Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms In Elderly Adults

This article was written by Christie Sartorie RN BSN OCN to address a common reoccurring issue of urinary tract infection that caregivers are often faced with when caring for an elderly parent. To learn more about the author see her bio at the end of the article.-Tom

When caring for an elderly adult there are red flags that can alert you to diagnosing and treating problems your loved one may be having such as urinary tract infections. By recognizing these red flags the caregiver can serve as an advocate for their loved one.

Identify The Symptoms

Start by looking for symptoms of mental status changes such as: confusion, anxiety, and even psychosis.  These can be accompanied by concentrated urine, low grade fevers and increased fatigue.

The Important thing to remember is that the elderly often do not present with symptoms like a younger person would: burning with urination, bladder pressure or increased frequency to urinate.   Mental status changes are the hallmark presenting symptom in elderly and as a caregiver its what you want to be watching for to make sure your loved one is healthy and happy. So if your mom or dad starts to become confused call you doctor and have his/her urine checked. This is a simple test to perform they do not even have to go into the office you can drop off a sample at your local lab.

PreventionCranberry juice for urinary tract infections

Some of the best ways to protect your loved one from acquiring recurrent urinary tract infections are keeping them well hydrated and keeping up with their hygiene.  Drinking cranberry juice is also helpful in preventing infections from occurring. Avoiding these urinary tract infections can save your loved one from taking more prescriptions and sometimes even hospitalizations depending on the severity of the infection and how long it goes unnoticed.

Being A Caregiver To Your Parent

As caregivers for your parents you know them best and when personality changes occur you can be the first to recognize this and alert their physician to the change. Ultimately saving your loved one from any unnecessary pain or emotional stress.

About the Author

Christie SartoriChristie Sartori RN, MSN, FNP-BC, OCN (Family Nurse Practitioner) Has been in the medical field for many years and has worked in Medical Oncology, GYN Oncology, Adult as well as Pediatric, and many other outpatient and inpatient settings.View all posts by Christie Sartori →

  1. Mamah

    I have a doctor that empsahizes the human element. She flat out will tell you that she’ll do her best and that medicine is definitely not an exact science and that we are doing this together. I feel so lucky to have someone taking care of me that acts human and that shows she actually cares. That is especially true when I see what some friends are going through w/ doctors that play the defensive medicine game to the pint of ordering MRI’s (repeatedly) for a patient who is having migraines and has had them for years and forcing that same patient to go to the ER to ensure they are worked up to be totally sure it is not a neuro issue vs just giving the medication that worked before and probably will again. It is so sad to see how afraid and distant some doctors feel they need to be and so wonderful that there are a handful of doctors willing to show their humanity and to really BE with patients through good and bad situations and outcomes. Be human, it shows you care. This does include admitting when something doesn’t work out well and if it is something that was within your ability to control for, admitting you messed up and apologizing. Most patients will understand the trust you are placing in them by sharing such info and will return this gift too.

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