Urinary Tract Infections are hard to recognize in Elderly. They can result in death. Why are they overlooked? Because they simply exacerbate Dementia and Alzheimers symotoms. Often caregivers think that the patient is entering an advanced stage of their illness.
How to recognize: The patient seems a bit more foggy than usual. They are a bit more confused and seem to search for words or stare. They forgot they ate lunch, don't remember you visited, they had a few more accidental wetting of themselves or maybe peed right before they got to the toilet. Some show increased depression, sadness, and are sleeping a lot. You think "it's just their illness". MAYBE NOT. Anytime you notice an increase of symptoms from a day or two earlier, however slow they creep, call the doctor and ask if you can collect urine for a culture. These patients get UTI'S often due to adult diaper wear and sitting a lot. If left untreated, the bacteria will spread into the blood stream and they will sleep and sleep until they don't wake up. Hope this helps!