How Do Urinary Tract Infections Impact Elderly Adults?
Caregivers in Modesto CA
If you are like most people you have likely experienced a urinary tract infection or have a family member who has experienced one. These infections are very common, particularly in women, but are generally mild. 8.1 million doctors’ visits throughout the United States occur each year as a result of urinary tract infections and their symptoms. As a family caregiver, however, it is important that you realize these infections can be far more serious in older adults and can even spread to the kidneys, leading to severe consequences. Understanding these infections and how they impact older adults can help you to recognize the potential risks in your parent, identify when they might be suffering such an infection, and help your parent get the care and management that is right for them and their needs.
Some things that you should know about urinary tract infections and how they impact elderly adults include:
• Elderly adults are less common than younger adults to exhibit the classic symptoms of a urinary tract infections, including pain and burning with urination, frequent urination, and only passing a small amount of urine with each visit to the restroom.
• Because your parent might not exhibit these classic symptoms, you might not immediately think of them having a UTI and they may even receive a misdiagnosis from the doctor. This can leave them with the infection for a longer period, making them vulnerable to much more serious consequences.
• Enterococci and Staphylococci are the bacteria most frequent causes of urinary tract infections among elderly adults.
• Elderly adults who are suffering from immobility or challenges and limitations that prevent them from maintaining effective personal care and hygiene are more likely to develop UTIs and have a more difficult time overcoming such infections than younger or healthier people.
• Elderly adults are more likely to experience behavioral and cognitive symptoms. These can include confusion, disorientation, and strange behaviors that mimic dementia.
• Seniors who are already suffering Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia are more likely to experience these symptoms and may exhibit a very sudden, very dramatic change in their behavior or function.
• More than 10 percent of women over the age of 64 throughout the United States have suffered a urinary tract infection in the past year.
• Approximately 30 percent of women over the age of 84 throughout the United States suffer a urinary tract infection each year
In addition to the cognitive symptoms that elderly adults might suffer as a result of urinary tract infections, there are several other symptoms that such infections can cause in elderly adults. These include:
• Decreased mobility
• Diminished appetite
• Increased instance of falls
• Inability to urinate
Most often these infections are only mild to moderate, but if not handled properly, they can become quite severe, particularly if they spread to the kidneys. Some symptoms of a severe UTI include:
• Flushing of the skin
• Nausea or vomiting
• Back pain
• Blood in the urine.
If you notice any symptoms of a potential UTI, get in touch with your parent’s doctor as quickly as possible to ensure they get on the proper course of treatment to prevent more serious consequences.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Modesto, CA, call the caring staff at Golden Independence Home Care.
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