With veganism becoming one of the UK’s fastest growing lifestyle movements and with an estimated 7,000 vegetarians and vegans in residential and nursing care homes, Hospitality Manager, Rebecca Lambert at The Knowles decided to introduce residents to the plant-based diet by holding a vegan festival during the month of January, or better known as ‘Veganuary’.
“I am taking part in Veganuary this year and when the residents heard about it, they asked me: “What can you eat? Can you still eat chocolates and sweets? Don’t you miss meat?” I wanted to show them how diverse and interesting vegan food can be.”
“I also wanted to show that there are care homes that do cater for alternative diets and take people’s beliefs into consideration, as I was horrified to hear recently about some care homes not respecting people’s vegan and vegetarian diets when they have dementia and feeding them meat.”
Advocates of vegan diets claim it boosts energy, prevents digestive problems such as constipation and helps with weight loss. Veganism also means you get a good amount of fibre and antioxidants in your body, reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes which can be common factors in the elderly
“I think it is important that we try new and exciting things and change people’s perceptions. I try to ensure the residents’ lives are exciting and adventurous and I hope that one day someone will do the same for me when I reach their age” concluded Rebecca.
Keith, a resident at The Knowles, who is passionate about exercise, a healthy lifestyle and good food said “I was completely surprised that there are alternatives for everything – We tried a plant-based butternut squash risotto, it was delicious”.
“Plant-based eating is one positive step each of us can take to protect our health and our planet, so it’s great to see Adept Care Homes encouraging and supporting its residents to explore vegan food during Veganuary. Last year more than 50% of our participants reported noticeable health benefits after just 31 days of eating vegan, ranging from more energy to better sleep as well as improved mood and a desired weight loss. These are perks we could all use right now!” -Toni at Veganuary.