A Geriatrician’s Top 20 Tips to Stay Healthy & Safe



“At all times of the year, older adults can take simple steps to be safe, recommit to healthy eating and regularly exercise at whatever level they can,” says Neela K. Patel, M.D., a UT Health San Antonio geriatrician.

Dr. Patel provides these tips to help her patients stay safe and healthy:

          Manage your medicines and immunizations

  1. Clean out your medicine cabinet. Get rid of expired medication.
  2. Ask your doctor about preventive services and screenings.
  3. Have your doctor review your immunizations to see if you require protection against pneumonia, shingles or other infection.
  4. Review your medications with your doctor every year and whenever a medication is added or stopped.
  5. Tell your doctor about supplements you take as some may interfere with your medications.Keep your home safe
  6. Clear walkways in your home.
  7. Assess whether furniture, cords and other items are mobility hazards.
  8. Use your cane, walker or wheelchair. Falls are a primary cause of injuries among older adults.
  9. Program 9-1-1 and other important numbers into your speed dial.
  10. Request help when moving furniture and heavy items. Avoid standing on ladders or chairs.
  11. Invest in lightweight, preferably cordless, cleaning tools.
  12. Review and restock your emergency kit with bandages, scissors, tape, antibiotic ointment, wound dressings, your medication list and phone numbers.
  13. Remove loose rugs or secure them with double-faced tape, tacks or slip-resistant backing.
  14. Repair loose floorboards and carpeting.
  15. Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach.
  16. Immediately clean spilled liquids, grease or food.
  17. Use nonslip mats in your bathtub/shower.Eat healthy
  18. Stop drinking soda. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  19. Eat nutrient-rich foods such as lean protein, low-fat or non-fat dairy, healthy fats such as nuts, and fruits and vegetables.
  20. Don’t skip meals, but eat well-balanced, smaller servings every four hours.

As leader of the UT Health Geriatrics and Palliative Care team, Dr. Patel specializes in helping senior adults coordinate care for multiple conditions and access leading health management options, an approach that has earned a National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition. For an appointment at UT Health’s Geriatrics and Palliative Care location, call (210) 450-9890.

Submitted By: UT Health Geriatrics and Palliative Care

Phone Number: (210) 450-9890

Website: www.uthscsa.edu