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Hi, my nan is 91 and is currently in hospital with a UTI. This is her 8th time she has now been in hospital with a UTI and she displays the symptoms of being confused and tired/weak no energy or talking wierd. Just wondering if anyone has had same experience or knows any ideas on what to do? Without a UTi, she is really healthy. Mum took her to local doctor when she had a UTI and he gave her a course of antibiotics and she was fine, then 3 days after she finished them she got an infection again. Doctor won't prescribe a daily antibiotic because it will affect the kidneys and liver but they are already damaged due to age and the medication she already takes. Just wondering whether seeing urologist will actually help and find solutions for her or if she is just at the age now where she will constantly get them? Without a UTI she is really healthy, she is currently in hospital and doctors are meeting with the family to discuss possiblity of nursing home which she is 100% against. Do the doctors have the right to force her into a nursing home against her will? What can a urologist do for an eldery patient with recurrent UTI's? Thank you in advance, really want to try get some answers from other people who have been through the same thing with close family or friends.

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D mannose powder is the answer.
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I used to get regular UTIs myself, until a doctor remarked almost casually to me that they were always caused by cross-infection from faeces at the anus. The line for younger women used to be that they were the result of abrasion during sex! Not quite the same thing! I started to be much more careful, washing myself before sex (lucky I always wanted a bidet), and washing myself if I had diarrhoea or even after flatulence. I haven’t had a UTI for years now, and I am amazed that the information wasn’t easier to find. Implementing this is difficult for an elderly person, particularly a woman who has always wiped from ‘back to front’. However the knowledge of the problem might help all concerned.
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Thank you for all of your replies. She is still in hospital, they are treating her for the infection to her chest and bladder still. Very sleepy and tired and no energy so i'd say she will be in there for a while before we need to decide what to do with her after hospital. Hopefully we can get her into a rehab centre close by for 12 weeks to get her back on her feet if she can get well again before leaving hospital

really appreciate all of your replies, they have given us some good ideas, very helpful. We will have to try get a urologist to see her as well.
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She won't like it but give her a small glass of water with a teaspoon of baking soda in it for 2 or 3 times in a day and give her lemonade or orange juice to flush her system. The next day 200mg vitamin C tablet one in the am and pm. She should be feeling better by then. The urine needs to be acidic to prevent bacterial growth
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My mother is currently in hospice, and despite daily showers and keeping her very clean, she too keeps getting UTIs. Doctors have treated her with so many antibiotics that she is now antibiotic resistant to 90% of antibiotics. One thing you need to make sure they are doing is not only testing for a UTI, but growing a culture to make sure she's on the right antibiotic. If they don't do this, they may be treating her with something useless, which won't kill the infection, but will increase her chances of becoming antibiotic resistant. You'll be surprised at how many of her nurses don't do a culture. We insist on it now.
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A great supplement for to prevent UTI's is Olive leaf extract. Taken daily this will ward off any UTI infections plus it is great for immune support and a healthy heart. Make sure that it has 25% oleuropein.
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Unfortunately for women, the urethra is significantly shorter than a man's and with age, membranes thin out, the immune system declines, and the risk of an infection increases. Make sure she wears cotton underwear and wipes from front to back and takes other proper hygiene measures. You can reduce the risk but not eliminate it.
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Never hurts to see an urologist. My mom kept having reoccurring UTIs and we found out she had bladder cancer. Has she been tested for anything else? Never hurts to check.
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It's crucial to change the wet Depends asap. That's a big cause of UTI's. Also in many cases if you ask her if she is wet she will say no because she can't feel it. Also when they are incontinent they don't always realize they are or have peed. So don't rely on that answer. Change every 2 hours. Another issue will be when she is discharged from the hospital she will probably need rehab to rebuild her walking skills and gain strength back.
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My mother also has had problems with UTIs and since I've been giving her one cranberry capsule per day, we've not had any more problems. As it is difficult for her to swallow pills, I open the capsule and stir it into a little unsweetened applesauce. I hope this is helpful!
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1. Fluids, fluids, fluids - that's one thing. De-hydration in the elderly often leads to UTI's.
2. Not sitting in incontinence pants for too long as the bacteria lingers and travels inwards.
3. Bathing regularly.
4. Toilet 'étiquette' ie in women - i.e. wipe from front to back.

It is a big problem I know - but this is what the Paramedics told me last week when my mum was taken into hospital with a UTI
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D-Mannose powder or tablets - its a food supplement (a simple sugar which is not actually used by the human body but is excreted by the kidneys and affects the bacteria by making them unable to stick to the lining of the bladder). It's not a medicine, but it works. Look it up online. I can personally recommend it as I had three UTI's in a row last year, antibiotics worked but unpleasant side-effects. At the first sign of another infection, I took D-Mannose for a couple of days, and hey presto, the infection vanished and I haven't had one since. You do need to take it with lots of water to flush out the bladder, and there are some types of UTI it doesn't help, but well worth trying. I also use urine testing strips to check periodically for the presence of any infection - also available to order online.
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You can get cranberry extract capsules. They're biggish, but the "shell" is made of gelatine so they go down reasonably easily. Boots do them, as well as most major supermarkets.

I used to give them to my mother. She didn't get many uti's, true, but I'm not claiming a direct link there. My view is that they can't hurt and they might help, so why not?
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My mother is the same way. UTI's cause confusion. My first sign my mother has infection. Urologist is a must just to make sure there is no blockage. Which is most always NOT the outcome. Hygiene is one of the main reasons. Good Luck...you are not alone
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My husband has Parkinson's, is incontinent and had a number of UTIs in quick succession a the end of last year. A friend told me about Ellura, available on line, and very expensive. My husband takes one pill a day and no UTIs...I can not argue with success. I hate spending the money but it really keeps him free of infections. His urologist (who was not the one to suggest it) know the people who created Ellura and said it was a reputable company. His urologist suggested surgery!.....did not push Ellura when Ellura has been a success. Read the reviews and give it a try.
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My mother kept getting UTI's so I started giving her a suppliment called D-Mannose. She has not had one since. Even her family doctor suggested this. I order it online and give a bottle each month to the nursing home and they give her one pill a day.
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Check if your nan's medications cause side effects like diarrhea or incontinence, since that seems to be the main cause of UTIs. Divalproex sodium is one that is causing that cycle for my mother-in-law. I think it's worth getting her off the meds and see if that cuts down on the UTIs.
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Mom is 97 and living at home with 24/7 care by CNAs. She gets an UTI about every 4-8 weeks. Her pad is changed whenever it's wet, and the CNAs use a pericare wash on her exterior after using the toilet, and also the commercial clean wipes (Cottonelle, for ex.). She does drink water during the day, but, as mentioned, the person doesn't want to have to use the toilet frequently, so it's important that the caregiver frequently ask if she needs to use the toilet, and sometimes just help her walk from the sitting room to the downstairs bathroom for exercise and to try to void. We can tell when she's getting a UTI because she's confused, agitated, and cranky even before she complains about burning or pain. I've taken her to the urologist every 3 or 4 months for checkups. It's important to get the specimen tested for the specific bacteria, as different bacteria respond to different antibiotics, and some don't work as well on UTIs as they do with other infections. At her age, it's a constant battle, because of weakened immune system and some antibiotics don't work on her UTI at all.
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Hunnybub,
I saw your nan's situation with the UTI's. Many of the senior ladies that I know have them from time to time. My mom actually has seen a Urologist. He told her that sometimes a daily pill is prescribed, but, there are things to consider. I'd discuss with a Urologist if you are leaning that way. My mom decided to try some other things first.

One thing is to address the cause, if you know. Your post says that your nan refuses to drink enough water and to change pads often enough. Even though she may be disagreeable about it, it may be in her best interest to have a person reminding and insisting around the clock. If she's in charge and doesn't change her habits, she's not likely to see things get better. It's just a cycle.

Also, I read some online articles about infections in seniors. It mentioned that infections, if repeatedly occurring, may be very challenging to ever really get rid of. It's just a battle of constantly fighting it and it might pop up in different areas, like you said, in the chest with her as well. I'd ask her doctor about it and see what he thinks. Is he a Geriatric physician?
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Yep will do thank you
And yes we hope that they will let her go home and we can increase her package and try to get 24 hour care or a person in at night to put her into bed
With a bit of luck hopefully they let us, but if not there are a lot of positives with nursing homes, the transition will just be hard for her but i think once she would be there she would enjoy it as long as shes got an open mind and will accept it that is :)
Thank you all for the help, if any more ideas please let us know! We will try anything
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Dear hunnybub,

Glad to see you asking all these questions on behalf of your nan. If the family can provide adequate care at home, I don't think a doctor can force your nan into a nursing home. After my dad's stroke, the social worker was concerned about whether my dad would have enough care at home. But I implemented every suggestion and he was able to come home. I know things change over time so please try to keep all options on the table.

About the UTIs, I know that is very hard. Try the cranberry tablets and see if that will help. It is more difficult as we get older.
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Just have to wait and see for next monday where doctors meet with mum and her brothers to determine whether they will let her home
Does the family have any power to say no to a nursing home if the doctor actually says she needs to due to their duty of care?
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She has carers come in to clean and to shower her now as mum was doing all that but carers are making it easier and less dangerous as nan is less mobile. She is on one of those care packages. She goes to respite care every 8-10 weeks just to give her the boost of energy etc and to get out of the house for a bit and to try socialise as she lives alone, but mums sees her everyday. She has a vital call so she is safe if she falls and she just presses the button as she has in the past. her perosnality wouldn't suit a nursing home as she is getting crankier and less socialable. Yeah trying to get her to drink water is hard, she does but won't drink enough no matter how many times you tell her, same with her pads, she won't change them frequently enough which is half the problem she is having the constant uti's as well.
Yeah they catherized her this visit as the wee entered blood system but she recovered from that. Ive read that cranberry juice can be good but does have sugar, read that there are tablets?
Shes got a chest infection and on oxygen so she won't be home for a while/ want her to go to respite care for 2/3 weeks to get her back on her feet depending if the doctors will allow her to go home.

thank you for the responces, some really good ideas
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Cranberry juice has sugar in it. The tablets are good. The last one mom had they catherized her to get it all.
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Your Grandmother needs to drink a lot of water.... yes, it will make her run to the bathroom many more times during the day. I noticed on your profile it is mentioned that she has incontinence, thus having her change frequently during the day will help. Too many times an elder will hold in the urine, and that can cause issues.

I have heard that drinking cranberry juice will help. I never tired it. Right now I am dealing with a mild UTI due to plumbing issues in my house where the only working toilet was on the main level, at night didn't want to walk downstairs to use the bathroom so I just didn't go.... [sigh], so now I am using an over-the-counter med AZO and I just started the pills this morning and have noticed a difference :)

Does Grandmother live alone at 91? It doesn't sound like she needs to go into a nursing home unless she is having memory issues that are now becoming unsafe for her to live at home, or she is now falling a lot.

Grandmother could hire caregivers to help her during the day, if that is within her budget.... or she can sell her house [if she owns one] and use the equity to pay for Assisted Living where she would be around people her own age that she can talk to, enjoy the activities, have meals in the common dining room, etc. It all depends on what kind of housing is available in your area.
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