How Are Utis Treated In Older Adults
Antibiotics are the first choice of treatment for UTIs. Mild UTIs often clear up in only a few days with the right antibiotic.
However, depending on the persons age and health plus the severity of the infection, treatment for a UTI may take several weeks and a longer course of antibiotics. In more severe cases, older adults may need to be hospitalized to receive IV antibiotics.
If your loved one has symptoms of a UTI, its important to make an appointment with their doctor right away. If symptoms are severe, call the doctor immediately to determine whether a trip to the emergency room is necessary.
Dying From Dementia With Late
The death of your loved one can be a hard concept to wrap your head around and accept. But knowing what to expect can help you when your loved one has late-stage dementia. It might help to know what will happen in the future so that you can be prepared emotionally and logistically.
This article discusses how dementia progresses and what to expect during late-stage dementia.
What Damages Brain Cells And Nerves
Damage to brain cells can occur in many ways, including:
- Alzheimers disease the most common cause of dementia in seniors. For yet unknown reasons, victims develop clumps and tangles of proteins in their brain.
- Frontotemporal dementia nerve cells associated with behavior, language, and personality have degenerated.
- Lewy body dementia clumps of protein called Lewy bodies damage the victims brain. Lewy bodies are also part of Alzheimers and other diseases.
- Vascular dementia damaged blood vessels are no longer able to supply the brain with nutrition. The blood vessels can be damaged in a variety of ways, including from a stroke.
- Certain diseases such as Parkinsons.
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Curative And Preventative Treatments For Uti In Seniors
While some elders tolerate antibiotics well and recover quickly, others have such vulnerable immune systems that they suffer from recurring urinary tract infections. Fortunately, there are some things that can be done to minimize the recurrence of UTIs, such as testing for and treating other underlying conditions that may be contributing to infection.
Can A Uti Make You Tired And Weak
Not everyone with a UTI has symptoms, but most people have at least one. Symptons may include a frequent urge to urinate and a painful, burning feeling in the area of the bladder or urethra during urination. It is not unusual to feel bad all over tired , shaky, washed outand to feel pain even when not urinating.
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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Utis
Most often, your loved ones doctor will start with a urine sample. The Mayo Clinic says that its possible the doctor will attempt to grow a culture to see which bacteria are causing the infection and which medications, if any, will be needed. An ultrasound may be ordered to ensure there are no blockages or irregularity in your loved ones urinary tract. For recurring UTIs, doctors may have to pass a camera up the urethra to the bladder.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, bacteria in the urine is not necessarily a problem and can often be treated by drinking more fluids, but its always safest to check with your loved ones physician. Gentle heat may help. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed, although the Cleveland Clinic advises that this can encourage antibiotic resistance and that narrow-spectrum antibiotics are preferable for this reason. Severe infections may require hospitalization for IV antibiotics to be administered.
How Can A Urine Infection Cause Confusion
It may seem an unlikely connection, but it can be explained. A bladder infection puts stress on the body, physically and emotionally. If the person already has Alzheimers or another form of dementia, this stress can result in more confusion and changes in behaviour. This then causes a sudden though often temporary decline.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Utis In The Elderly
Like anyone with a UTI, older adults may experience typical physical symptoms. Yet they may not notice a mild infection right away. This is because chronic urinary problems common in seniors, such as urinary incontinence or frequency, may have similar symptoms to a UTI, masking an infection.
Common symptoms of a UTI include:
- Burning, painful sensation with urination
- Frequent, intense urge to urinate even when theres little urine to pass
- A feeling that the bladder;is not completely emptied
- Blood in the urine
Symptoms of a more severe UTI may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in the lower abdomen or back
When accompanied by other common UTI symptoms, these changes in behavior can also be key signs of a UTI in elderly adults:
- Confusion or delirium
- Inability to perform;common daily tasks, such as getting dressed or feeding themselves
Older Adults Should Have Other Symptoms Too
When your loved ones doctor suspects a UTI, be sure to mention whether these symptoms are also present:
- Fever over 100.5 °F
- Worsening urinary frequency or urgency
- Sudden pain with urination
- Tenderness in the lower abdomen, above the pubic bone
Having at least two of the symptoms above, along with a positive urine culture, will confirm a UTI.
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Prevention Of Utis In The Elderly
Its important to address the issue in advance in the attempt to prevent UTIs in seniors. Several urinary tract infection prevention methods exist, including:
- Reminding the individual to drink plenty of water , as proper hydration keeps the urinary tract in good health
- Avoiding consumption of alcohol and caffeine as much as possible
- Encouraging the senior to use the restroom frequently, at least every three hours
- Promptly caring for soiled materials due to incontinence
- Wiping from front to back when using the restroom
- Promoting good hygiene, such as daily showers, and avoiding baths and special care should be taken if the senior citizen uses a urinary catheter
Is It A Uti Or Dementia What You Need To Know
Most of us, at one point or another in our lives, have contracted a urinary tract infection or UTI as they are more commonly called. They are uncomfortable for sure, causing pressure and pain. So, we drink plenty of water or cranberry juice and, if necessary, take medications to wipe out the infection. Then we go on our way.
For elderly adults, however, a UTI can do more than cause pressure and pain. A UTI can bring on behavior changes that leave a family member wondering what happened to bring on such a sudden change in moms behavior? Because a UTI, especially in an elderly person, can bring on confusion, delirium, restlessness and overall weakness and fatigue. Thats why those around them sometimes think its a sudden onset of dementia, even though dementia typically progresses more slowly in its early stages.
Above all be cognizant of any dramatic behavioral changes in your loved one with dementia and reach out for help. Whether or not the cause is something as simple as a UTI, your family physician is in the best position to answer your questions and conduct any tests needed to make a proper assessment.
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Why Do Elderly Get Urine Infections
Older people are more susceptible to UTIs due to a weaker flow of urine , meaning the bladder doesnt empty fully. In men, an enlarged prostate can also make it difficult to empty the bladder completely. This can lead to bacteria building up in the urine and bladder .
How Long Does It Take For A Uti To Spread To The Kidneys
UTI Kidney Infection If you ignore your UTI symptoms the bacteria will likely spread up your urinary tract and may reach your kidneys. For a simple urinary tract infection, your doctor will likely put you on antibiotics for anywhere from 3-7 days. Your condition should improve within the first couple days of treatment.
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
The main cause of UTIs, at any age, is usually bacteria. Escherichia coli is the primary cause, but other organisms can also cause a UTI.
In older adults who use catheters or live in a nursing home or other full-time care facility, bacteria such as Enterococci and Staphylococci are more common causes.
How Dementia Causes Death
A person in the late stage of dementia is at risk for many medical complications, like a;urinary tract infection and pneumonia . They’re at an even higher risk of certain conditions because they’re unable to move.
Trouble swallowing, eating, and drinking leads to weight loss, dehydration, and malnutrition. This further increases their risk of infection.
In the end, most people with late-stage dementia die of a medical complication related to their underlying dementia.
For example, a person may die from an infection like aspiration pneumonia. This type of pneumonia usually happens because of swallowing problems.
A person may also die from a blood clot in the lung because they are bedbound and not mobile.
It’s important to know that late-stage dementia is a terminal illness.;This means that dementia itself can lead to death. Sometimes this is appropriately listed as the cause of death on a death certificate.
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Treating Utis In Seniors With Dementia
The first step to being treated for a UTI, or any infection, is a correct diagnosis. Nearly 30% 40% of seniors with a serious infection do not have a fever because of a weakened immune systems inability to respond to the infection. As the infection spreads into the bloodstream and crosses the blood-brain barrier, confusion and other cognitive impairments can occur. This can cause a cognitively healthy person to be diagnosed with dementia, letting the infection continue and resulting in severe health consequences.
If you suspect a loved one has a UTI, see a medical professional immediately. A simple urine test will be able to identify an infection. Doctors may also use an ultrasound exam, X-rays, or a CAT scan to diagnose a UTI. Antibiotics are the most common treatment method for UTIs.
Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infection In Older Adults
Certain factors may increase the risk of UTIs in older people.
They often require people to wear incontinence briefs. If the briefs arent changed regularly, an infection may occur.
Several other things put older adults at risk for developing a UTI:
- a history of UTIs
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Symptoms Of Utis In Seniors With Dementia
A person with dementia may experience the common physical painful symptoms as a result of a UTI. These include,;
- A burning feeling when urinating
- An intense and frequent urge to urinate
- Cloudy, dark, or bloody urine
- Fever or chills
However, because of word-finding difficulty, that person may have trouble articulating how he or she is feeling. More often, people with dementia will experience more behavioral symptoms than physical ones. In people with dementia, UTIs can cause sudden confusion, or delirium, in someone with dementia. This can manifest itself as increased confusion, agitation, or withdrawal. If the infection goes undetected, it can spread to the kidneys or bloodstream and become life-threatening.
Complications Of Utis In Seniors
A UTI that goes untreated in anyone can lead to complications. However, elderly individuals have a higher risk of complications from urinary tract infections than any other category of individual.
- Kidney damage. A typical UTI can become more difficult to treat and tolerate if it moves into the kidneys. In addition, it can cause scarring on the kidneys, which leads to potential for hypertension and kidney failure.
- . Because kidney function can be reduced, some of the waste the kidneys;would normally filter out and push from the body with urination may flow back into the bloodstream, leading to illness, which is difficult on the seniors immune system.
- . In the same process, the infection may enter the bloodstream, leading to blood poisoning that is a life threatening issue.
- Worsening dementia. While the symptoms of confusion that a UTI causes in the elderly may not directly lead to dementia, if the condition develops in a patient who already has dementia, a urinary tract infection could cause a quicker progression of dementia, leading to worsening overall health for the elderly patient.
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The Connection Between Utis And Dementia
2014 04 03 Connection Between Utis And Dementia
In older people with dementia, urinary tract infections can cause sudden behavior changes rather than the common physical symptoms. Knowing the signs of UTIs in older people can help your loved one get treated early, before the infection leads to serious health problems.
Are Utis A Sign Of Dementia
Urinary tract infections can exacerbate dementia symptoms, but a UTI does not necessarily signal dementia or Alzheimers.
As the Alzheimers Society explains, UTIs can cause distressing behavior changes for a person with Alzheimers. These changes, referred to as delirium, can develop in as little as one to two days. Symptoms of delirium can range from agitation and restlessness to hallucinations or delusions.
Further, UTIs can speed up the progression of dementia, making it crucial for caregivers to understand how to recognize and limit risks for UTIs in seniors.
How Are Utis In The Elderly Treated
Here comes some good news: after submitting to blood and urine tests and being diagnosed with a UTI, the treatment can be relatively easy. ;The majority of UTIs are cured by antibiotics and hydration to flush the bacteria out. This is much easier than in the past. UTIs were first documented in 1550 BC and up until the 1930s, they were treated by herbs and bloodletting!
How Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Treated
UTIs are usually treated with a course of antibiotics. However, in order for your loved one to be prescribed the medication, you may need to collect a sample of urine to be analysed. Not surprisingly, this can be a particularly tricky activity to do for someone with dementia, particularly if they dont understand why youre doing it. There are some products that help to detect the presence of the bacteria that can cause UTIs in the urine and can be useful.
Why Are Seniors At Risk For Utis
Men and women older than 65 are at greater risk for UTIs. This is because both men and women tend to have more problems emptying their bladder completely as they age, causing bacteria to develop in the urinary system.
In older men, this often happens because of a common condition called;benign prostatic hyperplasia;, or an enlarged prostate gland. The enlarged prostate blocks the flow of urine and prevents the bladder from fully emptying.
As women age, the bladder muscles weaken and prevent the bladder from emptying completely, increasing the risk of infection. Women also produce lower amounts of estrogen after menopause. This creates an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the vagina, which can lead to infection.
Other risk factors for UTIs in older adults include:
- Using a catheter to empty the bladder
- Having kidney stones, which can block the flow of urine
- Having a suppressed immune system, which lowers the bodys defense against infection
Four Ways To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
1. Make sure your loved one drinks plenty fluids six to eight glasses per day. Use cups they can see and hold easily and top them up regularly with drinks you know they enjoy.
2. Give as much assistance as they will allow with personal hygiene. Easy-to-reach wet wipes in the bathroom might help. If they have physical mobility issues which make it harder for them to wipe, there are plenty of products which could make the process easier.
3. Constipation can make it more difficult to empty the bladder, which may, in turn, make a urine infections more likely. Encouraging a healthy, varied diet will lessen the risk of constipation and reduce the chances of another urine infection.
4. Look out for dehydration, as that can increase the risk of urinary tract infections, too. If they struggle to drink fluids , you can still boost their fluid levels through food as well as drink . Thickening agents can also be added to some liquids to make them easier to swallow.
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Should Catheters Be Used
Catheters historically have been thought of as a way to respond to problems with incontinence, but their use is not recommended unless absolutely medically necessary. The insertion of a catheter can introduce more bacteria into the urinary system and this increases the risk significantly for UTIs. A UTI that develops in someone using a catheter is called a Cather Associated Urinary Tract Infection , and the medical community has worked hard to reduce these preventable infections.
Catheters are appropriate for some conditions such as urinary retention, where someone is unable to completely empty their bladder, but they are not recommended without a specific medical condition that makes the necessary.
Alternative Treatments For Uti
Cranberry products are touted as a preventative measure against recurring UTIs, and some people swear by cranberry juice, pills and extracts. However, the medical community is still undecided as to whether this actually works. In other words, if cranberries are effective, the benefits may just be modest. For some, its worth a try.
D-mannose is another supplement that is commonly used to help prevent UTIs. It is believed that D-mannose, a type of sugar, prevents bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract, allowing it to be more easily flushed out. The supplement may also help to balance both good and bad bacteria in the body.
Seniors are often managing multiple health conditions and taking several different medications. The best UTI treatment and prevention strategy for each individual may vary. Before trying any of the above ideas, be sure to discuss them at length with a loved ones medical provider.
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