Advice on how to eat well, stay hydrated and manage your weight.
Making healthy choices now will mean you can live a healthy and independent life in the future.
Eating a healthy balanced diet can lower your risk of developing certain health conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes and can help you feel well.
The Eatwell Guide (opens in a new window) shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.
LiveWell Dorset (opens in a new window) is a free service for adults who would like support to change their lifestyle. They have information to help you to manage your weight, increase your physical activity and reduce your alcohol intake.
Drinking enough water has many benefits including a reduction in constipation, urinary infections, and headaches. It will also improve blood pressure and sleeping patterns. In general, you are very likely to feel better as a result of drinking more.
It's recommended that you drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day. This does not have to be water. You can drink tea, coffee, fruit juice or squash - but avoid sugary fizzy drinks as they contain unnecessary calories, which can lead to weight gain.
As you get older, you start to feel thirsty less even though your body still needs the same amount of fluid. It's important to drink plenty even if you don't feel thirsty.
NHS Choices (opens in a new window) has more information about dehydration.
Losing weight without meaning to
If you're concerned that you, or someone you know, is losing weight without dieting, there are simple steps you can take and you may find these resources helpful:
- Build Yourself Up (opens in a new window) (also available in Easy Read (opens in a new window)) - how to reduce the risk of malnutrition and dehydration
- NHS Choices (opens in a new window) - advice for those who are underweight
Losing weight is not a normal part of the ageing process and if you're concerned about losing weight, you should see your GP.
Useful resources if you have a small appetite or have difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Top tips from the Malnutrition Council (opens in a new window)
- Supporting people living with dementia to eat and drink well (opens in a new window)
Intentional weight loss
NHS Choices (opens in a new window) has advice on how to lose weight. There is also ' Swap it don't stop it (opens in a new window)' (also available in Easy Read (opens in a new window)), which has advice on how to lose weight and feel healthy without giving up all the things you love.
Help during the COVID-19 pandemic if you are unable to get to the shops
There is help available for people unable to get to the shops through Together We Can (opens in a new window).
Shopping for food can sometimes be a problem, whether it is because you can't get to the shops easily or if you find shopping physically difficult.
Community transport schemes can help you to get to local supermarkets and shops.
Shopping assistance services are run by many supermarkets where a member of their staff can help you to shop and pack. You can also order your shopping online and have it delivered from many supermarkets and local stores.
Some Good Neighbour schemes (opens in a new window) can help you with your shopping.
Most of the major supermarkets offer a delivery service, including:
- Asda (opens in a new window)
- Iceland (opens in a new window)
- Morrison's (opens in a new window)
- Sainsbury's (opens in a new window)
- Tesco (opens in a new window)
- Waitrose (opens in a new window)
Assistance with shopping in-store
Some supermarkets offer help with shopping in their stores. Here are a few; find your local store to check if they offer this service:
- Sainsbury's (opens in a new window) - click 'Store details' then look under 'Accessibility' to see if the store has 'Colleague assistance available'.
- Tesco branches (opens in a new window) offer help for those with hidden disabilities (opens in a new window), and you can also book help in advance.
- Waitrose branches (opens in a new window) provide assistant shopping for customers who need help with their shop. Partners can help collect and pack shopping for customers then accompany them to their car if required. To access this service, speak to a Partner at the Welcome Desk of the store.
Other ways to shop
Sainsbury's offer a telephone shopping service for people who are housebound and cannot travel to the shops or those who cannot manage online shopping by allowing them to make shopping orders over
the telephone. The service us available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, on 0800 328 1700.
Equipment may help you if you have difficulty preparing or cooking meals, or if you find eating and drinking difficult.
Dementia can make eating and drinking difficult for a number of reasons, including loss of appetite, forgetting to eat and being unable to recognise food.
Alzheimer's Society (opens in a new window) has information and advice on how dementia affects eating and drinking and has practical tips for carers to help support someone to eat and drink. There is also a guide to spporting people living with dementia to eat and drink well (opens in a new window).
We have more information about dementia.
There are a number of companies that offer a meal delivery service in Dorset. The meals can be hot, frozen or chilled and can be delivered to your door and on a temporary or permanent basis. Many of the meal providers are able to cater for special diets. If you have certain requirements please ask your nearest supplier if they can help.
Meal providers can be found in our service provider directory.
Lunch clubs are a great way to eat a proper meal with good company.
Lunch clubs in Dorset can be found in our service provider directory.