AN EXPERT in the field has sought to spread awareness for helping elderly people to live a healthy lifestyle while not having to use medicine and antibiotics.

Kerry Dyson, owner of Caremark Basingstoke and Deane who has worked in the industry for many years, wrote the guide in time for National Nutrition and Hydration Week which concluded on Sunday.

His four tips for elderly people, vulnerable people and those living alone were:

“1. Five a day

“The oldest tip in the book, but this fundamental part of a basic, healthy diet is still overlooked by most! According to a recent study by the NHS, only 29 per cent of adults are getting their five a day, which is very disappointing when you consider how much the nutrients in fresh fruit and vegetables benefit health and wellbeing.

“2. Simple swaps

“Many of us, including our elderly relatives or loved ones, are prone to the odd guilty, sugary snack but a high sugar diet puts you at risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. A daily intake of more than 30g of sugar per day (for adults) should be avoided. Try switching out the honey in your porridge for a few dried apricots, or your full-fat fizzy drink for a sugar-free version – and if you’re a ‘tea with two sugars’ kind of person, slowly reduce the amount until you’ve cut it out altogether, or try sweeteners instead.

“3. Lend a hand

“Older people, who live alone, generally opt for a meal-for-one dish that is easy to prepare. This often means a takeaway or ready meal, which are usually high in sugar and prepared with vast amounts of oil. Why not offer to help them out by preparing meals on their behalf? Batch-cooking starch-based, home-cooked meals is a great way to make sure your elderly loved ones are getting the nutrients they need, and by adding one or two vegetables to the dish, you’re providing some of their recommended 5 a day too!

“4. Know your numbers

The Eatwell Guide, commissioned by the NHS, recommends all adults should drink 6-8 glasses of fluid every day. Rumours have often circulated about drinking two litres of water per day – some have even said as many as four litres! – but 1.2 litres is more than adequate. “