As we age, the immune system may not be as strong as it was before. This makes the likelihood of developing infections such as UTIs higher in seniors. When left untreated, a UTI can result in more serious complications, including a life-threatening condition: sepsis. In this article, we share you how to recognize UTI symptoms in elderly as well as some top prevention tips.
Why Seniors Are More Prone to UTIs
Anyone of any age can develop a UTI, but seniors are more prone because of various reasons. If you have a pre-existing condition, you are also at increased likelihood of developing UTIs. Below are some of these conditions:
- Immobility or restricted mobility, confining you to bedrest
- Bowel incontinence
- Kidney stones
- Enlarged prostate
- The use of a urinary catheter
- Bladder surgery
- Urine retention caused by weak bladder
The use of adult diapers can increase the chances of developing UTIs because of the close contact bacteria has to the urethra. Women are also more prone than men to develop UTIs.
Symptoms of UTIs
When a senior has a UTI, below are some of the symptoms to watch out for:
- Burning feeling when urinating
- Frequent need to urinate
- Blood in urine
- Dark or cloudy urine
- Night sweats
- A pressing feeling in the lower abdomen
- … and more!
If you have a loved one who is bedbound and/or unable to communicate verbally, it is important to look out for UTI symptoms which can also be present in their mental state.
Preventing UTIs in the Elderly
Taking preventative measures against UTIs can go a long way. Try any of the following approaches:
- Ensure you or your loved one stay hydrated by getting their eight glasses a day.
- For seniors with no history of kidney stones, try drinking cranberry juice.
- Limit the intake of caffeine and alcohol as it can irritate the bladder.
- Change adult diapers frequently or as soon as they are soiled.
- If adult diapers are not required, opt for breathable cotton underwear, and change them regularly.
- For seniors with memory conditions who don’t require diapers but can forget to go to the bathroom, set timely reminders for bathroom breaks.
- Ensure that genital areas are kept clean and dry after urinating. Women should always remember to wipe from front to back.
Senior Assisted Living Can Take Care of Your Loved One’s Every Need
If you or a loved one are struggling with incontinence and/or any issue that puts you at higher risk of UTIs, you can be assured that your every need will be taken care of when you move into a senior assisted living community. With 24-hour nursing care and wellness services available, you can be assured that your loved one is in safe hands. At Discovery Commons At Bradenton, our residents’ health is our priority. If you wish to find out more about our community or schedule a tour, please do not hesitate to contact us today.