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.
The main danger associated with untreated UTIs is that the infection may spread from the bladder to one or both kidneys. When bacteria attack the kidneys, they can cause damage that will permanently reduce kidney function. In people who already have kidney problems, this can raise the risk of kidney failure.
For caregivers, it’s critical to learn about the most common infections in the elderly and their often-elusive signs and symptoms: “Nonspecific symptoms, such as decline in functioning, incontinence , loss of appetite and mental status changes may be the presenting signs of infection,” according to an article in
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 .
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.
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 .
Symptoms of UTIs A burning feeling when you pee. A frequent or intense urge to pee, even though little comes out when you do. Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling pee. Feeling tired or shaky. Fever or chills (a sign that the infection may have reached your kidneys) Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen.
A kidney infection is, in essence, a UTI that has spread into the kidneys . While this type of infection is rare, it’s also very dangerous and if you’re experiencing any of the following signs of a kidney infection , you should see a doctor immediately: Upper back or side pain. Fever, shaking or chills.
Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensures that you ‘ll urinate more frequently — allowing bacteria to be flushed from your urinary tract before an infection can begin. Drink cranberry juice.
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 the treatment of choice for UTIs in older adults and younger people. Your doctor may prescribe amoxicillin and nitrofurantoin ( Macrobid , Macrodantin ). More severe infections may require a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cetraxal, Ciloxan ) and levofloxacin ( Levaquin ).
In elderly patients, the most common source of sepsis is respiratory tract followed by genitourinary infections. It is possible that the elderly are at increased risk of infection with multidrug-resistant organisms.
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.
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole , nitrofurantoin , and fosfomycin are the most preferred antibiotics for treating a UTI.
The strongest connection was seen with urinary tract infection , which was associated with more than three times the increased risk of ischemic stroke within 30 days of infection.