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GAinPA: I don't see how brown paper bags would work at all. Mine is a moot point as my mother has passed away.
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GraceNBCC: No need to do so as my mother has passed on. I used the verb, "had" as in past tense. Guess I didn't make it clear enough.
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Other than wiping front to back there is little to say, but do know that most UTIs in elderly women come of the fact that the tissue of the urethra thins remarkably after menopause and given that the urethra in the female is very short, bacteria have easy entry. I swear by D Mannose powder or capsules and as an RN I am not usually a believer in any supplements. It works much like cranberry but is easy to take and not acidic, keeps bacteria from adhereing to the bladder wall. I used to get upwards of 4 a year, bladder infections, and now for more than a decade using one d-mannose capsule a day I have not had ONE. I have told one person on forum whose Mom having good results and several people in my daily life with same results, so I now swear by this stuff. At 30.00 for 120 capsules it is certainly worth a try. The capsules are large, can be broken and put in a drink; do not have much taste at all. I got mine on Amazon and use a company called "Source Natural" but I would imagine they may be much the same from anyone. I just never changed what "works for me".
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Drink more water, cranberry juice, other fruit juice. I find the best allergy med for my 90 year grandma Orange juice with pulp.
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My mom had the same recurring UTI issues. In a year, she had 9 UTIs. We went to the hospital so often, they knew her name. She was wearing pads and going to the bathroom nearly every 20 minutes. Even trying to keep herself clean was not helping because her bladder would never empty. Finally, the urologist put in an indwelling catheter. She has only had 2 UTIs in the 2 years she has had it. We have a home health nurse come and change it once a month and I change the bag and flush it whenever it needs. So far, she can still get up and empty it. Neither of us would go back to before the catheter.
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We are going through this with my mom now too. I don't think it has anything to do with her bathing or her wiping actually, I think it has more to do with her dependence on incontinence underwear. She has had a urine incontinence issue for years and has been wearing Depends but lately doesn't like going through the effort of changing them as often as she used too or getting up to use the bathroom and I think has developed some sort cuts or habits if you will that aren't great for fending off UTI's. Problem is I'm sure she believes she knows better than I what works and what doesn't, what's ok and what isn't since I don't have that issue (yet). She does however have a female PCP who she has been working with for years, knows and trusts who knows how to discuss these difficult topics with mom. So my plan is to take her into her PCP not someone else in the office, the next time she has a UTI after giving Dr the heads up and letting her ask about habits, be clear about the things that can cause the UTI's etc. Maybe your mom's PCP or some other care professional she's comfortable with and trusts could have this conversation with her or with both of you in an effort to figure out why they are happening more often and what can be done to mitigate them.
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CranBerry Vitamins Have improved my 90 Year old Grandmothers Track system.
Check with your mom's doctor
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Pick up a GOOD Feminie Hygene Wash for her to use and Try and Get he rto Use it after every Bathroom procedure. Tell her to Drink Lots of cranberry juice.xx
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I had to pull my mother aside and talk about this as she wasn't bathing well and had an odor about her. It didn't work. She was trying to rewear clothing that she'd had bathroom "accidents" in. I supplied my mother with the Cottonelle bath wipes and found them in the trash can even though they are flushable and are super gross to be placed in a bathroom trash can with no lid. Prayers to you. Good luck.
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GraceNBCC Dec 20, 2019
Get a self seeing diaper can.. Diaper Genie. My son got me a case of large wipes when I had surgery last year through Amazon. Mount a bracket for wipes & gloves within easy reach & view. I kept a pack in my BR...clean my feet before bed, freshen up when sweating.

Get a filtered water pitcher or spill resistant bottles or mugs. Hydration is key! Water should always be in reach!

Flushable wipes can still cause issues. She is needing more than one at a time!

Look at her toilet seat. Does the size, space to wall/tub/etc limit her ability to spread her legs or wipe from the back? I have this issue with my current raised toilet seat with arms. I was. CNA I a hospital so I know hygiene, but the physical design of my bathroom causes cross contamination. It's embarrassing, messy & disgusting. So "the talk' needs to be what can You do to help Her. What you my situations is She dealing with..maybe you can put your heads together & find. way to improve or solve these pesky problems.
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Dehydration can also cause a UTI as well as low acidity levels in the urine. Vitamin C tablets daily can help. Check w/her doctor.
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After a bm and she has done her version of dry wiping: hand her a disposable wipe with an extra spritz of perineal no rinse liquid, follow up that with you giving her an additional wipe then a brief warm sitz bath. Empty the basin, close the lid. Put a paper towel covered with a disposable wipe on the lid. Have her sit down and wash her face, hands, arm pits. Have her stand up, and you peel off the soiled disposable wipe & paper towel from her backside. Check her hands and fingernails for feces.
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shad250 Dec 20, 2019
That's a lot of work
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Let the doctor do it.
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I had to address my mom about the same issue. I just laid it out there after the UTI. I find it for me to not think if it as a delicate conversation, its just the facts. Older people get UTIs more cause they wipe from back to front because it’s not as awkward for them not because of not showering daily.....and then I just calmly remind her when she goes to the bathroom to make sure she is wiping front to back... or clean to dirty as a comic one said... i don’t make a big deal out of it, i just kinda whisper it to her when she’s in there that way she’s not embarrassed.
Hope this helps
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My mom has uti’s constantly. There is more going on than just hygiene. They say it has a lot to do with activity, diet etc. since my moms doc got her a physical therapist and urologist. ( urinologist cleared her. Nothing in bladder and gave med for overactive bladder) the PT has really helped. She’s more stable and more active now. We went from uti weekly or every other week to where right now she’s not had a uti for over a month and a half.
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I nth the recommendation for a bidet. We have had them for 20 years. America has gone from a country that laughs at the idea to widely accepting them.

You can get cheap ones for $20-$30 that do the job. For someone less capable, it may be worth it to get a good Japanese one. Those things are amazing. They are quite literally butt cleaning robots. Some even will wipe down the seat. You sit and do your thing. The robot will wash and dry you. You stand back up and get on with your day. For a woman they can clean both the front and the back.
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More than likely it is not emptying bladder all the way, instead of hygiene, causing the UTI's. When she is on the toilet, see if you can get her to lean all the way over like trying to touch her fingers to floor because it can help to drain more out of the bladder.

You might take her to a urinary doctor. They have medicines that enlarge the tube that leaves bladder to help remedy the problem. My mom has not had a UTI in well over a year after starting med (tamsulosin sp?) and she had been having them 10-12 times a year.
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Hygiene is not usually the culprit, think about how often baby girls sit in feces in their diapers without getting an infection. Ecoli is always in the area. Keeping the bladder flushed with adequate fluid intake will help. Hormonal changes in the area make the tissues more susceptible to irritation and infection. Getting old is no picnic.
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Your profile says that your mother has dementia. In that case, I'd proceed with helping her in the bathroom every visit. It could be that she's just not cleaning well enough and she may not even be bathing. With dementia, the patient may believe some things and tell you what they are doing, but, they are not. So, I'd discuss advice from the doctor and go with that. Delicately mentioning something may not be sufficient. She may forget or just not be able to do what is required. People who have dementia often forget how to clean themselves and why it's even necessary to shower.

Some people are just prone to UTIs and almost every woman that I know over the age of 70 has them A LOT. I'm not sure why.
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sanhoro12 Dec 19, 2019
I would second giving help. Dementia, weak hips or legs, and lack of flexibility in arms and legs would make it difficult.
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When Mom was living with me she had no UTIs. She was given a probiotic every day and a cranberry suppliment. Not juice, has sugar in it. I had a handheld shower and after I bathed her would have her stand up with legs apart (holding onto the rail) and I would use the hand held shower to clean her. I personally would not use soap unless you rinse thoroughly. Soap can cause UTIs. I also used Huggie Wipes to clean her up. They are big and thick.

I agree, even though they say flushable they really aren't safe for plumbing. I live in a 60 yr old house and nothing is allowed down my toilets except toilet tissue.
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I would discuss it with the Dr who is treating the UTI’s first to find out what is causing the UTI’s. Then ask the Dr to discuss the causes with your mother. Sometimes advice that comes from the Dr is taken more seriously than advice coming from a family member, particularly a child. I know that my dad doesn’t believe most of what I tell him until he asks his Dr. That is how it should be most of the time. If you go to the Dr with you mom, and she doesn’t ask what she can do to prevent these going forward, ask yourself. Does she have a hand held shower head that is long enough that she can use it to rinse her private area with? Also, my 90 year old mom goes through 3 small packs of baby wipes every two weeks. Maybe cleaning after every visit to the toilet, especially when she has a BM, would help.
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She needs an airplane bath every day - under the wings (armpits) and under the tail (bottom). Squirt bottles filled with warm soapy water followed by clear warm water rinse will help. Remind her to wipe from the front to the back. If she uses adult diapers, they should be changed every 3-4 hours or as soiled/soaked. Washing with adult diaper changes helps.

Many older adults do not drink enough fluids - especially water - since they do not feel thirsty. Unless mom is on a doctor-prescribed fluid restriction, she needs to drink 2 liters (8 8-ounce glasses) of water-based fluids every day. If she does, she will have to void more often. This will help to flush her bladder more often so bacteria have less of a chance to start an infection.

Is mom sexually active? If so, please have her checked by her doctor: for STI's if she has a boyfriend, and for need of estrogen cream if her tissues are dry/fragile.
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worriedinCali Dec 19, 2019
Her mom is 95 with dementia and incontinece. I would be very surprised if she’s sexually active.
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If a bidet isn't possible, a simple refillable water bottle with a "squirt" top can be used as a final rinse like a bidet.
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Have you tried helping her?
I had to clean my DH for quite some time and he never got infections.

If you don't know how to clean your mother, ask for help. And yes, I had to clean my father as well as my mother after bowel movements.

The flip-side of having to clean a parent is not having a parent anymore. I was thankful that all I had to do was assist - at least I still had my parents for a while.

If you have Home Health Care - they will tell you how to do this.
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https://www.agingcare.com/search?term=UTI+

Take a look at this link for an AgingCare article and other posters remedies and experiences or put UTI in the search on this site.

Over what period of time has your mom had the infections?
If not treated with the correct antibiotic, she may not have cleared from the first one.
Did her test include a culture to make sure of the proper antibiotic?
I hope your mom feels better soon.
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What helped me was drinking a cup of cranberry juice before bed. Seriously it works!
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Proper wiping s important . Front to back is the correct way to reduce the spread of bacteria. Does your mom have full hand dexterity abilities. Using wet wipes after having a bowl movement makes it easier to clean your bottom.

Does your mom have the proper shower chair , does she feel safe in the shower?make sure she has a handheld shower head ? Schedule home health care to come in and be with her during showing time to make her feel safe.
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CW, I too have read about the plumbing problems flushable wipes will cause. And not just the house system either. They wreak havoc on sewers, septics and the sewage plant.

My mom also seemed prone to UTI's. After seven infections in nine months she saw a urologist/gynecologist that it her on prophylactic antibiotic and other meds. It did solve the problem. You might want to try cranberry supplements to see if that would help.
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I have switched my mother to flushable wipes which I think clean the area better. I order them through a local drugstore and they are delivered to her. I agree, though, that UTI’s are more common in older women.
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cwillie Dec 19, 2019
Just a heads up about the flushable wipes - there is an abundance of evidence that they are a hazard to both your house's plumbing and to urban sewer systems (I imagine septic systems as well), I would be very cautious about their use.
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I second a bidet toilet seat attachment - google them if you haven't seen one (I'd opt for a warm water one if possible).
You really can't expect to change a lifelong habit such as the method someone wipes, and if the problem is that she is having difficulty due to arthritic fingers, wrist or arm then you can't really change that either.
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Sometimes it’s not all because of poor hygiene. My mother was predisposed to infections and wound up being tested monthly because she became combative. But, having said that, a nurse at the ER did tell me she wasn’t as clean as she should be “down there”. Her aides had her use a site bath. If it would be safe for your mom, maybe a soak in the tub? And, if she wears panty liners, those too can contribute to infections if. Otnchanged during the day.
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