VfL Care Home Survey Press Release 17 06 09

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					                                 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

18 June 2009

				
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