Because our immune system changes as we get older , it responds differently to the infection. Instead of pain symptoms, seniors with a UTI may show increased signs of confusion , agitation or withdrawal.
UTIs can cause a significant and distressing change in someone’s behaviour that is commonly referred to as ‘ acute confusional state ‘ or ‘ delirium ‘. Delirium is a change in someone’s mental state and usually develops over one or two days .
Urinary tract infection is considered a common cause of delirium in the elderly. In long-term care facilities, altered mental status is the most common indication for ordering a urine culture,1 and a urinary tract infection is the most common reason for prescribing antibiotics.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection in older adults urethral burning with urination . pelvic pain. frequent urination . an urgent need to urinate. a fever . chills . urine with an abnormal odor.
When left untreated , UTIs can cause serious problems in the elderly , including permanent kidney damage and sepsis, a generalized and potentially life-threatening infection.
How families can help avoid or limit hospital delirium Consult with a geriatric specialist. Bring a full medication list to any new health professional. Make things familiar. Stay close. Insist on sensory aids. Promote activity. Be there for meals. Participate in discharge planning.
Sepsis Symptoms Fever and chills. Very low body temperature. Peeing less than usual. Fast heartbeat. Nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea. Fatigue or weakness. Blotchy or discolored skin.
Instead, they may have slurred speech , dizziness, or confusion . Get medical care right away if you have any of these symptoms.
When a UTI occurs, the infection can cause low blood pressure which can result in dizziness or a feeling of being lightheaded . Severe infections can also cause weak muscles, leading to an inability to stand without assistance.
UTIs can cause sudden confusion (also known as delirium) in older people and people with dementia. If the person has a sudden and unexplained change in their behaviour, such as increased confusion , agitation, or withdrawal, this may be because of a UTI .
Behavioral changes may include restlessness, hallucination, agitation and confusion. These are just some symptoms of UTI , which can vary from person to person, regardless of factors like age.
In human medicine, bacteriuria has been associated with a range of neurological deficits, including confusion, delirium, drowsiness, gait disturbances and worsening of pre-existing neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and stroke (Manepalli et al.
People shouldn’t die from a UTI , but if sepsis begins to take over and develops to severe sepsis and then to septic shock, this is exactly what can happen. More than half the cases of urosepsis among older adults are caused by a UTI .
Antibiotics are an effective treatment for UTIs . However, the body can often resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own without the help of antibiotics . By some estimates, 25–42 percent of uncomplicated UTI infections clear on their own. In these cases, people can try a range of home remedies to speed up recovery .
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole , nitrofurantoin , and fosfomycin are the most preferred antibiotics for treating a UTI.