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UTIs and the affects on those with Dementia

Any infection can increase the progression of dementia and a UTI is no different. However for someone with dementia, a urinary tract infection can cause sudden behavior changes. UTIs can cause confusion even delirium. Persons living with dementia rarely let us know they have a UTI because they are unable to communicate what is causing the pain and discomfort.

One of the leading causes of death for persons with dementia/Alzheimer's is due to infection that escalated to the point of death.

Knowing the signs can help your loved one get treated early before the infection leads to a serious health problem. Here are some changes that you should be aware of in someone with dementia:

  • Agitated or angry.

  • More confused than normal.

  • Hallucinations.

  • Sleepy and withdrawn.

  • Lack of appetite.

  • Undressing in public.

  • Screaming out.

  • Sudden worsening of incontinence.

  • Negative behavior changes.

  • Unable to do a task that could be easily done a day or two before.

  • Urine that is cloudy, pink, and gives off a strong odor.

Ways a UTI can be determined:

  • X-ray

  • Urine sample

  • Ultrasound exam

  • CAT scan

How to prevent UTIs

  • Frequent toileting (every 2 hours prompt peeing).

  • Monitor fluid intake and encourage 6-8 glasses of water daily.

  • Maintain good hygiene and include daily bathing.

  • Be aware of dehydration which can increase urinary tract infections.

To help your loved one minimize the risk for a urinary tract infection watch for sudden behavior changes. Falls, confusion or an onset of incontinence may warn of a possible UTI. Contact your physician for guidance and a check-up.

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed. Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services. Since 1994 we have offered flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, personal care and attention to your loved one at home.

Call us at 770-442-8664

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