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.
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 .
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.
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.
Instead, they may have slurred speech , dizziness, or confusion . Get medical care right away if you have any of these symptoms.
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 .
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.
By drinking more water, the urge to urinate will become more frequent. Urinating more often prevents infecting bacteria that cause UTIs from building up. Get moving: Elderly people who are sedentary have a higher risk for UTIs . Walking more frequently, even in small increments, helps in preventing UTIs in the elderly .
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.
There are three stages of sepsis: sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock .
Older adults don’t need powerful antibiotics for UTIs Lathia and Dr. Goldman. These drugs are less likely to lead to antibiotic resistance and problematic side effects than broad-spectrum antibiotics. Today, amoxicillin is commonly prescribed as first-line treatment for UTIs in older adults .
When left untreated , UTIs can cause serious problems in the elderly , including permanent kidney damage and sepsis, a generalized and potentially life-threatening infection.
Older people are more susceptible to UTIs due to a weaker flow of urine , meaning the bladder doesn’t empty fully. In men, an enlarged prostate can also make it difficult to empty the bladder completely. This can lead to bacteria building up in the urine and bladder .
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.