Urinary Tract Infections and Seniors

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are painful and downright annoying. However, seniors who get UTIs can suffer more serious consequences of the infection, including acute confusion. Urinary tract infections are one of the most commonly diagnosed infections in older adults, but the more you know about the causes of the infection, the more you can implement preventative techniques to keep yourself healthy.

Causes of UTIs in Seniors

Everyone, at any age, can experience a urinary tract infection. However, seniors do have certain factors that can increase their risk of contracting the condition. Here are just a few reasons older adults can be more susceptible to getting a UTI:

  • Decreased mobility and range of motion can lead to poor toileting hygiene.
  • Memory loss can lead to poor toileting hygiene.
  • Incontinence and use of incontinence products.
  • Not drinking enough clear fluids throughout the day, or taking a medication that increases the risk of dehydration (like a diuretic). 
  • Use of catheters.
  • Chronic conditions like diabetes can contribute to an increased risk of infection or urinary retention.

While UTIs can be treated fairly easily with antibiotics after a physician visit, seniors can often live with the infection for awhile before getting diagnosed. UTIs can cause a senior to experience acute confusion, weakness, and even an increased risk of falling at home. One of the best ways to take care of a UTI is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Preventative Solutions

While seniors can be more vulnerable to UTIs, there are a few things you can do to decrease the risk of contracting the condition. Here are a few best practices:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol beverages, as they tend to dehydrate you.
  • Practice healthy hygiene, including perineal care, before and after using the bathroom. Wash your hands before and after you go to the restroom and always wipe from front to back.
  • Follow physician instructions every time if you are using a catheter.
  • Change incontinence products frequently and clean the perineal area every time.
  • Go to the bathroom every two hours if you are having incontinence problems, as this can train your body to empty the bladder more consistently.

Most importantly, consult the team at CaringGivers. Our caregivers are the perfect solution to UTI prevention, as we can assist with mobility and hygiene tasks, as well as with verbal cueing for increased fluid consumption and bathroom visits. Call our team to talk more about your situation.

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