Can a serious UTI in an 80-year-old woman cause her to go into a confused state?

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Definitely! This needs to be checked. An antibiotic could clear up this foggy mental state clearly, if it is a UTI.
Carol
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Yes, this landed my mom in the hospital several times. The first time, she got so confused she refused to go to bed at 10:00 p.m., then put on her coat and tried to walk out the door. Fortunately we had assisted living and I called the workers right away and they send her to the hospital, with her saying "I don't know why you are sending me to the hospital in the ambulance". Now that she is in the nursing home they are dealing with her problems, but whenever she gets confused or disoriented I always ask them to check for a UTI, which she gets quite often. The workers get tired of my asking, but several times I have been right. Unfortunately she has had some damaged done to her kidneys from ignoring previous UTI's.
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ABSOLUTELY! My Mom had the first UTI I knew about over 3 years ago. She was so confused and the antibiotic handled it quickly and completely for a few months.

Mom has since been diagnosed with dementia and according to her doctor UTI's are more frequent with elderly with dementia. Mom's usual confusion goes into super overdrive when she has a UTI and that is usually the only symptom we notice.

She has been an assisted living facility now for 3 months and has had 2 UTI's since moving there. She has about one UTI every 6-8 weeks for the last year. This last time she called me and told me her VCR/DVD player had been stolen from her apartment. I was on my way to visit and the VCR/DVD player was exactly where it has always been - both in her home and in the ALF. I showed her the VCR/DVD player and she still insisted it had been stolen. Other over the top confusion associated with a UTI have included forgetting where her plates are stored in the home she lived in for 13 years; seeing relatives in the room and talking to them when they are not there; stroke like symptoms such as dizziness and stumbling.

Now, when her confusion is beyond the normal state we just go to the doctor and get tested for a UTI. So far it has been a UTI and Cipro has handled it quickly.

Good luck dealing with it - don't be surprised if it starts to happen often.
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That's one of the first things that gets checked when a patient goes to the hospital with "altered mental status". Very common, to make matters worse, uti infections seem to be quite common in elderly, don't know if it's because of decreased fluid intake, or poor cleaning habits, but there sure is a link.
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Yes, a UTI is one of the first suspected reasons for altered states in the elderly and the easily to detect with a simple urinalysis.

In my humble opinion, one of the most effective, yet seemingly unbelievable solutions to preventing and even stopping recurring UTI's is D-Mannose. When Mom was home here with me, I used D-Mannose on her foods (tastes like sugar) and we were able to avoid UTI's for as long as she was home with me.

Once she was placed, she had UTI after UTI, since I was unable to successfully recommend that D-Mannose be used. (I did not have healthcare proxy).

PLEASE read up on this simple sugar by doing a Google (or Bing) search on D-Mannose. I used NOW FOODS brand powder that I got from Swanson Vitamins (online). You can get it in health food stores (more expensive) like GNC or the Vitamin Shoppe too.

D-Mannose is a simple sugar that occurs naturally in some plants, including cranberries and blueberries. Although small amounts of D-Mannose are metabolized by the human body, much of it is rapidly excreted in the urine. In the bladder, D-Mannose can adhere to bacterial lectins, preventing them from sticking to the lining of the bladder. Bacteria can then be flushed away during urination, thereby precluding the formation of colonies within the urinary tract. Only a very small amount of D-Mannose are used by the body, which means that it does not interfere with blood sugar regulation.

I am not offering medical advise with this information, just going from my experience and the research I did myself. This truly worked for my Mother and I encourage others to try this simple solution.
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Yes, loonytunes, weak, disoriented, dizzy, blithering. you will probably notice an improvement quickly with antibiotics pills. Seems Cipro is the pill of choice. They are big, so ask for smaller pill and take two of them.
Every time Mom has a mental decline, I hope it's from a UTI.
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The opposite will also. We thought my mom was dehydrated and told her she needs to drink more...well we didn't know she had already begun alzheimers and she drank so much it washed all the potassium and other salts from her body and made her hallucinate, foget her name, not know where she was or who we were. She was very crazy and the worse was that she knew it. She would suddenly say things like, "this isn't the hospital, this is my house", "you're not a nurse, you're my daughter", "did you know I have a name, I didn't know anyone had names". She refers to it as when her mind went. It scared her, and us greatly. I use to wish that she'd either get better or go all the way demented, because I felt the knowing how crazy she acted and thought was horrifying to her.
I just couldn't imagine knowing I was like that.
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My 84 yr old grandmother gets recurring UTI's and the dementia is the first thing that tips me off to have her checked. In older folks, UTI's can and often do affect them mentally. With my grandmother, they acually affect her much more mentally than they do physically. So to answer your question, yes. It is not uncommon. The dementia, hallucinations, and delusions should clear up as the infection does. I have seen my grandmother become completely sane again with 24 hrs of starting antibiotics if they give her the right one.
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There is another thread on UTI that I posted this tip on...

Mom used to get frequent UTIs. We are now 5 months without one. I replaced her juice /other drinks with a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 pedialyte. It keeps her hydrated and keeps her tract cleaned out. Five months without a UTI after having them almost every month before that is bordering on a miracle cure for us.
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My mom gets real depressed and doesn't want to live and cries a lot and is real mean. Doesn't that sound like an uti infection. Just been this way for over a week now.
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