Sunday, June 9, 2024

How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections In Older Adults

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Uti Symptoms In Older Adults

Preventing and Managing Urinary Tract Infections in Seniors Recorded Webinar

Classic UTI symptoms include cloudy, bloody, or strong-smelling urine a frequent or urgent need to urinate pain or burning with urination low-grade fever night sweats and cramping or pressure in the lower abdomen.

The single best sign of a UTI in an older person is often a sudden behavioral change.

However, because of their aging immune systems, seniors may not display any of these classic symptoms. So caregivers should also be on the lookout for any abrupt changes in a persons behavior, such as loss of energy or appetite, or the inability to get dressed. Also watch for:

  • Sudden urinary incontinence

If you see any of these signs or symptoms in your loved one, call their doctor right away.

Common Uti Symptoms In The Elderly

Especially when it comes to older adults, pay close attention to any of the following symptoms. They can prove that the adult has a UTI, and if thats the case, its best to treat it as quickly as possible.


Incontinence is described as the inability to control when you need to urinate or defecate. Although its possible that being unable to control your bowel movements might be indicative of another problem, its possible its a sign of a UTI.

If you have this symptom and it persists, make sure to get it checked by your doctor or primary care physician.


If you suddenly find yourself feeling frustrated or dissatisfied and theres not a clear cause, you might want to check and see if you have a UTI. Although sudden behavioral changes might indicate a different illness, make sure you check that its not a UTI as well.


Its common to be tired as life continues on around you. However, if you find that youre constantly feeling lethargic, but there doesnt seem to be a reason why youre suddenly so tired, it might be time to check and see if your urinary tract is working correctly.


Falling is one of the worst things that can possibly happen to an older person. When you fall, you increase your chance of breaking bones and straining muscles. As you get older, it becomes harder and harder to brush these sorts of injuries off.

Urinary Retention

Now, you may be wondering . . . what happens if you dont take care of your UTI?

Causes Of Recurrent Utis

Women who experience two or more UTIs in a six-month period, or those who have three or more UTIs in the course of a year are diagnosed with recurrent UTIs.

Sexual intercourse is a common cause of UTIs in women. People who use catheters are also at increased risk of developing recurrent UTIs.

After experiencing six or more UTIs a year, Marie knew there was a bigger problem. Learn how she finally found an answer at CU Urogynecology.
Read Her Success Story

Also Check: Severe Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms In Elderly

What About Cranberry Juice

Thereâs no harm in trying it. But itâs not a proven fix.

Over the years, a lot of studies have focused on a substance found in cranberries thatâs thought to prevent bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract. But none of these studies have shown how much of this substance it would take to help prevent UTIs.

If you still want to give it a try, drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry pills is probably fine to do. But there are some exceptions, like if you take a blood-thinning medication, a medication that affects the liver, or aspirin. Itâs always wise to talk to your doctor first, before you try any supplements.

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How Is It Diagnosed

Antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infections in Older People.

If doctors suspect that a UTI is present, they will test a urine sample in the office or send it to a laboratory for a urinalysis.

A urine culture can confirm which bacteria are causing the infection. Knowing the specific type of bacteria allows the doctor to determine a suitable treatment plan.

A condition called asymptomatic bacteriuria is also common in older adults. ASB occurs when there are bacteria in the urine, but they do not cause any signs or symptoms of infection.

Although ASB is common in older adults, it does not typically require treatment, unless it causes other clinical symptoms.

The standard treatment for a UTI is antibiotics, which kill the bacteria causing the infection. Doctors will prescribe an antifungal medication instead if a fungus is causing the UTI.

It is essential that people take the antibiotic or antifungal medication precisely according to the prescription, even if they begin to feel better. Completing the entire prescription will help to destroy all of the infectious bacteria.

Recommended Reading: What Test For Urinary Tract Infection

Why Are Urinary Tract Infections Common In Older Adults

Seniors are more vulnerable for many reasons, including their overall susceptibility to infections due to a weakened immune system.

As you get older, your immune response changes its part of normal aging, explains Anna Dowd, APN, a gerontological nurse practitioner in the greater Chicago area.

According to the National Institutes of Health , the following conditions make older individuals more susceptible to UTIs:

What Are The Long

The mild form of RSV infection exhibits signs concerned to the upper respiratory tract, like cold, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and cough. These are the symptoms of a healthy adult. But, it is not the same for older and immunocompromised adults. The long-term effects of the RSV virus in the body precipitate the following illnesses.

Lung Infection

It is relatively safe, and the recovery requires a few days when the infection is subjected to the upper respiratory tract. However, when the infection worsens on a chronic part, the individual encounters severe symptoms like wheezing, barking cough, difficulty breathing, and fatigue. These are the alarming signs that the lower respiratory tract is distressed. The most RSV-severe forms of lung infections include bronchiolitis and pneumonia.


Bronchiolitis is known for the inflammation and congestion of the small airways called bronchioles. It causes the airways to become narrow and comprises oxygen transport, resulting in breathing concerns. With a cold, cough, sneeze, and wheeze, the adult will experience shortness of breath, fatigue, irritability, and vomiting for several weeks of infection. An ear infection is also the last complication. And in rare cases, bronchiolitis culminates in lung failure when left untreated. Antibiotics are not prescribed as bronchiolitis is a viral infection. So, oral or inhaled bronchodilators are advised.



Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder

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What Is Urinary Tract Infection

UTI is a fungal or bacterial infection in any of the 4 parts of the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the urethra, the bladder, the ureters, and the kidneys. The urethra and bladder are called the lower urinary tract, and the ureters and kidneys comprise the upper urinary tract. An infection will most commonly begin in the urethra and move up through the rest of the urinary tract. The majority of UTI cases are diagnosed and treated while still in the lower tract. When fungi or bacteria enter the urethra, the bodys own immune system will fight against them, and will usually kill them before an infection takes hold. If, for some reason, the body is not able to fight them off on its own, a UTI results.

Generally, a person who gets UTI will have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Bowel incontinence

  • A recent medical procedure involving the urinary tract

  • Senior Toileting Tips For Preventing Uti

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Treating Urinary Tract Infections

    A senior could be having problems emptying their bladder. If possible, when they urinate in the toilet, count to thirty once they have finished and then encourage him to give it another push. In potty-training my disabled son, an autism specialist told me that after the initial urge is gone, the brain can stop/reduce the message that they still needed to go. I know Ive tried it myself and I am always amazed at how much Ill go again after the count. Sorry if thats TMI! Lastly, if they are wearing adult diapers, you may need to be changing them more frequently since they are bacteria sponges. Rainmom

    Encourage/help older folks get to the toilet at least every 2 hours. Sometimes, older folks dont feel thirsty, sometimes they forget to drink, but sometimes, they are afraid of urinary accidents and avoid drinking enough fluids. Its very important to keep going to the bathroom to empty that bladder. MomDaughterRN

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    Cialis For Once Daily Use Now Fda

    Cialis for once daily use is the first and only medication approved to treat men with both ED and BPH

    INDIANAPOLIS â Eli Lilly and Company announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Cialis® tablets for once daily use for the treatment of men who have both erectile dysfunction and the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia . The FDA also approved Cialis for once daily use for a separate indication for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of BPH. This means Cialis is now approved for three indications: ED, the signs and symptoms of BPH, and ED and the signs and symptoms of BPH in men who have both conditions.

    To view the multimedia package associated with this release, please click:

    It is important to note that Cialis is not to be taken with medicines called ânitratesâ or with recreational drugs called âpoppersâ like amyl or butyl nitrite, as the combination may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure or if allergic to Cialis or Adcirca® , or any of its ingredients. Anyone who experiences any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as rash or hives, should call a healthcare provider or get help right away.

    Important Safety Information for CIALIS® tablets

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    Reduce The Rate Of Hospital Admissions For Urinary Tract Infections Among Older Adults Oa07

    Objective added to your list.

    Objective removed from your list.

    Objective added to your list.

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    551.3hospital admissions for urinary tract infections per 100,000 adults


    Baseline: 551.3hospital admissions for urinary tract infections per 100,000 adults aged 65 years and over occurred in 2016

    Reduce the rate of hospital admissions for urinary tract infections among older adults

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    How Do Adults Get Rsv Infection

    RSV infections are more common among infants as most children would have encountered them before their second birthday, as stated by the national foundation for infectious diseases . On the contrary, adults are also prone to RSV infection as the recurrent infection is likely throughout the ages of life. Besides, it recurs more in immunocompromised adults above the age of 65.

    Modes of Transmission

    Unfortunately, the RSV virus bides for hours on hard surfaces and has limited spans on soft aspects. And RSV-infected people stay contagious for about three to eight days. In contrast, the immunocompromised ones are conducive to transmitting infection for a longer span of four to five weeks, even after the cessation of symptoms.

    The modes of transmission in adults usually rely on the following.

    • Droplets from the cough and sneeze of an infected person.

    • Direct contact in the sense of nurturing and kissing infected little ones.

      Related Topics

    • Touching the infected surfaces and putting one’s hand on the nose, mouth, or eyes.

    Things You Can Do Yourself

    Urinary tract infections in the elderly can be serious, and can mimic ...

    To help ease symptoms of a urinary tract infection :

    • takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
    • you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
    • rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day
    • avoid having sex

    Some people take cystitis sachets or cranberry drinks and products every day to prevent UTIs from happening, which may help. But there’s no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat a UTI if the infection has already started.

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    Antibiotics For Urinary Tract Infections In Older People

    Antibiotics are medicines that can kill bacteria. Health care providers often use antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections .

    The main symptom of a UTI is a burning feeling when you urinate.

    However, many older people get UTI treatment even though they do not have these symptoms. This can do more harm than good. Heres why:

    Antibiotics usually dont help when there are no UTI symptoms.

    Older people often have some bacteria in their urine. This does not mean they have a UTI. But health care providers may find the bacteria in a routine test and give antibiotics anyway.

    The antibiotic does not help these patients.

    • It does not prevent UTIs.
    • It does not help bladder control.
    • It does not help memory problems or balance.

    Most older people should not be tested or treated for a UTI unless they have UTI symptoms. And if you do have a UTI and get treated, you usually dont need another test to find out if you are cured. You should also not be tested just in case there is a UTI.

    You should only get tested or treated if UTI symptoms come back.

    Antibiotics have side effects.

    Antibiotics can have side effects, such as fever, rash, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, tendon ruptures, and nerve damage.

    Antibiotics can cause future problems.

    Antibiotics can kill friendly germs in the body. This can lead to vaginal yeast infections. It can also lead to other infections, severe diarrhea, hospitalization, and even death.

    When should older people take antibiotics for a UTI?

    What About Confusion And Disorientation

    While confusion or disorientation are sometimes associated with UTIs in older adults, particularly those ages 70 or older, Dr. Slopnick says its important to understand that a UTI doesnt necessarily come with any signs of confusion. And signs of confusion dont necessarily point to a UTI.

    Aging naturally increases the incidence of confusion and delirium, especially among those who are cognitively impaired, depressed, malnourished or completely dependent.

    If someone is suddenly showing signs of confusion, your doctor may check for a UTI. But confusion alone isnt a telltale sign of a UTI, Dr. Slopnick says. Other causes should be investigated as well, especially if the person isnt showing other classic UTI symptoms.

    Read Also: Can Back Pain Cause Urinary Incontinence

    Strategies For Preventing Utis In Older Adults

    According to Dr. Goldman, theres no shortage of old wives tales about UTI prevention. For example, cranberry juice/extract is commonly used to prevent UTI recurrence. Probiotics have also become popular for restoring the healthy bacteria in the bladder. According to the Cochrane Library, there isnt enough medical research to support the efficacy of either cranberry juice or probiotics in preventing UTIs, notes Dr. Goldman. However, their medical benefits cannot be ruled out completely.

    The following strategies can help promote urinary tract health in older adults:

    • Use low-dose hormonal vaginal cream
    • Practice proper genital-urinal hygiene
    • Maintain sufficient fluid intake

    In addition, D-Mannose is a relatively new supplement that is being studied for its potential ability to prevent UTIs while causing few side effects. According to Dr. Goldman, D-Mannose sticks to the receptors in the bladder that would normally attract E. coli, the most common bacteria that causes UTIs. By sticking to these receptors, D-Mannose helps prevent E. coli from staying in the bladder, which may help reduce the risk of UTIs. D-Mannose works similarly in the bowels and is thought to prevent pathologic bacteria from colonizing the gastrointestinal tract, which is where the bacteria that cause UTIs in women may originate.

    Home Remedies For Treating And Preventing Elderly Uti

    Elderly Care: Preventing UTI for Patient with Adult Diapers

    Urinary tract infections can significantly impact an older adultâs physical and mental health. If left untreated, UTIs can cause dementia-like symptoms and a host of other behavioral and physical issues.

    The AgingCare Caregiver Forum has become a resource for family caregivers looking for advice and tips for dealing with recurrent UTIs in an aging loved one. Here are some tips gathered directly from the experience of other caregivers on how to prevent or treat a UTI:

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    Elderly Fluid Intake And Uti

    “It seems that the elderly really do not enjoy drinking water, but water flushes the body and helps clear out the bacteria. It is suggested that drinking half your weight in ounces of water can help a UTI. That’s a lot, so any increase is better than none. Maybe a better tasting or flavored water would be easier for your loved one, and try to give it to them at room temperature. My board certified nutritionist would tell you that it is better to drink water at room temperature.” 20Eagle16

    “Find ways to increase their fluid intake that don’t involve drinking. It’s hard to get most elderly folks to up their fluid intake. Does your loved one like popsicles? There are brands that have 100% fruit juice in them. If they are diabetic, perhaps you can make your own. Italian ices are another method.” NurseRatched

    “Water intake is critical and a difficult battle, I know. I keep a glass of water by mom at all times, but left to her own volitioneven with constant reminders to drinkshe will consume all of a few ounces during a day. Which is why I have a set of tall, colored ‘shot’ glasses that hold 2 oz. each and periodically throughout the day, I will have her drink a ‘shot’ of water. I also give her one of these with any pills she takes, doling out one pill at a time so she gets at least that much water with any medication.” mary4th

    Characteristics Of The Study Population

    In the current 5 year retrospective cross-sectional study, 460 participants were included in which women 279 were in majority as compared with men 181 with a mean age of 72 ± 4 years. Most of the study participants 342 were in the age range of 6575 years of age and 118 were above 75 years. Majority of the included population was married 256 , Chinese 271 , non-smokers 312 , and non-alcoholic 318 . Detailed association between the sociodemographic variables with the treatment outcome parameters among the study population infected with UTIs is presented in Table 1.

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