At Home or In Assisted Living: UTIs and Seniors

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 27 June 2012

It can happen at home or in assisted living. It generally happens because of hygiene changes due to physical limitations (resulting from a stroke, for example) or confusion (perhaps related to dementia), says Candace Rotolo of AgingCare.com.

Delirium, paranoia, marked confusion, depression: these are the signs and symptoms, all of which are behavioral more than physical, associated with a urinary tract infection (UTI). This article by Candace Rotolo on AgingCare.com tells us all about it.

At some point in their caregiving journey, families are likely to experience the concerns that accompany extreme behavior changes brought on by a UTI. Most likely though, they will not immediately think a UTI is responsible for these changes.

A urinary tract infection causes dementia-like behaviors and symptoms, but the fact that they set in so suddenly should be the first clue that dementia is probably not the root cause.

Rotolo’s article points out that even the “medical community isn’t sure why older people have these heightened behavioral symptoms.” However, there are six major warning signs/symptoms that caregivers should look for if they are concerned about sudden changes in their loved one’s behavior.

We’ll highlight a few below (read the rest here):

  1. pain while urinating
  2. urgent/frequent need to urinate
  3. lethargy, hallucinations, restlessness, or other sudden changes in mental status


Your turn: Have you or a family member experienced these UTI-related behavior changes? How did you get to the UTI diagnosis?


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