Urinary tract infections are among the most common forms of infection for people of all ages, but are more likely among older people. There is a common misconception that only women can experience UTIs, but this is not the case. Though women are much more likely to experience a urinary tract infection than a man, men can experience these infections as well. As a family caregiver, it is important to not only understand the risk associated with urinary tract infections, but also the symptoms your senior might experience. But elderly adults tend to experience different symptoms than younger adults, which can make it more difficult to detect when your parent is experiencing such an infection, and knowing how to treat it effectively. It is important to identify these symptoms as quickly as possible, and seek out proper management and care for your aging parent. The sooner the infection is detected, the sooner it can be treated, and the less likely your parent is to experience serious complications as a result of the infection.
Some of the signs and symptoms of urinary tract infections in seniors include:
- A cloudy appearance in the urine
- Frequent need to urinate not related to increased fluid intake
- Urgent need to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Strong smell to the urine not related to something your senior has eaten
- Foul smell to the urine that is not related to something your parent has eaten
- Pain or a burning sensation during urination
- A heavy sensation or feeling of pressure in the lower pelvis
- Cognitive functioning decline
Note that some elderly adults will experience the tell-tale symptom of an infection, a fever, but between 30 and 40 percent will not. This is because the immune system is not strong or effective enough to create a response sufficient to create a fever. Many will not report any of the physical symptoms, but will show cognitive functioning decline and symptoms of delirium. If your parent suddenly starts experiencing cognitive functioning decline, confusion, or disorientation, do not discount the possibility of a urinary tract infection.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging for aging adults, but senior care can help. As a family caregiver, you can only be with your parent so often, while still managing the other needs and responsibilities in your life. The customized services of a senior care provider are there to fill care gaps, open your schedule, and provide your parent with the opportunity to live a healthier, safer, and more fulfilling life as they age in place. With services including meal preparation, transportation, assistance with errands, mobility support and help with activities of daily living, this care provider is there for your parent in the ways that are right for them, and a schedule that works for both of you.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Lawrenceville, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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