I work as a kitchen aide in an assisted living community. I assist the cooks in some aspects of kitchen prep (mostly non-cooking), but occasionally I help in the actual cooking of food. For breakfast, oatmeal is served every morning. The residents enjoy the creaminess of the oatmeal when milk is added, but for those who are lactose intolerant I cannot take that risk. So what alternatives to milk can I use to create a creamier oatmeal?
Ironically, one of the many milk alternatives for lactose intolerant people is "oat milk", which is made by soaking oats in water, and retaining the resulting liquor.
Many traditional porridge / oatmeal recipes are made with just oats and water. Oats themselves have a somewhat "creamy" flavour, and remember your lactose-intolerant residents will not have a taste for dairy cream.
I have also seen suggestions for cooking oatmeal in fruit juice or soya milk.
You can try some hydrocolloid thickeners like xanthan gum or guar gum. These generally are used in small amounts and dispersed in a cold liquid. These will help the oatmeal seem "creamier". (FWIW, Quaker Oatmeal's non-dairy flavored oatmeals include guar gum for this very reason.)