The typical symptoms of a urinary tract infection for seniors are anything but normal. In fact, the National Institutes of Health reports that UTIs symptoms in the elderly are often mistaken for early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s. The telltale signs of a UTI, fever accompanied with painful and frequent urination, are often not the symptoms seniors experience or communicate to their caregivers.
UTIs are responsible for over 8 million visits to the doctor each year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. They account for a third of all infections in people in nursing homes. Seniors are especially susceptible to UTIs due to weaker immune systems and weaker bladder muscles, which are responsible for emptying the bladder completely. Urinary tract infections can potentially cause serious health problems. If left untreated, bacteria can travel to the kidneys and possibly cause kidney infections or even failure. UTIs are the primary cause of sepsis, which is a deadly infection that spreads through the bloodstream. Urinary tract infections are a health concern you should not delay treatment for.
With age, our body's immune response changes, and it is important to know the red flags to look for. Here are the 10 most common symptoms seniors exhibit with a urinary tract infection:
- Sudden Changes in Behavior
- Falling or decreased mobility
- Poor Motor Skills
- Decrease in appetite
- Incontinence- loss of bladder control
Caregiver Tip: If you notice a sudden change in your senior loved one’s behavior in any of these areas from one day to the next, you might be dealing with a UTI. UTIs can be diagnosed with a simple home test and treated with doctor recommended antibiotics.
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