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Case management plans need to take into account this diversity by ensuring that religious and spiritual practices are respected. Some religious beliefs may mean strictly following set practices and rituals that impact all aspects of daily life; for example, the timing and frequency of prayer, days of worship, religious holidays, dietary requirements and dress. For others, beliefs and practices may change over time.An understanding of religious and spiritual practices helps you integrate cultural considerations into case management planning. However, is it important that you do not assume that all people of the same religion follow the same religious and spiritual practices. By consulting each person, you can determine their individual requirements.Topic 1 -> Section C -> Page 6Customs, rituals and normsCustoms, rituals and norms are essentially shared beliefs, behaviour patterns and established practices that may be common to a particular group of people and/or place. Cultural norms can significantly impact case management as they may affect a person’s beliefs about health care or accessing support. For example, a particular person or group may be hesitant about seeking assessment or accessing support because of a history of mistrust. In order to develop a viable case management plan, you need to work collaboratively with the person, and avoid making judgments about any customs, rituals and norms of their cultural group.You need to be aware of the ways in which cultural customs, rituals and norms can impact interactions, which are outlined below.Body contact or gestures
Some cultures are more tactile than others; for example, within some cultures shaking hands or touching a person’s arm as you speak to them is not unusual, but within others it is considered rude to touch people and offer objects using your left hand.Eye contactIn some cultures, making eye contact is a sign of respect, while in others it is a sign of aggression.ProximityPeople from densely populated areas may be used to smaller areas of personal space than people from sparsely populated areas, and may therefore sit or stand quite close to others; people from some areas and cultures may require a large amount of personal space to feel comfortable.Male/female interactionsIn some cultures people interact freely regardless of their gender, while in other cultures women can only interact with other women, and males and females are not permitted to interact or touch unless they are related or married to each other.DietOrthodox Jews may observe a particular diet in which, among other things, meat and dairy foods must not be mixed; within other cultures certain foods are forbidden, or vegetarianism is practised.Church and ceremoniesIn some cultures the concept of family is limited to direct relatives, whereas in others it extends to distant relatives and longstanding family friends; family expectations and obligations also vary.