Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can have serious health effects on older adults. When bacteria in the kidneys, urethra, or bladder proliferate in the urine, a urinary tract infection occurs. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to acute or chronic kidney infections, causing long-term damage to these vital organs and possibly kidney failure. UTIs are also a leading cause of sepsis, which is a severe and potentially deadly inflammatory response to infection. Continue reading to learn how to recognize and treat UTI in loved ones.
Common UTI Symptoms
Here are some common UTI symptoms:
- Urine that looks dark or cloudy
- Night sweats, chills, or shaking
- Blood in the urine
- Low-grade fever
- Strong or foul-smelling urine
- Feelings of pressure in the lower abdomen
- Urgent or frequent need to urinate
- Pain or burning during urination
These lifestyle and personal hygiene changes can significantly reduce one’s chances of getting a urinary tract infection:
- Remind older persons with memory loss to use the toilet instead of relying on an adult diaper.
- Keep the genital area dry and clean.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- If incontinence is not an issue, use breathable cotton underwear and change them at least once a day.
- Do not douche or use any kind of feminine hygiene product.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, which irritate the bladder.
- Take cranberry tablets or drink cranberry juice unless you have a personal or family history of kidney stones.
Avoid Holding Your Pee
Avoid holding in your pee since this might promote bacterial development. Try not to go more than 3 to 4 hours without peeing and empty your bladder completely each time.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This causes you to urinate more frequently, flushing germs from your urinary system. Aim for 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. If you find it difficult to drink so much water, you can supplement your fluid intake with vegetable and fruit smoothies, milk, decaffeinated herbal tea, soup, or sparkling water. Limit or avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, both of which can irritate the bladder.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that promote the growth of beneficial gut flora. They may also aid in the development of beneficial bacteria in the urinary system. This may help keep you from having a UTI. Lactobacillus strains have been linked to fewer UTIs in general. You may take probiotics in a variety of methods to improve the health of your urinary system, including:
- Using probiotic suppositories
- Taking probiotic supplements
- Consuming fermented foods such as tempeh, sauerkraut, kefir, or yogurt
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Discovery Village At Sarasota Bay provides cutting-edge lifestyle and health programs, a stress-free living environment, and excellent personal care. We provide senior living options to meet everyone’s individual needs, namely senior independent living, assisted living, and memory care services. No matter what your needs are and the degree of care you require, you can find a program that suits you here. Come tour our community and make an informed decision knowing you’ll receive unrivaled quality and amazing value.