UTI stands for urinary tract infection. They are among the most common kinds of infection in older adults. Though common, they can be difficult to spot, especially if the senior has a cognitive impairment, such as dementia. Knowing more about urinary tract infections and what symptoms to look for in your aging relative could allow you to recognize an infection and get them help.
The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. A UTI can affect any of those parts, but most happen in the bladder and urethra. They can be caused either by bacteria or a fungus that get in through the urethra and then increase in number inside the bladder. Both men and women can get UTIs, but women are at a greater risk because of their anatomy.
Among the risk factors for UTIs are weakened immune systems. Older adults can suffer from weak immune systems because of medical conditions, so they may be more susceptible to UTIs than younger adults.
Typical Symptoms of UTI.
Sometimes UTIs don’t cause any symptoms at all. When symptoms are present, they may include:
- Increased urge to urinate.
- A burning feeling during urination.
- Urinating often, but in small amounts.
- Urine that is cloudy, red, pink, or cola-colored.
- Strong smelling urine.
- Women may have pelvic pain.
What to Watch for In Older Adults.
Older adults with cognitive issues or health conditions that make it hard for them to communicate verbally may be unable to tell family caregivers when they are having symptoms of a UTI. In older adults, a UTI may cause symptoms you may not otherwise associate with the condition, such as:
- Being restless.
- Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinating).
- Avoiding interactions with other people.
- Showing signs of agitation.
- Increased confusion.
Doctors believe that the symptoms in older adults might be different than in younger people because of changes in blood vessels. In seniors, the blood vessels that feed the brain aren’t as strong and could let the infection spread to the nervous system more easily.
Home care can help family caregivers to recognize symptoms of a UTI. Because home care providers are experienced in working with older adults, they may be able to spot the signs more easily. If the home care provider sees UTI signs, they can alert family caregivers, so the senior can get the proper medical care. If necessary, home care can offer transportation for the senior to the doctor appointment. Home care providers can also remind the older adult to take any medications the doctor prescribes.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Danville, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.
Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE
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