According to Centennial senior care experts, a urinary tract infection (UTI) is considered to be one of the most common infections in older adults. While most people portray physical symptoms during a UTI, an elderly person may not develop any bodily symptoms at all. Instead, they most often suffer from behavioral issues such as confusion, delirium, and even hallucinations.
The reason for this type of mental change is thought to be caused by the immune system’s lack of proper response to infections. As we age, our body reacts differently when trying to fight a particular bacteria or virus. Because the common symptoms are not always present, the senior you are caring for may not express any concerns directly to you. There are signs you can watch for, however, that can help indicate the possibility that a UTI is present.
- Confusion – If your otherwise healthy parent or loved one seems to be unable to think clearly, seems lost, or does not make sense during conversation, this may be an indication that a UTI is present. Evaluation by his or her health care provider should be considered, especially if these symptoms are accompanied by frequent urination.
- Delirium – This symptom is similar to confusion, but may be more severe. Delirium can cause a person to become feverish, restless, irrational, and even affect speech. This is considered to be a serious condition, so prompt medical attention is the safest decision if this condition is suspected.
- Lethargy – Everyone loves a good nap, but when you notice a significant increase in tiredness or inactivity, the one you are caring for may be displaying signs of a UTI.
Generally, a UTI is easily treated. As a caregiver, it is important to be aware of the behavioral changes caused by this type of infection, because your knowledge and observations will result in immediate proper care and treatment for your elderly loved one. Our dedicated caregivers at Centennial Home Care Assistance are here to help in the Southeast Suburban Metro Denver area. Our Care Managers are available 24/7, so please call 303-957-3100 to get more information.