Why are you treating that UTI?

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What is the rationale for treating a UTI in a elderly, stage 6 dementia patient?
I have often read on this site about people treating UTIs in advanced dementia pts and I have often wondered why you would choose to do so. Yes, UTIs can be painful, but the pain can be controlled without antibiotic therapy. Yes, UTIs can cause death, but aren't we just delaying the inevitable? After all our family member is already suffering a terminal illness and UTIs in the elderly are often recurrent and a constant battle.
I would be very interested in your points of view as I'm just not getting it.


Because if the doctor's didn't offer to treat it, they'd be denying medical care to an ill patient, and folks would start talking nonsense about "death panels" again.

Look, any time a doctor suggests a treatment, the patient, or the person holding medical poa is free to refuse. As my mom's medical poa, my brothers and I think long and hard about treatment that is offered, when it seems that it is delaying the inevitable. Treatments that improve mom's comfort and quality if life are instituted. If a UTI is causing paranoia and hallucinations, I would certainly treat it. In elders, they don't seem so much to cause physical pain, as psychiatric - seeming symptoms.
infection spreading slowly thru your body is a pretty sh*tty way to die as opposed to multiple organ failure , dehydration , starvation , pneumonia , or about anything else resulting in a natural death .
if the infections were back to back and not responding to antibiotics then i would possibly agree with you .
The behavioral aspects of UTI’s are enough for me to prompt treatment with a relatively safe anti-biotic. My MIL gets them occasionally and exhibits confusion, paranoia, anger/agitation issues. Totally not like her at all. Why make someone suffer in that way?
Have you ever had an infection that became deadly, Nojoy3? I have. Even once I was in the hospital, morphine did not dull the pain one bit - it only made me not care about it because I was so high. It also did nothing to stop the terrifying hallucinations and nightmares, the uncontrollable vomiting, or the brutal fever and chills. It would be a cruel way to let someone die.
My mother's DNR states no lifesaving measures--but makes an exception for antibiotics. I think this is because she often has UTI's and knows how awful they are, and how they can cause a really horrible death due to sepsis.
The answers are interesting, but this thread is 2 years old. I doubt that Nojoy3 is following it.
Oh for heaven's sake. Jeannegibbs, I need to stop looking at the forum when I'm still waking up, lol!
Dorianne, go over and visit the Caregiver Weight Gain post - there's enough cyber sugar there to give you such a high that you'll feel like you're flying, and you won't even have to wake up first!

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