Vegetarian for life

The charity vegetarian for life has recently undertaken a survey of the number of vegetarians & vegans in care homes. The results indicate a greater emphasis should be placed on providing appropriate nutrition to the residents.

Press Release

VfL Care Home Survey - 2009

Vegetarian for Life (VfL) is an advocacy and educational charity working on behalf of older vegetarians and vegans throughout the UK.

In 2009, VfL commissioned a survey of care homes, which was completed during May and June 2009. From a database of all the UK's 12,500 care homes, a representative sample of 1,000 were surveyed.

Findings included:

• 22% of care homes have one or more vegetarian residents

• Care homes with vegetarian residents are heavily weighted to the southern half of England (72%)

• 1.25% of care home residents are vegetarian or vegan

• Of the 410,000 care home residents in the UK, around 5,250 are vegetarian

• Vegetarians make up around 3% of the whole population, according to the Food Standards Authority, so, proportionately fewer vegetarians are in care homes

We can only speculate why:

o there are probably more vegetarians in the younger age ranges

o older vegetarians and vegans may be generally healthier than meat-eaters, so less likely to need a care home

o vegetarians are more likely to make 'lifestyle' choices that are 'healthy' e.g. not to smoke

o older veggies may be more likely to be independently-minded and try to remain in their own homes for longer, especially if they feel catering in care homes will not include good vegetarian provision

The reality is probably a combination of these reasons. However, staying in a care home is expensive, so most people delay moving into care until absolutely necessary. Therefore, it seems reasonable to speculate that part of the explanation of why older vegetarians and vegans seem to have less need of care homes is that they are generally healthier than the whole population.

• VfL works on behalf of the 5,000+ vegetarian care home residents - a significant minority - and was pleased to find a high degree of interest from care home managers in its publications and catering training courses (organised in conjunction with the Cordon Vert Cookery School of the Vegetarian Society), together with a high approval rating for its website

For a more detailed summary of the survey results or further information please contact Tina Fox on 0151 608 1595 or tina@vegetarianforlife.org.uk

Press Release

VfL Care Home Survey - 2009

Vegetarian for Life (VfL) is an advocacy and educational charity working on behalf of older vegetarians and vegans throughout the UK.

In 2009, VfL commissioned a survey of care homes, which was completed during May and June 2009. From a database of all the UK's 12,500 care homes, a representative sample of 1,000 were surveyed.

Findings included:

• 22% of care homes have one or more vegetarian residents

• Care homes with vegetarian residents are heavily weighted to the southern half of England (72%)

• 1.25% of care home residents are vegetarian or vegan

• Of the 410,000 care home residents in the UK, around 5,250 are vegetarian

• Vegetarians make up around 3% of the whole population, according to the Food Standards Authority, so, proportionately fewer vegetarians are in care homes

We can only speculate why:

o there are probably more vegetarians in the younger age ranges

o older vegetarians and vegans may be generally healthier than meat-eaters, so less likely to need a care home

o vegetarians are more likely to make 'lifestyle' choices that are 'healthy' e.g. not to smoke

o older veggies may be more likely to be independently-minded and try to remain in their own homes for longer, especially if they feel catering in care homes will not include good vegetarian provision

The reality is probably a combination of these reasons. However, staying in a care home is expensive, so most people delay moving into care until absolutely necessary. Therefore, it seems reasonable to speculate that part of the explanation of why older vegetarians and vegans seem to have less need of care homes is that they are generally healthier than the whole population.

• VfL works on behalf of the 5,000+ vegetarian care home residents - a significant minority - and was pleased to find a high degree of interest from care home managers in its publications and catering training courses (organised in conjunction with the Cordon Vert Cookery School of the Vegetarian Society), together with a high approval rating for its website

For a more detailed summary of the survey results or further information please contact Tina Fox on 0151 608 1595 or tina@vegetarianforlife.org.uk

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