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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When left untreated , UTIs can cause serious problems in the elderly , including permanent kidney damage and sepsis, a generalized and potentially life-threatening infection.
Confusion or decreased alertness may be the first symptom of a serious illness, particularly in older adults . Health problems that can cause confusion or decreased alertness include: Infections , such as a urinary tract infection , respiratory infection , or sepsis. Alzheimer’s disease.
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.
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.
Treatment for delirium depends on the cause. Treatments may include: Antibiotics for infections. Fluids and electrolytes for dehydration. Antipsychotic drugs include: Haloperidol (Haldol®). Risperidone (Risperdal®). Olanzapine (Zyprexa®). Quetiapine (Seroquel®).
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole , nitrofurantoin , and fosfomycin are the most preferred antibiotics for treating a UTI.
Not everyone with a UTI has symptoms, but most people have at least one. Symptons may include a frequent urge to urinate and a painful, burning feeling in the area of the bladder or urethra during urination. It is not unusual to feel bad all over— tired , shaky, washed out—and to feel pain even when not urinating.
Instead, they may have slurred speech , dizziness, or confusion . Get medical care right away if you have any of these symptoms.