People of all ages get urinary tract infections (UTI). They’re an unfortunate part of the human living experience. But the differences between contracting one at say, 30 as opposed to 70, can be shockingly contrasting.
First of all, many seniors are not even aware that they have a UTI, because, unlike the painful burning sensation that may signify symptoms in a younger individual, an elderly person may not feel any discomfort at all. This could be due to a number of factors, including whether he or she has developed dementia, and/or whether their immune system’s response, which naturally changes as one ages, even alerts them to the infection via, for example, a fever that is common in younger sufferers.
So how would you know how to detect the presence of a UTI – also known as a bladder infection – in your elderly parent? It is widely accepted that sudden behavioral changes and confusion are reliable warning signs that something is wrong. In fact, because senior UTI symptoms can range from poor motor skills to dizziness to falls to hallucinations, often it is initially believed that the patient may be suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s when she or he is not.
Women get UTI’s more than men. In fact, half of all women will develop one. The National Center for Health Statistics places this affliction as the second most common infection overall. Fortunately, it is also easy to cure when detected and treated early. But if this does not occur, the bloodstream could eventually become infected, as well, leading to greater health issues.
In seniors, a UTI is typically caused by a weakened bladder’s failure to completely empty waste upon urination, causing bacteria to form and multiply at the opening of the urethra. The further up the tract it spreads, the worse the condition will become. Another risk point for UTI’s is the use of catheters, so elderly patients who utilize them should be carefully monitored for symptoms, just in case.
If your favorite senior contracts a bladder infection, speed of care is paramount to prevent further complications. Transfer her to a physician pronto, to chart a course for recovery. It may not be the most glamorous thing to discuss, but being aware of the symptoms, as well as how to respond if they appear, can make life so much more palatable than the alternative.
There is so much to think about when entering the later stages of life. If you are considering elder care options, we at 805Aging can help. Our professional staff specializes in assisting you to choose the right kind of care for your loved one.
We conduct regular check-ins when you are unable to do so. 805Aging also provides oversight and detailed feedback to the family to keep your loved one safe and well-cared for day or night, weekday or weekend, holiday and every day.
We have the resources. We can hold your hand. We can guide you. Your peace of mind is our main goal, and is well assured. To find out more, call us at 805-750-4755 or visit our website and sign up for our monthly newsletter: www.805Aging.com.
There is no manual on how to take care of your parents as they age. They had a baby book when you were young. You have us. -Amy