How often should an elderly person who is prone to UTI infections be tested for a UTI?

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I have been purchasing the at-home test kits for UTI infections at CVS and they seem to work quite well. If the test is negative, when would you suggest testing again, to be sure there is no infection starting? In addition, once an elderly person gets a UTI infection how long does it take before the infection can become serious?

Answers 1 to 10 of 39
By the time a test is positive for a UTI in an elderly person it's serious and should be treated with antibiotics immediately.
I completely agree, a UTI should be treated right away with antibiotics. There is no reason to 'wait' because it won't go away on it's own, and the infection can move up to the kidneys pretty easily. What's important is to learn the symptoms of UTI in the elderly. Many won't complain of burning/pain on urination, but a caregiver will generally notice the 'smell' of the urine becoming strong and 'foul', also the color may be darker with a bloody tinge not uncommon. If the person is not usually incontinent, a UTI can cause this, too. Many elders will exhibit a change in their mental status, becoming confused (or more so) and lethargic. If you don't know this, you can easily be pulled into thinking they are having a stroke- with cat scans, spinal taps, all sorts of [often needless] testing. I wish we had had those kits a few years back when my mother was showing 'sudden' confusion and my brother called the ambulance, which resulted in a hospital stay for antibiotics [after they put her through all those other tests]. On her last night on IV, my mother fell trying to get up to the bathroom and sustained a bad head injury in the hospital, which *might* have been avoided had I known more about it at the time. But we learned. After her prolonged recovery, Mom came home and (despite her resulting loss of balance) she went back to using the toilet, and getting occasional UTIs which I could then handle right away at home, getting the urine sample and the antibiotics quickly. See next note about PREVENTION.
Top Answer
PREVENTION of UTI (urinary tract infection) with 4 things we learned
1. Make sure they drink plenty of fluids (not just 'while' they have an infection).
2. Pay attention to 'how' your elder, especially women, are 'wiping' after they pee.
Get a squirt bottle to use when they have a BM and fill it with warm water, to wash off after that, FRONT TO BACK. My mother would wipe herself then would 'check' to see if she got herself clean, "dragging" the soiled paper back to front, which no doubt caused contamination. The bottle helped and I constantly 'harped' on her to stop doing this. (old habits=hard to break).
3. Try to help them control diarrhea if they get it frequently, because diarrhea or loose BMs, and improper 'wiping' are the leading causes of UTI. You may need to modify their diet so they don't keep eating foods that cause them to get 'the runs'. In our case, this meant much less sweets.
4. A good thing I learned from a rehab nurse was to give Mom daily cranberry supplements which help prevent UTI by making the urine (?more acidic?) less hospitable to the UTI bacteria. It might not help everyone but since we started it, we have not had another UTI to deal with in over a year. Worth a try!
Spot on Momcare!
Also vitamin C was recommended.
My Mother became very confused and it became very serious before we realized that it was a UTI that was causing it and resulted in a long hospital and rehab stay. If your parent has dementia and the signs are hard to tell I started taking her temp and anything above normal was reason to take action since many elderly run low. Also her face will turn "reddish" also. May older people never really stop having them after they start and stay on antibiotics indefinitely.
After several days in the hospital they wanted to release my Mother and I knew she was not ready. The SA doctor said " Well what do you think is causing the confusion?" I stated that the confusion was more likely to be caused by the higher temp than the higher temp being caused by the confusion" She dismissed my concerns and said that if I didnt take her home they would send her in the med van. I signed the release forms and put "under deres". I got her home and her temp was right back up to 102, called the ambulance and handed the release papers to the ambulance medic to give to the emergence admittance and he said " These arent even her release papers" I followed shortly in the car and my sister showed who has a medical billing back ground (and to stop me from going to jail when I got my hands on this doctor)
Here to find out they had been giving Mother the wrong anti biotic for the 3-4 days she was in the hospital and not one that took care of Septicemia. Please remember folks that these doctors dont give a rats ass about our elderly loved ones and we have to assume that they are incompetent unfortunately.
The doctor ran when she saw me and knew that she had messed up. Mom was taken to a different floor and had her own private nurse till she was moved to the rehab needless to say. They knew they had really messed up.
Another few things to be aware of...first, one round of antibiotics may not resolve the problem, so keep watching for symptoms after finishing the antibiotic! Also the typical broad spectrum antibiotics given for UTIs can also kill good flora/bacteria that keeps other bacteria (like C-Dif) under control. My mom now takes a probiotic every day. I myself will take a 30 day supply of probiotic whenever I take an antibiotic! (Not sure if it made a difference but she hasn't had as many UTIs since we started this.
momcare8223....you have great suggestions
You do have to be careful about antibiotics. Antibiotic use can cause c diff and also many super bugs that kill. Follow what she tells you they do help. If you think they may have UTI you need to have a C&S to check the person is on the correct antibiotics. Most doctors today will give something but within 24 hours you should have the culture answers and know if it's the right medication for that infection.
Prevention is the best because once a person gets UTI's them seem to get them on stop. If they have a Foley Cath you will have non stop infection... don't put in catheters in unless they is NO choice. Hospitals and nursing homes place them way to often and they shouldn't. Foley's and you will have non stop infections..
If your loved one ends up in a hospital it will become another major problem.. There are to many other infection that your loved one can get, bedsores because there is limited or no staffing. Keep you loved one out of the hospital if at all possible..Start with the lightest antibiotic possible and make sure once on finish the complete course. Most people see the loved one get better and they stop the antibiotic don't finish them completely and get another C&S and make sure it's gone. Someone on a foley will always have infections, careful with antibiotics...C&S is the only answers and most doctors don't do this...It's important to know the bug your treating.. But be careful with using to strong of antibiotic.. Infections become resistant because of over use of antibiotics.
Years ago I had huge fights with my child's doctor. Increase temp, ear pain and she was put on antibiotics...I started to wait and normally found it was a tooth coming thru.. The ear pain stopped and the temp went down.. Just watch....

C&S is a must but you also need to know how to do them correctly because you can infect the result yourself...Increase fluids it's the major problem...Then health food stores for natural cures....Antibiotic cause major issues and are way over used...Use them with total care....
Increase fluids, cranberry and talk to a health food store there are a lot of

But you want to use the smallest amount of antibiotics as possible.. They can cause more problems then you might understand. Light on the antibiotics get the C&S back as soon as possible these over the counter don't tell you much...The super bugs kill and yes we have a major problem from the over use of antibiotics...
Watch for signs you'll know them if you know your family member.


















































Having worked in the medical profession, we tested when the patient experienced pain on urination or acted out of sorts...once a month seemed to be routine but more often if as I stated pain was present or the patient acted unusual...antibiotics are great but cranberry juice was a morning necessity....especially in the elderly who cannot express their needs..cranberry juice has certain qualities...believe me it is no wives tale..good luck..
Why do you feel the need to test for a UTI? Anyone will get an infection who does not drink enough water, has unsanitary bathroom habits, and/or has a compromised immune system. Medicare will pay for testing, the doctor can prescribe an antibiotic (there is a new drug for resistant UTIs called ZERBAXA) and any person can stop sodas and sugary drinks. Water is your best friend by flushing out any toxins. Add yogurt to the diet or probiotics. And the best way to check for an infection is with a culture in a lab to see what kind of bacteria it is (and that would allow the dr. to prescribe the right antibiotic).
what is a C&S ? Could we please stop using abbreviations without at least 1 explanation as to what they mean ??

Unsanitary bathroom habits affects all. Doing over the counter testing can be a problem. Change of behavior can be the number one sign.
I agree with you comment, but many UTI's are being treated with the wrong antibiotic and way to strong of ones. Antibiotic are way over used and causing major issues. Water as I stated is super important and can be the major cause, Cranberry juice and pills (many can't take) helps, go to the health food stores they also have other natural treatments.

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