We are looking for a nursing home that will accommodate my mother’s vegan diet. Are nursing homes required to provide vegan meal options?
Concerned Daughter in California City
Yes. Effective January 1, 2019, a new California law, SB 1138, requires nursing homes to make available wholesome, plant-based meals of such variety as to meet the needs of residents in accordance with their physicians’ orders. Health and Safety Code §1265.10. Plant-based meals means entire meals that contain no animal products or byproducts, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy or eggs. The law was authored by Senator Nancy Skinner of Berkeley.
Many Californians choose non-meat or vegan diets for health, environmental and other reasons. They have the right to keep making these choices while living in a nursing home. Other laws are also supportive of this right. Nursing homes must provide nourishing meals that consider the preferences of each resident and reflect their religious, cultural and ethnic needs. 42 CFR §483.60.