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Preventing Senior Urinary Tract Infections

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) is an infection that occurs in any part of the urinary system, usually between the bladder and the urethra. In senior adults, the presence of a UTI can mimic the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s, which can pose a problem for dementia caregivers in Rhode Island. Preventing UTIs is the best way to ensure a senior adult gets proper care, and you can do so by encouraging your loved one to follow these simple tips.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water helps stave off a UTI by diluting urine. Frequent urination may be bothersome for your senior loved one, however this helps flush the urinary system of bacteria that could potentially cause a UTI, thereby preventing an infection before it has a chance to begin.

Practice Good Hygiene

For seniors who have to wear disposable briefs, keeping the genitals clean will prevent harmful bacteria from traveling into the urethra and causing an infection. Your female loved one should also wipe from front to back after urinating for the same reason. Change briefs and undergarments frequently and avoid the use of feminine douches or irritating cleansing products.

Set Reminders for Using the Restroom

For seniors who may have complications with memory loss as the result of Alzheimer’s or dementia, setting a reminder for restroom use helps reduce the chances of both accidents and infection. The longer urine is stored in the bladder, the greater the chance there is for an infection to take hold.

Avoid Drinking Irritating Beverages

Alcohol and caffeine can irritate the bladder and lead to a UTI. If a loved one does not want to give up these beverages, make sure they drink plenty of water to keep the bladder and urinary tract free of infection. If you suspect your loved one may have a UTI, please see his or her primary care physician as soon as possible.

Family caregivers may have trouble looking out for signs of trouble on their own. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance provides premier elder care in Rhode Island that encourages senior health and wellness in the comfort of home. Our dedicated caregivers ensure seniors maintain healthy diet, daily exercise, and personal maintenance to promote overall wellbeing. Contact us at (401) 284-0979 today to learn more and schedule a complimentary consultation.