I have an aunt who for the past year has recurring urinary tract infection and her son has her treated only with antibiotic pills and injections. I am concerned and feel that there are other ways to help prevent the infections. She wipes herself back to front and i feel a caregiver can then assist her to wipe herself properly and then make sure she is clean. sometimes she has bowel movements very late at night and there is no one to make sure she is clean. One question is, how long does it take for a woman of 94 to get fecal induced urinary tract infections? And what are some hands on things a caregiver can do to prevent urinary tract infections? e.i sithz baths, frequents baths, bidets?
There are flushable wipes, but they are so small. I think I'll buy a diaper pail and a bunch of white washcloths, so i can bleach and use those every day.
Recurring UTIs in the elderly are well known as problems. When an elderly patient comes into our local ER, running a urinalysis is the first thing they do. And UTIs in the elderly can alter them significantly...my mother gets them frequently, too, and she gets completely altered - once, she called the police on me because she thought I was there to rob her and, this last time, she decided to water her garden at 3 a.m., fell (it was a "soft fall" so her automated lifeline pendent didn't pick it up), and broke her collar bone.
She needs to drink a lot of fluids daily (avoiding cranberry juice, if she's on Coumadin), and urinate frequently, in addition to the wiping front-to-back. Seniors typically do neither...which sort of ferments the bacteria in the bladder.
You could ask her doctor about whether she's a candidate for low-dose prophylactic antibiotics and/or whether it'd be a good idea to home-test. You can get test strips easily.
Are they culturing her urine each time? Every time my mom gets a UTI, they culture it and every time, it's a different organism and she needs a different antibiotic that's sensitive to the organism. The UTI my mom had last time, the ER doc put her on one antibiotic and it was the wrong one; the culture indicated that the organism was resistant to that particular antibiotic and so we needed to start a different one. This current UTI is antibiotic-resistent, it's VRE, so she needed to be on a different antibiotic yet again. And it must have been brewing, even as she was being treated for the one prior; she was in the hospital again only 3 days after ending treatment for the last UTI. I home-tested her the day after we ended the antibiotics for the last one, and her leukocytes were already high, I advised her doctor, they ordered a hospital-done urinalysis, and she was back in the hospital even as those results were coming in.
I feel your pain. My mom's in a care facility at the moment, since she's got the broken collar bone, but they'll kick her out within a few weeks, most likely and she'll be back home. And I'll be back to wondering how to keep this from happening yet again.
Benebiotics, One Life USA (Advanced Anti-Oxidant), Cran Max 500mg (cranberry juice has too much sugar and can highly contribute to the urinary infection), Immuno Synbiotic (by Nutri Spec), I-Lysine, Vitamin D3 1,000IU, Yeast-Cleanse (by Solaray), DIM (helps to eliminate dryness within the vagina), and 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan with Vitamin B6). Please note that 5-HTP is wonderful because it removes you from depression and you are a much happier person. Also please note that I prefer not to take these pills withou first having food in my stomach. Otherwise, you may feel a little nausiated which can ruin your day.
For those of you out there who are suffering from this horrible problem such as I am, my love and prayers are with you. Please take care and I hope my information helps you.
that is some good advice that was given by spudeater. Good luck....you can also take her to the bathroom every 1/2hr and make sure she is dry and clean.
Bask about a daily antibiotic. I have a friend that is a pharmacist and we talked about that last night at dinner.
Unfortunately urinary tract infections are common among the elderly. Here are some articles that relate to UTI's that might help you when caring for your aunt.
Urinary Tract Infections in the Elderly
UTIs Cause Behavioral, Not Physical Symptoms in Elders
Best of Luck!