Muslim women's perceptions towards healthcare facilities and treatment : towards a holistic patient-centered healthcare facility for women in Durban.
Omarjee, Ahmed H.
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This document sets out to highlight the issues and challenges of caregiving that relate to the development of a Caregiver Respite Facility referring to literature that helps motivates the enormous need for more Respite Care initiatives in South Africa. Respite Care initiatives are highly beneficial to the Caregiver and their family (Mannan, et al., 2011). The study aims beyond the pragmatic issues that affect Caregiver Respite Facility design, offering an improved conceptual approach to such facilities: focus on the holistic needs and wellbeing of the Caregiver rather than simply offer respite. Great potential can be unlocked in a mixed-use Wellness Center typology that fuses Respite Care with a Caregiver Retreat with additional support functions that assist Caregivers and their families to use their respite period within a therapeutic environment to heal, restore their health and be equipped with skills to deliver better quality care. The study then gathers perceptions of an Islamic Wellness Facility through the lens of its intended user, female Muslim Caregivers, and Volunteers as health and illness are an integral part of the Islamic faith. Religion and spirituality are central to the Muslim patient and their illness related practices and often used as a coping mechanism (Eltaiba & Harries, 2015). Therefore, these considerations may help develop an appropriate architectural response for such facilities, that ensures a restorative and therapeutic experience that helps reduce the impact of caregiving on the individual. This study could enhance and give clearer direction to the design of a Respite Facility by gathering the user’s perceptions relating to such development. Furthermore, drawing upon the theory of biophilia (Wilson, 1984), this study tries to re-connect the user to nature within the built environment. Nowadays, healthcare environments are rarely designed to enhance the natural connection or the spiritual experience, while Islamic architecture also seems disconnected from nature. All in all, this document hopes to promote awareness around informal Caregivers challenges, the need for better support facilities in the women in the Muslim community, to highlight the importance of nature within the built environment and to reconnect contemporary Islamic Architecture in Durban back to nature.