When left untreated, UTIs in the elderly may cause severe issues, like permanent kidney damage or sepsis — an acute and possible lethal infection.
Typical Symptoms of UTI
- Urine that looks dark or cloudy
- Bloody urine
- Acrid or pungent urine
- Urgent or regular compulsion to urinate
- Burning or pain over urination
- Sensations of tightness from the lower abdomen
- Mild fever
- Evening perspiration
Lesser-Known UTI Symptoms in Elderly Individuals
Mature elders might not display any of the usual symptoms of UTI from above as their immune systems remain incapable of mounting a visible reaction to the infection. Beyond the conspicuous, apparent absence of observable symptoms, most elders are not capable of expressing their pain to their nurses.
As seniors’ bodies react diversely to infections, closely observing atypical signs or symptoms remains necessary. A significant alteration to mental status is a usual sign of UTIs in many seniors, but this is often confused with the initial onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, as reported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
Signs of infection from seniors are these common symptoms, particularly in case onset is rapid:
- Delirium or confusion
- Tense mood
- More bizarre behavioral shifts
- Low-performing motor skills or low-performance for coordination
- Giddy Spells
Severe behavioral or functional shifts are usually the sole symptoms that manifest in mature elders; thus, home nurses must watch very closely for these abrupt alterations to behavior or mental health.
Tips for Preventing UTIs in the Elderly
This featured lifestyle and personal hygiene alterations may effectively lower an elder’s risk of getting a urinary tract infection.
- Consume cranberry juice or take cranberry tablets. Still, avoid if the senior holds a family or personal history of kidney stones.
- Consume a lot of fluids. (Try for two to four quarts of water per day unless this conflicts with the physician’s instructions.)
- Fix reminders for elders who are memory impaired to strive to visit the bathroom rather than use incontinence underwear.
- Abstain from douching or using more feminine hygiene goods.
- Upon toileting, regularly wipe from front to back (for females).
- Supposing incontinence is not a problem, don breathable cotton panties or change these a minimum once per day.
- Limit or avoid coffee and wine, which disturb the bladder.
- Change stained incontinence underwear frequently, on time
- Maintain the genital section dry and pure.
Treating UTIs in the Elderly
Supposing you suspect your close kin may suffer a urinary tract infection, see a doctor immediately to prevent complications further. An emergency care clinic remains a working alternative if you fail to fix an appointment with their primary supervising doctor in time. Urinalysis or a urine culture are often needed to diagnose a UTI, check the type of bacteria lingering within the urine, and choose the most optimized antibiotic to treat infections. When detected early, a prescription of antibiotics usually treats the condition in good time.
Mature elders are additionally susceptible to a related condition termed asymptomatic bacteriuria, detected with bacteria in the urine, despite the absence of visible signs or symptoms of a urinary tract infection. An estimated incidence of asymptomatic bacteriuria is 15 percent or greater for women and men between 65 and 80. It rises after age 80 to as high as 40 to 50 percent of long-term care elders. Patients with asymptomatic bacteria do not contract symptomatic UTIs, so antibiotic treatment does not help.