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.
If the cause of delirium is properly identified and treated, delirium often lasts less than one month from the onset of symptoms to the time of recovery. However, an episode of delirium may last anywhere from a few hours to many weeks, depending on the cause and necessary treatment.
Instead, they may have slurred speech , dizziness, or confusion . Get medical care right away if you have any of these symptoms.
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 .
For example, some medical issues that can cause hallucinations include dehydration, urinary tract infections , kidney or bladder infections , head injuries from a fall, or pain.
The classic symptoms of a urinary tract infection ( UTI ) are burning pain and frequent urination. UTIs may not cause these classic symptoms in older adults . Instead, older adults , especially those with dementia, may experience behavioral symptoms such as confusion.
UTI , Dementia and Delirium in the Elderly Delirium is often a temporary change in brain function caused by a potentially reversible condition, such as an infection, hypoglycemia, medication side effects, etc.
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 people with dementia , UTIs can cause sudden confusion, or delirium, in someone with dementia . This can manifest itself as increased confusion, agitation, or withdrawal. If the infection goes undetected, it can spread to the kidneys or bloodstream and become life-threatening.
Recovering from Delirium Delirium can last from a day to sometimes months. If the person’s medical problems get better, they may be able to go home before their delirium goes away. Some people’s delirium symptoms get much better when they go home.
In the long term, delirium can cause permanent damage to cognitive ability and is associated with an increase in long-term care admissions. It also leads to complications, such as pneumonia or blood clots that weaken patients and increase the chances that they will die within a year.
Delirium can last for a few days, weeks or even months but it may take longer for people with dementia to recover. In hospitals, approximately 20-30% of older people on medical wards will have delirium and up to 50% of people with dementia . Between 10-50% of people having surgery can develop delirium.