My mother walked around with a UTI and not once did the doctor order a UTI test.

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took her to the hospital and she was "septic" and has never re-gained her strength. We will soon be calling Hospice. What can we do so this does not happen to anyone else? Also, we paid almost $8,000 out of pocket to the nursing home and they were neglectful.
Thank you for any advice you can give me.
Rev. Jeanie Ash


3930 helpful answers
This is horrible. Far too often elders are living with UTIs and no one knows. Most people know when they have one, but elder’s often don’t. My mother-in-law walked around with one for a long period of time. She was dizzy and had other symptoms. We finally did get her to a doctor who found the UTI (though getting her go do the urine tests was a nightmare). I hear about them going undetected so often that I don't understand why testing for UTIs in elders isn't routine.

What can you do? I really don't know except by word of mouth. You've helped people by talking about it here. As far as recovering your money, that isn't likely, but you can try your state ombudsman and find out if there is a procedure to prove neglect after the fact.

Thank you for sharing this important information with us. Please check back in and let us know how you are doing.

Now I am getting concerned about this one. Mom had frequent UTI's, some landing her in the hospital. In the two months she has been in the nursing home, not one time have they checked, usually it is checked when she has her monthly checkup and blood work. What happened to her monthly checkup? The doctor only came into the nursing home two times to see her, once just to press on her stomach because she had stomach pain, and once just to say hello and ask how she was doing, didn't even listen to her heart or take her BP. I was taking her BP twice a day, morning and evening. What I am really concenred about now with the UTI's is that she is incontinent, often cannot hold it and they have her with the protective pants on all day. Since mom has a shared bath with four other people she can't always get into the bathroom and get her pants changed right away. I noticed one time when we took her to a doctor appointment to a specialist out of town and she had dirty pants on until I was able to stop at a convenience store and get clean ones. A lot of times she is too embarrased to admit it, does not ask for help from the workers in the nursing home and lets it go. I thought the nursing home was supposed to help with this and keep the patients clean, however mom hestiates to call the workers because she is trying to prove to them that she doesn't need the nursing home because she wants out so bad.
We found that by being there at the nursing home frequently was the best defense for neglect. The place where my mother-in-law went while she was re-cooperating from a broken hip, was suggested by her health insurance (Kaiser Permanante) It was a good place, but as usual the people are over worked and under paid, and many times under staffed. I knew it was a stinky rotten job to work there in the first place, so I personally made a point to bring those who took care of her on a regular basis, a bunch of cookies from the Albertsons bakery once a week. It's the old saying, 'catch more flies with honey' thing. Now I know she wasn't there long term, but it was a win win situation. Her caregivers felt appreciated, and therefore more willing to listen when I had a concern, and she got better care.
My mother had constant UTIs and would only get diagnosed with them when they were so bad that they took a huge toll on her with even times being hospitalized over them. We ended up going to the drugstore and buying some test strips (they were exactly what the dr office used even though the office told us they were not available to buy) and we always had some on hand to check whenever we had any doubts. We had a talk with the doctor and after a while of showing him that we knew what we were talking about he ended up calling in a prescription over the phone when we needed one and we didnt have to take mom out on another one of those inconvenient visits to the dr. office.
We kind of had a different situation...everyone at the nursing home was thinking that my mother had an UTI, as it would have explained the drastic change in her. They have checked 4 times in the 2 weeks she has been there, and everytime it has come back negative for everything. So far I can't complain about how my mother has been treated...even one of the administrators has gone in and sat with my mom to try to convince her to eat. Some of the staff have offered to prepare and fix anything kind of food item, if only she would try to eat it.

I and other family members have been there everyday, at different times, so perhaps as someone pointed out, that has had an impact.
A lot of my mom's problems stem from the fact that she takes heavy pain medication for the pain in her back (patch) and then also has to take a lot of seizure medication to control trigeminal neuralgia, which keeps her from being able to urinate. The only thing she has found that helps is drinking lemonade in the morning, so I get her 12-packs of the canned lemonade to drink. Otherwise, she holds it all day and then ends up with a UTI or having to be catheterized in the evening, creating another risk for UTI.

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