do next is, of course, a personal choice. But nevertheless there are other avenues you can explore if care provision is needed.
- Even if there’s no specialist organisation that specifically focuses on care options for people of your faith, get in touch with another faith-based organisation that you trust and see whether it has any pointers.
- Use our care services directory to draw up a shortlist of local care homes, and ask each one whether it offers a chaplaincy service. If not, ask whether you’d be able to arrange your own visits from a faith leader.
There are other questions you should ask care homes before making any decisions. Take a look at our checklist:
Choosing a care home when there’s a language barrier
If you’re looking into care options for a loved one that reflect their faith, there may be an additional complication of English not being their first language.
There are certain things you can do to find care providers that have staff who speak different languages. And if you can find a good fit here, there’s potentially a better chance that the care provider will understand cultural and faith needs.
For full advice on this, take a look at our article on finding a care home for someone who doesn't speak English.
Addressing discrimination in care services
If you’ve been discriminated against for your religion or race, know that the Equality Act 2010 is on your side.
Discrimination doesn’t need to be direct to count as unlawful, either. For example, it could be a way of doing things that puts you at a disadvantage compared to others.
For information on what to do if you’re a victim of unlawful discrimination, see our full advice on tackling discrimination in health and care services.
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