Imagine that you have been vegetarian or vegan for a number of years or even decades. Sadly, you are no longer able to live independently and have to receive extra care, so move into a care home.
Your family and yourself make clear your food preferences. But what happens 6 months or a year down the line if you no longer remember that you were vegan or vegetarian? How would you feel if you were then offered and served meat, or if you unknowingly started to choose meat dishes?
Vegetarian for Life is proud to announce the launch of a Memory Care Pledge that will be taken by care homes up and down the UK.
This is to help ensure that vegetarians or vegans who have capacity issues, or cognitive losses, will be offered a choice of meals, drinks and snacks that uphold their ethical beliefs.
At Vegetarian for Life it is incredibly important to us that residents can live the rest of their lives they way that they intended.
So, we are asking care homes to make a Memory Care Pledge.
Many care homes have already signed up, including Gracewell of Sutton Coldfield.
Jody Sedgwick, manager at the home in the West Midlands, said it was paramount that they made a care pledge.
She said: “The memory care pledge is an incredibly important campaign and I think everyone who has affiliated with Vegetarian for Life needs to truly get behind this.”
Jody, who has been vegetarian for a number of years was given meat in a meal while out in a restaurant and only realised part way through eating the meal.
She said: “I was horrified, in fact I felt heartbroken. Actually I felt every negative emotion going. What struck the deepest chord of all was that not only had I eaten meat, I had eaten it without consent, without my knowing or my say so, I felt nothing short of violated, it made me physically ill and mentally scarred.
“My point is I am someone with full capacity, fit and well and able to rationalise (mostly) and what got me ‘over’ this was the fact it was isolated and will never happen to me again. This awful experience has been so profound for me and has helped me to understand how incredibly important it is for us to support and uphold this dietary need and requirement for our residents who lack capacity. Vegetarianism and veganism is a belief system, thus we absolutely have a duty to our residents that we advocate this and ensure that they too have a healthy, variety of vegetarian and vegan food.
“The experience I had earlier this year reinforces to me why the Memory Care Pledge is of the absolute utmost importance to those living in care homes.”
Contact Katie on 0161 257 0887, or by email, to sign up or find out more.