Mom has a UTI and is dehydrated, I feel guilty because I thought she had dementia. Advice?

Follow
Share

I am upset that mom's PCP did not suspect this possibility instead of dementia. Her meds for HPB have never been adjusted despite her extreme weight loss in the last 4 years. I took her to ER after reading an article about UTI's and dehydration causing confusion and memory issues. I feel terrible !
What should I do next ??

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
36

Answers

Show:
1 2 3 4
The exchange of information,experiences, and opinions on this site are often more valuable than a costly visit to a doctor. This being said, doesn't mean you should forego an office visit. Oftentimes, trying a a simple remedy is all that is needed. However, if an office visit is warrented for your elderly parent, then it is certainly helpful to be armed with informed questions. Our roles as sons and daughters of our parents now include being their health advocate, it is a role which is ever expanding .
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Liltdogtoo in retrospect I should of taken my mom right to the lab that day and got her urine sample checked. As I recall my mom was tired that day and assured me that she would get it there. I know in the past they used to check your urine right in the office.I know some places still do.

Would of, should of, could of...... Hindsight is twenty twenty I guess. :(
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It's not your fault, until you've had these experiences or been exposed to medical issues you might not know. any time there is a sudden change in behavior, not eating, increased confusion, agitation, pacing etc. then you should suspect that there is something medical happening. Just because she has dementia doesn't mean she won't exhibit signs of confusion or strange behavior when she is sick. She's luck to have you. Some doctors don't explore that possibility with there patients with dementia. When my dad became ill, I thought a UTI, he was on the floor crawling, pacing, in and out of bed--he had pneumonia. I stress to family members to learn what you can about dementia and other ailments that can plague the elderly such as UTI symptoms. It may appear differently each time. Make sure you have plenty of drinks on hand for your mom such as water, juice (if her medications allows for juice), tea, not so much soda. People with dementia may need a reminder to drink. You can contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association to learn more about dementia, what's 'normal', behaviors and how to manage them etc. You can also contact your local Area Agency on Aging for more info on caregiving and/or in home assistance programs. Love your mom each day and enjoy the time you have left with her.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Good grief how much does it cost to have a nurse stick a test strip in a paper cup of pee.
It is good to remember that all nurses and Dr's are not necessarily trained in all the areas they are practicing in. A very good PCG may have absolutely no experience with dementia and not know what to look for. A nurse with an acute care background is used to infections presenting with high fevers. yes she should know if she is working with hospice patients but anyone new to hospice has a very steep learning curve to climb and there is no special training. Another thing to consider is whether you want to put your loved one through the discomfort of antibiotics when they will feel nausious, off their food and have diarrhea.
Anyone who feels their loved on has a lot of quality of life ahead of them and wants agressive treatment for things like UTI should take the patient to see a specialist. Some Drs will treat frequent UTIs with various combinations of continuous antibiotics. Maybe 2 weeks on drug A then 2 weeks off and two weeks of drug B. the caregivers do have to do their part though keeping the patient really clean and changed as soon as they are wet. a warm wet depends is an ideal breeding ground for nasty bugs. You changed your babies every few hours and washed their nether regions so it is just as important to do the same with the elders. As we age weare less concerned with personal hygiene and consider a quick swipe with a wet wipe is good enough. It isn't, the genital area needs to cleaned with warm water and possibly soap at least twice daily with someone who gets frequent UTIs. use good quality paper towels for this Handwashing must also be supervised. yes you may have a fight on your hands but that may be better than three nights of hallucinations and wandering till the antibiotic kicks in.
It is also very very important for the correct antibiotic to be prescribed and this means a specimen has to be sent to the lab for what are called culture and sensitivities. The urine is spread on an agar plate and discs of common antibiotics are spread around. the pathologist looks at the bugs that have grown and can identify them and sees which areas are clear around the antibiotic discs. that way he knows which antibiotic shouls be prescribed. That may be the test the Dr said would not be covered frequently by Medicare as it is probably quite expensive.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I went through the same thing and it is scary. One of the first things that alert me to a UTI with my mom is the odor in her urine. You'll know from that as will everyone else. Then we face at least 2 nights and days without sleep along with the delirium usually.My mom has been getting them about every 3 weeks. I asked our pcp why they don't run a urine sample on a regular basis just like blood work and he said medicare doesn't pay for it. I'd rather pay for the urinalisis on a regular basis than go through this. Hang in there
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Gershen - usually when the doctor gives you a cup, the patient goes in and immediately gives the sample. I'm wondering why the doctor allowed the cup to go home with the patient and why the doctor didn't follow up to find out what the results were?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

How would a "lay" person know to look for the possibility of a UTI when dementia-like symptoms show up???? It is sad, but unfortunately not unusual that doctors miss these things. As others have asked, has your mom's mental status gotten better and returned her old "normal" since being treated? The one thing we look for in terms of a UTI is a SUDDEN change in mental status. It's like the symptoms of dementia appearing very rapidly, instead of gradually.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

you should not feel bad, I had the bad luck of feeling like that also. However if you don't get the correct diagnosis for an UTI then it is not any ones fault except the medical professionals. I have gone out of my way to "educate" people I come in contact with at work that have elderly parents. Most like us have never heard of such a thing. But the doctors should know and to send someone away with a diagnosis of dementia seems inhumane to me.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I know where you're coming from. Feel bad because it's human nature but don't beat yourself up over it. You sensed something was wrong & you sought medical attention. Your mother's PCP failed your mother. A UTI is something her PCP should have considered because it is very common in the elderly. Let this be a teaching moment. Now you know what to look for & be adamant if you are uncomfortable with the direction of your mother's care. Who is going to know your mother better than yourself?

Speaking from experience dealing with my grandmother, she never presented with the telltale sign of fever or complaining about pain. This very own sight mentioned this is due to the aging process. Don't let anyone be flippant about this. When I took my grandmother to her PCP, he told me "We don't have to treat this. We can let it run it's course." To get to the point, I had to fight for the med. After he told me this twice, I decided to change tactics. I developed some sudden "delicate sensibilities" & started to whine about her confusion, the smell & whatever I could whine about I did. My brother, who accompanied us, said to me "I get the impression that (he) gave the script for your benefit but grandma has to take the antibiotic." Ultimately, a UTI will result in death & I just feel you don't live to be 99 & not taking any medications whatsoever to end like this. I asked my grandmother point blank if she ready to be with grandfather yet or does she want to live? She told me she wants to live. I asked her what does that mean. She replied she doesn't want to be pushing up daisies. Have the talk your mother. Know what her wishes are.

My grandmother also had a short stint in hospice (PCP's 3rd attempt) & had problems treating another UTI (UTIs don't get you accepted but I was told to not mention this during the intake). I am going to put this out there. Is the medical community using UTIs as euthanasia? I told the hospice intake I don't want her dying of a UTI & was assured this would be treated because it is comfort care. Her damn nurse told me she was fine because she did not have a fever & like your situation it was dementia. I should mention I wasn't POA but when I got it done, guess what? It was then treated. Are you POA? If not, get it done.

Make sure your mother is drinking plenty of fluids & also try to incorporate 4-8 oz. of cranberry juice into her diet. Don't get the kind that is essentially glorified apple juice because how much cranberries is one really consuming? Look for the one that is 100% juice. You can dilute it with some water. Also, if your mother is wearing depends, don't let her sit in a soiled diaper for long & it may be better if you clean her up rather than having her do it herself. I noticed my grandmother was wiping too far back to front & fecal matter was getting smeared all over.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

We all seem to get on that merry-go-round of blood tests, MRIs and specialists ' visits. My mother who suffers from diverticulitis is 90 and has recently been diagnosed with dementia, unknown cause, of course, and now is recommended to have a pacemaker inserted to help with her fluctuating blood pressure. This present hospital stay has been prompted by her losing consciousness and rushed to the A &E of the local hospital where they took more than a day to decide which ward to assign her to.
She has had recurring UTI in the recent past and also has had short term unexplained fevers. I'm beginning to think that many of her symptoms, including confusion, delirium, hallucinations may be caused by UTI and not dementia as suggested.
My sympathies and admiration go to all carers who are struggling to make the right medical decisions to keep their loved ones comfortable.
Thank you for your wonderful website.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

1 2 3 4
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.