Urinary Tract Infection in Seniors

UTIs & Seniors

September 27, 2021

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused by bacteria. In older adults who may use catheters, or struggle with incontinence, a UTI can happen more frequently. Despite often occurring in older adults, UTIs can be hard to detect and diagnose. Many vague and uncommon systems can be confusing.  Below are the common and not-so-common symptoms of a UTI, and more severe symptoms to watch for.

UTI Common Symptoms

  • An urgent need to urinate
  • Pain in the pelvis
  • A Fever
  • Chills
  • Urethral burning when urinating

UTI Less Common Symtoms

Often in elderly patients, confusion is the first sign of a UTI. If your loved one is acting confused “out of the blue” a test to determine if a UTI is present should happen. Below are other less common UTI symptoms.

  • Mood swings
  • Loss of appetite
  • Falling more/ off balance
  • Decreased Mobility

How to test for a UTI?

Most pharmacies sell over-the-counter “strips” that are great to keep on hand. Testing at home first can save an unnecessary trip to the doctor. However, if you test positive then it’s time to seek medical care. If left untreated, a UIT can develop into sepsis or a kidney infection. Symptoms of a potential kidney infection include back pain, a fever, nausea, or vomiting.

Preventative Care

The main key to preventing urinary tract infections is to stay hydrated. If you or a loved one is incontinent change briefs frequently. Avoid things that could irritate the bladder like coffee, tea, and alcohol. If your loved one is in an assisted living home, ask how they manage and respond to UTIs. If you need more resources to support an aging loved one, we are here for you. Visit us at Sunwaysseniorliving.com for more information.

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