It’s said that 1 out of 10 women 65 or older has a urinary tract infection (UTI) every year. By the time a woman reaches the age of 85, the number climbs to 3 out of 10. After menopause, a UTI is a bigger risk because of lowered estrogen levels. It’s believed that estrogen plays a role in keeping harmful e coli bacteria from the urinary tract.
As a senior citizen’s immune system is not as quick to act as the immune system in a younger adult, it can be harder to determine when a UTI is present. Typical symptoms are a frequent need to urinate, a burning sensation while going to the bathroom, and the feeling that your bladder is still full even after using the toilet. That may not be what your mom experiences.
Symptoms a Senior Woman May Experience
When an elderly woman has a UTI, incontinence may be a key symptom. Your mom may accidentally leak and not associate it with an infection. She may be tired. Her behavior may change, and you find she’s easily agitated. She may not want to eat. She doesn’t seem to want to walk around much, and if she does, she may seem unsteady and fall.
Those symptoms may not have you thinking UTI. If left untreated, the infection can move to the kidneys. Once the kidneys are infected, a fever is common. Back pain and nausea are also common symptoms of a kidney infection.
Call a Doctor if You Suspect Something is Wrong
If you suspect your mom might have a UTI, you need to take her to her doctor for a culture. This will determine if there are harmful bacteria present in the urine. If a UTI is found, your mom will be given a prescription for antibiotics.
Make sure your mom drinks plenty of water each day. Medical professionals recommend going to the bathroom at least every four hours during the day. It’s recommended that your mom doesn’t wait until her bladder is bursting.
Keeping an eye on your mom’s behavior is one of the best ways to watch for a UTI. You may not be available all day, but a caregiver can be. In addition to monitoring your mom’s general mood and activity levels, senior care specialists can help her with housework, transportation, and personal care. Call our senior care agency today to find out more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Senior Care Services in Somerset NJ, please talk to the caring staff at Generations Home Health Care today. Providing Home Care in Somerset, Essex, Union, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. Call us today at (908) 290-0691 or (973) 241-4534.
Latest posts by Susan Myer, RN, BSN, CCRN, CDP (see all)
- What Can You Do to Make Multigenerational Living Easier on the Whole Family? - March 6, 2018
- Where Might You Need Help as a Caregiver? - February 21, 2018
- Do You Actually Want to Be Your Parent’s Caregiver As They Cope with Cancer? - February 7, 2018