Mom keeps getting bad UTI's. What can I do to help prevent these from happening?

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My mom is in a nursing home had stroke left her incontinent has cath full time keeps getting bad uti's. What can I do to help prevent these from happening?

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Cranberry juice is still considered a good preventative step to keep UTIs away. She need to drink it daily. Also, consider whether or not she is capable of wiping carefully after going to the bathroom. She could be contaminating herself. Lots of water and other fluids are important. I'm sure her doctor has other suggestions, but sometimes elders are simply prone to these miserable things. I hope you can find ways to cut down the frequency.
Carol
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My MIL has type 2 diabetes and used to get UTI's a lot. She has been taking a cranberry extract capsule in the morning and in the evening for over 3 years now. She rarely has a UTI any more.

It is very hard to get them to drink enough liquids - most older ones equate drinking fluids with having to run to the toilet or if they are 'incontinent' - well, that's a whole other story. So, they hold back on the fluids which causes their urine to be concentrated - which can encourage bacterial growth as well.

Diet is important - especially if the person is diabetic. I tell her she is just too 'sweet' - and that is exactly the problem.

So, push fluids (but avoid sweet juices and sodas - give them the whole fruit instead) and cranberry fruit extract (can be purchased inexpensively at Wal Mart, Sam's or Costco) twice daily - AM and PM - these measures should help a lot. She also like cranberry juice (but most of these are really 'drinks' and are high in sugar. So we water them down 50/50 and that helps. Herbal teas are good and come in many flavors. Hope this helps.
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Here is a good one not that all these are bad ideas, but my problem with cath's brought on many symptoms of UTI because, I was allergic to the material it was made with. So it would burn my skin probably similar to a tear, and from there it "sounds" the same, but gets resolved differently.

Also antibiotics bring on UTI's which is how I got my last one.

Cranberry juice unsweetened, I chose the tablets, lemon water, etc.
Uristat or generic works wonders for the pain
Latex free stopped the burning that is often associated with UTI's because the cath was actually burning my skin.

I also have the same thing with tape and other adhesives like heart monitors, the tabs from the EKG machine, etc.
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I am 80 and have found that if I wash with clear water and dry each time I urinate it helps and if I feel any sensation of irritation in the area I put some Sudocrem on immediately. This is working so far. Also I like to let the air get at the area as much as is feasible, sometimes wearing light cotton panties and a skirt.
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Mom, now 92, has a long history of UTI. I personally believe cranberry, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, etc cannot compare to an emerging new trend. That being the bidet. They are coming out with all kinds of models, ones you can attached to a conventional commode, a whole seat, hot, cold, warm air blowers.Even small wands. It's all about hygiene. Cranberry juice isn't going o stop bacteria from finding its way to places it doesn't belong. Keep all the cracks and crevices clean, less paper, worked for me. No UTI for a year now. Many available online or at your box hardware store. And ez to install.
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I agree with Carol Bursack above totally. As a nurse, I've seen this for many years. Like Appaloosa says, the catheter is a highway for bacteria to travel up to the bladder so UTI's with a catheter kind of go hand in hand. You can do things to cut down on the # or them, maybe, but you won't stop them altogether. They say cranberry juice, though it is not going to stop bacteria from getting to the bladder, it does coat the bladder somehow so the bacteria doesn't stick to it as easily - not sure if the pills would work the same. Lots of water helps too, but like it was said, it's sometimes hard to get older people to drink much. Is she incontinent of stool also? If so, that's a constant contamination, being that there is almost no way of keeping it from getting on and around the catheter. E-coli is a bacteria meant to be in the stool, but when it gets into the bladder, causes problems. Same thing if she is able to hold her stool until she gets to the bathroom, but wipes from the back to the front, bringing stool up to the catheter area. Sometimes no matter what you do, they keep getting them. Some doctors believe that catheter patients that keep having that problem frequently should be on a continuous low dose of antibiotics, but others don't like to do that because of the bacteria these days developing resistance to the antibiotics. You need to talk to her doctor to see what he suggests. It's not likely that you'll find a nursing home willing to put in a bidet in for her.
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Make sure she is kept clean if she has a catheter peri care very vital in a nh environment this really does not get done as much as we would like cont giving lots of fluids and also if she is constantly in a lying down position can cause the uti i was surprised when i learned that i am PCT, CNA and i see alot of this express concerns on her peri care and tube changing
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She might do better with depends than with a catheter. A catheter is easier on the staff than cleaning up urine accidents, but it's also a highway into the bladder for all those bacteria on her skin down there. Talk to her doctor.
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Your mother's immune system is compromised and therefore needs some probiotics to correct that. Urinary tract infections with catheters occur frequently because they are not changed frequently, sterilized when changing, and/or the nurse might insert catheter tearing some cells in the urethra. There could be other issues as well, and not knowing your mother's history I'll not comment further. As was mentioned, cranberry juice is acidic, and some studies have shown it to be effective with a healthy person, but if it is the regular one, it will have sugars in it. This will contribute to infections. Try talking to her doctor and get this infection under control or it could be serious.
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My mother has a similar problem. She is in rehab and her recovery has been difficult and prolonged due to recurring uti's. Rehab doctor has started her on cranberry pills 2x/day (as an alternative to a low dose of antibiotics, which is risky). She is doing so much better. We are hoping this will be a long-term solution.

Good hygiene is also crucial. If you keep on the NH about cleaning mom thoroughly, not just wiping, at least 2x/day, that should help. Have this added to her written care plan. Good luck. UTI's wreak havoc in some elderly.
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