Follow
Share
Find Care & Housing
Absolutely, I have experienced unsuspected and undiagnosed UTIs. About 4 911/ambulance incidents involving falls due to imbalance--then recognized in hindsight that there had been behavioral changes for a couple of weeks prior, which I thought were just age-related grumpiness, or brain-aging behaviors (fuzziness, occasionally even stroke-like behaviors). It took about 9 months of hospitalizations, diagnoses, STRESS, to finally get it all figured out and under control. I had no idea! When I get UTI's, they come on WHAM suddenly, and are 100% debilitating. I learned that in older folks (of which I'm now one) get them with no physical effects. So little I knew then, that will help me now as I age!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Davenport
Report

Had to place my Mom into the hospital twice for this very problem. When you notice the thinking noticeably doesn’t seem quite ‘right’, don’t wait because antibiotics will be required and if it isn’t treated swiftly; depending on their age and condition, well.... And it is common in the elderly.
The nurse told me it crosses the brain blood barrier, effecting cognitive and non-cognitive behaviours. Inflammation of brain blood vessels may be to blame.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to X4patience
Report
Davenport Oct 25, 2019
Exactly, X4patience! Like I said : )
(0)
Report
D mannose is the natural sugar in pure unsweetened cranberry juice. It literally attaches to the bacteria and pulls it out of the body via urine. I highly recommend using this weekly from now on. It tastes terrrrrrible, it is very bitter and tart. The only way I have been able to mask it is in orange juice, a small juice glass with breakfast. A half and half ratio works but try it for yourself first bc you do not want to add to the anger from the UTI. Get organic pure cranberry juice. It will cost a bit more but so sooooo worth it to avoid the UTI and mental-emotional suffering. Antibiotics work but they create a resistance and especially setting one up for reoccurring. Make sure to push water to help flush it out. It is a battle once the anger comes on, so I always said " let's do a toast to friendship and all that is good" and would repeat a few times an hour. If I asked her to take a drink, she could easily go into a rage. Its is really sad how UTIs play with thier emotions...good luck but with D-mannose, you won't need luck...
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Warriorforthem
Report

Get her to her physician STAT.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Llamalover47
Report

Like another person commented...we could diagnose Mom's UTIs just by her behavior changes (she passed 2/2018). I gave her D-mannose regularly and it helped (Mom's primary and urologist agreed to her taking this), but eventually she also need to be on a low dose antibiotic continually. She saw a urologist every 3 months and we found Mom's bladder was always 1/2 to 3/4 full....she never emptied her bladder. So, try to get a referral to a urologist. They can cath her (Mom allowed it only 1 time) to empty her bladded if necessary.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to McPoole
Report

My wife had a major problem with UTIs. They caused some extreme behavioral changes. She would be given some antibiotics and eventually things wold settle down - until the next time. Sadly, the next time was not very far into the future.

A woman who visited another resident in the facility stopped by to ask me how my wife was doing. I told her what the problem was. She said that the lady she was visiting had the same problem some time ago, but they were able to solve the problem by giving her antibiotics prophylacticly. I talked to my wife's doctor about the suggestion and she agreed that it was worth a try, IT WORKED. In answer to your question, meds can help. I hope that it works for your Mom.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Experienced
Report

Absolutely meds help. Get her on ASAP.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Mjlarkan
Report

Totally agree with Taarna! My Mom does not have dementia, but is almost 101 and whenever any illness pops up, like a UTI, she reacts with extreme personality changes, sleep interruption etc etc. Doctor said very elderly when sick will present like a 4 month old-they simply don't have the strength to explain and sometimes cannot even tell you where any pain is coming from. See doctor when personality changes happen is my advice.
Would also add some info I received from a great kidney specialist- do not drink cranberry juice when have a UTI. Cranberry juice is great as a preventative- it slightly irritates the urinary tract and prevents bacteria from sticking there...BUT when someone has a UTI and there is an infection- you don't want to irritate infected and already irritated area. Water then is best. Keep the cranberry for post-infection prevention.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Lisa55
Report

Diet and fluids ( non-caffeinated) and keeping the pull-ups changed out regularly ( if she is in them) are the answers. Maybe some natural meds? I am not sure of those. I would check with the pharmacist, doctor or the herbal people at the herbal stores before going that route. And, yes, they are something to behold. My mom has had several of them and she is definitely a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde personality when it is going on.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to debbiesdaz
Report

I could almost diagnose a UTI by the behavior changes! She would start talking about past dead relatives like they were with her. I also found I needed to ask for a probiotic when they gave her the antibiotic until she saw a geriatric doctor. He always added the probiotic. Also caffeine may enhance symptoms (dehydrates). However decaf coffee seemed to be fine...and is liquid. The more liquid the merrier.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Iamstillhere
Report

Imagine having a UTI or other problem from a baby's or toddler's perspective. Pain, feeling bad, tiredness... and not having the words or the ability to cope. So, they cry, thrash out, whine... in frustration and pain. That is what it is like for somebody with dementia.

Getting a doctor's evaluation is your first and best option. After that, consistent routines create comfort and familiarity. Lastly, meds can help ease anxiety or help a frustrated/anxious mind sleep at bedtime.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Taarna
Report

Has your mom been evaluated by a physician? Since behavior changes are involved, have you asked her primary care physician for a referral to a geriatric psychiatrist? The psychiatrist can evaluate behavior and prescribe appropriate medications. A physical by her primary may be helpful too since changes in behavior can be caused by many illnesses, not just urinary tract infections. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Peanuts56
Report

UTI's can cause severe dehydration. Dehydration can cause major personality changes. It is amazing what a little bag of IV fluids will do to a patient suffering from this. We were convinced my Aunt was showing signs of dementia and Alzheimer's when it was just the simple fact that she needed more fluid intake. Being a hospice volunteer and having worked in the medical field for years I have seen this multiple times. The elderly start drinking less when they begin to experience incontinence or mild dementia. They then get become dehydrated and get frequent UTI's. It is a vicious circle that can be easily avoided with pushing fluids. Not all cases are the same but the majority of patients in my experience have bounced back from the scary personality changes once they are rehydrated. I hope this is true in your case. Best of luck.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to cindic0911
Report

After the infection pasts you may need to consider a geriatric psychiatrist.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Ricky6
Report

Assuming she has been given the correct antibiotic treatment symptoms should start to improve within 48 hours and continue to get back to normal as she progresses through the course.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to TaylorUK
Report

D-mannose. My dad was hospitalized several times with UTI and I read about d-mannose killing e. Coli. I asked his urologist and he checked dad's chart....e.coli. He said wouldn't hurt to try d-mannose. Gave him 1 Solaray d-mannose with cranactin daily and if it seemed like he might be getting UTI i would up to 3 times a day for 5 days. We never had to go to hospital for UTI (at least) again. That's better than antibiotics all the time because they lead to other issues. Of course if it gets to the hallucination part you must go to ER.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to BadChoices
Report
Ricky6 Oct 24, 2019
I have found that giving my patient chopped raw apple 🍎 everyday in his cereal has the same effect.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
Cranberry juice daily is a great way to protect against UTI - though if on Warfarin - she won’t be able to have it.

First you need to clear up the current UTI and medication would treat that.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to DareDiffer
Report
BadChoices Oct 21, 2019
Not cranberry juice like ocean spray...the no sugar tart stuff.
(3)
Report
I also suggest trying cranberry tablets to help keep in under control. And a probiotic while on an antibiotic. Maybe even after the infection has cleared up.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report
againx100 Oct 21, 2019
Just take the probiotic and antibiotic separately so they do not counteract each other.
(3)
Report
See 1 more reply
My mother is tested frequently for chronic UTI's. We try to keep ahead of them. When my mother appears tired, has bladder pain confused, or cloudy urine we have her tested, that way if her culture is positive she is put on an antibiotic for that particular bacteria. Yes antibiotics help. My mother is on IV antibiotics for 6 weeks. She is resistant to most oral. The neurologist ordered antianxiety med I use it only when she can't sleep and has agitation. It works wonders. The urologist straight catheterizes my mother and obtains a urine culture and sensitivity spec. This is usually done every two to three weeks when symptoms appear. Right now we stopped doing it because of the IV antibiotics. Elderly people can definitely have personality changes with UTI's. Everyone is different. Just have to look for signs and symptoms, such as mental status changes, painful urination, incontinent, cloudy urine, poor fluid intake, poor appetite, the list can go on. Seek professional help asap, elderly population can become septic if not treated promptly.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to earlybird
Report
TaylorUK Oct 23, 2019
If your mother is needing to be treated every two to three weeks then one has to think they are not getting rid of the infection in the first place and it is recurring. We had this with mother who like yours cannot take most antibiotics and only double dose for double treatment time cleared it up - but once it did we had no further bouts.
(2)
Report
Also, adding to Lealonnie’s excellent advice, in my mother’s case, we had her urine tested every month because she was prone to UTI’s which made her combative and anxious.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

Yes, the correct prescription for a UTI can definitely help with your mother's behavioral changes!!! Make sure her urine is cultured so the exact strain of bacteria can be determined. That way, the correct antibiotic will be prescribed and there will be no guessing involved.

Best of luck!!!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to lealonnie1
Report
TaylorUK Oct 23, 2019
Wish more Drs would do the job properly like you describe, not just leap for the "usual" antibiotic. Elderly people cart the bugs which cause UTIs around with them all the time, so when one gets a real hold it is so important both for treatment and avoiding development of resistance that the are given the right one in the right dose for a long enough time.
(1)
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter