Urinary Tract Infection and Aging

Urinary Tract Infection and Aging

Nursing Home Elderly Care

Urinary Tract Infections and Sepsis

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) often lead to acute illness in the elderly, generally affecting more women than men. Re-infections or relapses of UTIs are common.

Causes of Urinary Tract Infections

1. Recent use of a catheter. 2. Diuretic use. Some diuretic medications can cause a person's urine to be very concentrated, requiring as many as 10 glasses of water per day to compensate. 3. Prostate enlargement. 4. Sexual intercourse. 5. Certain types of incontinence, which prevent full bladder emptying. 6. Uncircumcised males are at higher risk. 7. People who fail to drink enough clear fluids (water) increase their risk of UTIs.

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections

1. Painful urination. 2. Tenderness above a person's pubic bone - below the bellybutton, near the bladder. 3. Unusual fevers. 4. An increase in the urgency and/or frequency of urination. 5. Incontinence 6. Onset or increase in confusion 7. Decrease in activity 8. Decrease in appetite 9. Unexplained faster pulse/heartbeat and/or faster breathing 10. Unexplained falls

What to Expect from Your Doctor if you have a urinary tract infection, or UTI

1. You will be asked to describe your signs and symptoms. 2. You will give a urine sample to be sent to the lab so your doctor can determine what type of bacteria is causing your infection. 3. After your test results come back, your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic. Patients should be careful to take only the antibiotics specifically prescribed to them by their doctor. Not all antibiotic medications are the same, and they do not react to all conditions in the same way.

What if Your Doctor Diagnoses a Kidney Infection?

Elderly patients will need extensive blood and urine lab work. Additionally, IV (intravenous) fluids and antibiotics should be given; hospitalization is usually required. The symptoms are: 1. Nausea 2. Vomiting 3. Chills 4. Fever 5. Side pain. What is Sepsis? Sepsis is a potentially life threatening condition that is commonly referred to as blood poisoning. Patients who have had sever cases of UTI, or a series of UTIs are at particular risk for Sepsis.

Sepsis Symptoms

1. Mental status changes 2. Fever 3. Fast pulse 4. Fast breathing 5. Low blood pressure.

How to reduce risk of urinary tract infections

1. Increase activity to promote circulation. 2. Consume water regularly throughout the day - 10 glasses per day (2-3 quarts). 3. Postmenopausal women should take hormone replacement therapy, get plenty of rest, eat well-balanced meals, and consider taking vitamins. * Those rare people on fluid restrictions (i.e. dialysis, congestive heart failure patients) must confer with their doctor and registered dietician.

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