Older adults are more vulnerable to urinary tract infections than any other age group. While young adults tend to experience the physical symptoms of these infections, seniors are prone to mental confusion. If you think your aging loved one has a urinary tract infection (UTI), here are some things you can do to manage it.
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you can’t get an appointment within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of UTI symptoms, it’s best to go to an emergency room. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection may include mental confusion, fever, frequent or urgent urination, pain with urination, or pelvic pain. A doctor can assess the situation, perform tests to identify the infection, prescribe medications, and decide the best course of action for treatment.
UTIs can exacerbate the symptoms of several diseases, including dementia. Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Waterloo families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores.
2. Help with Medication
If the doctor prescribes medications, vitamins, and supplements to treat the urinary tract infection, make sure your loved one takes them. Take your loved one to the pharmacy or pick the medications up yourself. Read the instructions, ensure your loved one knows how often to take the medicines, and check if there are any specific side effects. Set an alarm if necessary to remind your loved one when it’s time to take the medication.
3. Ensure Adequate Hydration
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to manage urinary tract infections. However, many older adults have insufficient water intake because they don’t want to get up to use the restroom or they have problems with incontinence. If your loved one has an infection, make sure he or she drinks enough water each day. The doctor can tell you exactly how much water your parent needs.
4. Promote Good Hygiene
Poor hygiene in the area around the urethra can lead to urinary tract infections, and promoting proper hygiene can help with healing. If your loved one is female, talk to her about wiping from front to back after using the bathroom. If your parent wears adult undergarments, they should be changed every two hours. Seniors who wear catheters should use proper management techniques as prescribed by the doctor. Make sure to help your loved one to the bathroom if he or she is unable to do it independently.
If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Waterloo seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
5. Prevent Future Infections
Once your loved one’s urinary tract infection clears up, it’s time to prevent future issues. Practicing good hygiene and drinking plenty of water regularly are the first steps toward keeping these infections at bay. Senior women who have been through menopause may want to talk to the doctor about restoring good bacteria in the vaginal area. It’s also important to urinate when the urge hits instead of holding it for a long time. If your loved one is still sexually active, urinating after sex is also a good idea.
Seniors can prevent urinary tract infections by making healthy lifestyle choices. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Waterloo Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Call us at (519) 590-2792 to schedule a free in-home consultation.