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The Six Game Changers #2

Posted On 03/19/2015
Q:

What is the second "Game Changer" that can prevent seniors from staying in their home?

A:

Did you know that Urinary Tract Infections are the 2nd most common infection in the body? Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) are common in the elderly, and it is important for us to be familiar with the signs and symptoms so that we can help our loved ones get treatment before they become a major problem. UTI’s occur in the elderly more frequently because the bladder loses its elasticity and doesn’t do as well at forcing the entire amount of urine out of the bladder. The urine that remains in the bladder can cause an increase in bacteria…which then causes the infection. Another type of UTI occurs because of a kidney infection.

 

Signs to watch for:

*Foul smelling and cloudy urine

*Having to urinate frequently, and urination is often painful

*Decreased appetite

*Pain in the abdomen

*With UTI’s caused by kidney infections, pain in the upper back and sides

*Possible fever

*Impaired mental state-increased confusion, and level of consciousness

*Falls

*”Just not looking right.” – Doctors are hesitant to check a urine sample each time these symptoms occur, but as we learn our loved one’s personality, we will be able to know when things are “just not right.”

 

We should always encourage fluids unless the person is on a fluid restriction. This helps push the built up bacteria out of the body. Encouraging a routine when it comes to toileting is also helpful.

 

If your loved one has these symptoms, please notify their primary physician. If you feel your loved one is unable to manage their fluid intake or unable to execute proper hygiene on their own a personal caregiver may be a good alternative. Care Management is another good option too; our Care Manager can assist clients in making any doctor appointments and go with them to their appointment to assure doctor compliance. It is important that we get the proper care quickly. Our seniors’ immune systems are often already compromised and untreated UTI’s can cause permanent damage to the kidneys and the client can become septic (the built up bacteria enters the blood stream.)

 
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