When the urine stays in the bladder for a few hours, bacteria may grow and spread into the urinary tract—putting them at higher risk for developing UTIs because they already have problems emptying their bladder. In nursing homes, most of the elderly can no longer care for themselves entirely.
Why Do Seniors Get UTIs? Older adults are more vulnerable to UTIs, because as we age, we tend to have weaker muscles in our bladder and pelvic floor that can cause urine retention or incontinence. Whenever the urine stays in the urinary tract, there’s a potential for bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, or E.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the following conditions make older individuals more susceptible to UTIs: Diabetes. Urine retention (Weakening of the bladder and pelvic floor muscles can lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder and incontinence.) Use of a urinary catheter.
UTI is the most common cause of nursing home –acquired bacteremia, but it has a lower mortality rate than pneumonia. In a New York–based study of older adult LTC residents admitted with nursing home–acquired bacteremia, researchers identified a urinary source in 51% to 56% of cases.
The most common UTIs occur mainly in women and affect the bladder and urethra. Infection of the bladder (cystitis). This type of UTI is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, sometimes other bacteria are responsible.
Poor hygiene, namely wiping from “back to front,” is a common UTI risk factor for women, as this can easily spread bacteria into the urinary tract.
Urinate frequently By drinking more water, the urge to urinate will become more frequent. Urinating more often prevents infecting bacteria from building up that cause UTIs in seniors.
What are the symptoms of a UTI?
Today, amoxicillin is commonly prescribed as first-line treatment for UTIs in older adults. Other common narrow-spectrum must be used with caution when patients have chronic kidney disease or take blood pressure medication, as many older adults do; or because their side effects can be serious in older adults.
Most chronic UTIs will resolve with a prolonged course of antibiotics, but monitoring for further symptoms is important since the chronic UTIs usually recur.
Symptoms of a UTI may include:
This article gives us some tools to reduce UTIs in our patients:
There are a few ways that CNAs can help decrease the incidents of UTIs in long-term care facilities and hospitals.
To be able to urinate frequently, you need to be hydrated. Dehydration will only increase the likelihood of getting a UTI and can worsen the pain felt for those who already have them. If you experience chronic UTIs, talk to your doctor about alternative remedies.
If you have an indwelling catheter, you must do these things to help prevent infection: