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UTI's (Urinary Tract Infections) - Carers UK Forum

UTI's (Urinary Tract Infections)

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Hi folks.

I'm aiming this post at carers of elderly people, apologies if it is a common symptom among younger carees too. Image

I know that many elderly folk suffer from UTI's and that this type of infection can really play havoc with their mental state as well as their physical wellbeing. Do we know if there is any particular reason why they seem so susceptible to these types of infections?
Is there anything we can do to lessen the chance of them happening apart from trying to get the caree to drink as much as possible?

Insufficient fluid intake is a huge factor because the bladder does not entirely empty leaving a reservoir of urine which, if it is not contantly diluted and replaced, becomes the ideal breeding place for bacteria.

E coli is a common cause of UTIs which indicates faecal contamination and I have always tried to ensure that carers are careful to deal with incontinence in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of contamination, not always with success and not always possible, particularly where double incontinence is a problem.

Recurrent UTIs can suggest that the original infection has not been adequately treated so I have always requested that a urine sample is taken before and after treatment, in fact I have always kept urine specimen bottles here so that I can get a specimen in advance of the prescription.

Cloudy urine in the absence of any other obvious symptoms can indicate a UTI as can smell. Likewise confusion or increased confusion.

And, if you cannot get a proper specimen, squeezing urine out of a pad to use a test strip is better than nothing.

All of which goes to show what an interesting life I have led Image Image .
Ditto what Parsifal said and using a convene can also cause it as urine can 'back up' if it doesn't drain properly into the bag.
My hubby has a supra public catheter(goes directly into his bladder through his tummy). He has frequent infections due to a constant open wound and the usual catheter complications.
Drinking plenty is helpful as is being aware of symptoms and getting treatment as soon as possible.
Nothing to add other than if you have an elderly relative going into hospital,try to get them to drink when you visit.Nursing staff fail to do this.....hence the high number of elderly patients picking up UTI`s soon after admission. Image
Also, if you are told that a catheter has been agreed check whether it is for management or clinical reasons, it is sometimes more convenient for hospital nursing staff when caring for an incontinent patient to get a clinician to agree to a catheter for easier management of the incontinence rather than for clinical reasons, this should not be happpening as catheters carry an increased risk of infection and it can be more difficult to restore urinary continence later.
Thanks Parsifel - hospital catheterised my Mum when she had a stroke. She got an infection and they gave her amoxilin (sp?). She is allergic to penicillin and related medicines! She had a skin breakout from her skull to the soles of feet!

They've now decided that the urine infection is chronic! She is now incontinent and uses pads!!!

The catheter was for their convenience!!!!
Many thanks for all your answers and apologies for not acknowledging it sooner..I had actually forgotten that I posted this.

Mum went back into hospital the day after I posted, cellulitis again. Or so they say..I just don't know anymore. The "wound" that she had on discharge last time turned into an ulcer, the leg broke out in blisters, it was weeping terribly and stank to high heaven. Sorry, TMI I know.

The reason I asked about the UTI was that when I had seen mum two days before I posted, on the Saturday, she was starting to show the same signs as when she had an infection before. She was very frail, unable to get up from the chair without help and her walking was painfully slow.

Poor mum was stuck on the loo all night (yes, sad but she had a giggle too), literally all night for more than 14 hours because she couldn't get up..she couldn't stand. District nurses were coming in daily because of the leg but that still didn't stop the admission. She had a slight tumble, hit her side on the wall and it looks like she popped her hip out of place..hence the toilet sitting incident later on that night. She had her alarm on but didn't press it, her neighbour found her there the next morning. She didn't want to be a burden..

I didn't intend to make this a long post, sorry, I have got wandering thoughts again. I took 4 days holiday last week up in sunny Norfolk and I'm very glad I did, I needed it, so did hubby. I went to see mum today (hence the wandering thoughts), I knew she had been moved into the next room, knew exactly where to find her but I looked and had to look again. I hardly recognised the tiny little old lady in the bed as my mum. Don't get me wrong, apart from a few weird comments (rehearsals for a speech being held in the bed spaces opposite every night!) she was fine, more or less.
She asked her Heart Failure nurse this week to tell her truthfully how long she had to live. Answer was a year at most. Every time I see her it is as if she is drawing away from me, does that make sense to anyone here? Not emotionally because our love is as strong as ever but her spirit is moving away slowly, she is finally the little old lady that I never thought she would be.

And yes, I am now crying into my coffee as I am typing this..silly sod I am. It's sad, but not bad. Still hurts like hell though.

I am so very glad that this forum is here x
Sending you (((hugs))), Ladybird.

{{Hugs}} Ladybird.

Had a bubble this afternoon. Think I was feeling sorry for myself. Normal service should return as soon as possible.