elnmrp Asked July 2012

Can a UTI in a 94-year-old with dementia become untreatable?

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She has been on antibiotics many times, but the infection always comes back, and as I read on your site, the odor is the giveaway. Her physicatrist told me it could be sepsis, but that was a year ago, and she is still here. Can it be sepsis that does not lead to a systemic infection? Ten years ago I had here treated for a UTI, and it is endless trying to continue to treat this.

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vstefans Aug 2016
You can get a urinary anesthetic called pyridium that might help. And she might benefit from medication to relax the sphincter.

Sorry you are stuck with the resistant bugs - probably worth trying more fluids (unintuitive, since she is probably wishing she did not have to pee at all, let alone pee more!) and cranberry (mannose) supplements too.
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jmp1731 Aug 2016
mom has dementia - in care facility - constant uti's. No more meds are sensitive to the culture. The staff has to wear a safety suit and gloves to change or toilet her. She puts her hand between her legs and screams in pain after urinating. Will she just die from this and how long can she be in this pain. Because she has dementia, they don't treat her like they would a cancer patient. I don;t know what else to ask for.
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pamstegma May 2014
You can't always go by the odor. If you want proof, eat a bunch of asparagus and check the urine odor the next day. Even skunks will run away.
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vstefans May 2014
Short answer, yes - UTI will recur if bladder is not fully emptying, if there is a stone, if there is a catheter left in place, if the person just cannot fight off infections. Diabetes does not help either. I once saw someone who drank about 3 liters a day and did meticulous catheter care have a negative culture with a Foley in place. Repeat, once. With a catheter in place, you don't necessarily treat the bacteria that usually grow in there unless they are clearly making the person ill - e.g. fever with no other explanation, a lot a lot of white blood cells in the urine, something else besides just the presence of bacteria. A few bacteria and a mildly abnormal urinalysis don't always warrant treatment with intermittent cathing either. It is not the age, but the other circumstances that would make it unable to be cleared up, only suppressed.
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tdivan May 2014
This blog needs to be kicked back into action. Here is a little research I did.

http://www.nextavenue.org/blog/are-your-loved-one%E2%80%99s-dementia-symptoms-reversible

http://www.news-medical.net/health/Delirium-Causes.aspx

https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/urinary-tract-infections-elderly-146026.htm

https://www.agingcare.com/Discussions/elder-mother-walked-around-with-UTI-doctor-never-tested-her-136303.htm

http://www.parentgiving.com/elder-care/understanding-urinary-tract-infections-elderly/

http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/unlikely-connection-between-utis-and-dementia/

https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/urinary-tract-infection-dementia-155344.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20716391

https://www.agingcare.com/Questions/urinary-tract-infection-become-untreatable-152041.htm
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also, if anyone has medicare check to see if they cover home lab visits. in my area there is a wonderful service that comes to draw blood, pick up urine samples, etc and it is covered by medicare. I always get a prescription at the last visit for the labs for the next visit. i call the home service a week ahead and the dr has the report by the day of the visit . eliminates energy draggging them around and you get what you need b/c the dr has the labs right there on day of appt. Just tell your dr to give you a prescription which you can fax to service or dr can fax.
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caprica Jul 2012
PS:

Cranberry Juice more effective than plain water all the time, but for sure fluid intake, including water is important. Of-course, for those with Kidney, Lung or Heart issues, it is important not to take too much fluids.

Very, very Important to keep an eye on swelling of fingers, elbows and ankles for indication of oedema, as with everything else - moderation is the key in food or fluids intake.

It's not easy sometimes, but Bravo to all of us! 'Hope someone will be there for us when we need them for all these care issues too someday, LOL!!

I keep telling my siblings we have to teach the next generation about hands-on Elder care to prep them...LOL!!!
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my mother has prolapse of bladder, every 3 months tested positive for infection. i think the infection became resistant to the antibiotics. tried cranberry juice didn't work. my mother saw article that eating yogurt helps. so she has been eating half a small carton a day and seems to be working. search the internet for yogurt and urinary infection and see what comes up re best type to buy and ask the dr if ok to try. many have sugar but you can get low or no sugar .
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It's odd how the urine can even look kind of clear but still have a foul odor--well what urine smells good anyway--but I mean really smelly. MIL would say "Is it better now? I've been drinking more water." How can I tell her it really stinks? I just tell her she still needs to drink as much water as she can hold to keep her kidneys flushed out.
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caprica Jul 2012
The medication may need to be changed.

Best thing to do is get a Urologist to check out particular situation, as everyones body acts and reacts differently.

If she is not mobile and not possible to take her out to Doctor appointments any more, you can check with Urologist on having Visiting Nurse Service come to take and deliver Urine sample for testing to them/their diagnostics company so Dr try to help - or find out if you have visiting Doctor services available to her, as they will come to the house and forward to Urologist.

She may need to be on a daily pill for her quality-of-life/keeping UTI at bay as will recurr when dealing with full incontinence as they may pass gas sometimes and still wet or soil themselves in micro amounts that may be just after potty/changing breaks and be missed till next obvious need for change, but these still add up even if one tries to keep on top of and may sometimes add to cause issues.

So, she may also need to have more diaper changes scheduled both during the day and night, with particular attention to cleansing being thorough.

Do you have caregivers to help with care that can handle this? You may need a live-in caregiver that can keep on top of this, both day and overnight.

Let us know how this go. All the best!
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