Rapid onset of dementia, UTI related or something else?

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What can I do to help my Dad? Last September my Dad was fine. Little to no evidence of dementia. Then in late Sept/Early October he was hit with a UTI that took a while to identify. The UTI battle continued until February when they finally killed the sucker and gave him pills to keep it away. During this time frame he began to have dementia that continue to progress significantly over the months. In August he had no problem managing his IPad, now I have to do it for him, he doesn't remember the day of the week and asks me constantly what day it is. That sort of thing. I'd hoped when the UTI went away his cognitive ability would improve but 2 weeks later he's still the same. Any suggestions on what I can do to help him?

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Prostate issues often cause male UTIs, but I'm assuming the doctor addressed this. If not, your dad could have repeated problems without surgery though that's often done with a laser. However, if your dad has been hospitalized with any of this, the chance of a mental decline is increased, especially if he has the beginning's of dementia anyway. The only thing you can do is keep trying to find out what's wrong. Another medical opinion may be a good idea.

Please let us know how you are doing.
Carol
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FWIW,

Many older people's minds have trouble bouncing back from a hospitalization, as the drugs don't seem to clear out very quickly like they do in the young. More hospitalizations make this worse. This is when a caregiver becomes familiar with the concept of "sundowning", as the confusion is worse in the evenings.

In trying to find a sitter for my mother, one of the interviewees mentioned checking into a UTI for some of my mother's confusion. I was skeptical as it seems so unrelated, but found it out to be the source of not only the confusion but increasingly bad urinary issues, which cleared up when meds were given.

I'm guessing that the UTI's tend to repeat because our dear ones' toileting habits have become less careful, and it is not something any caregiver jumps in to do without being asked. In my mother's case, her vision had so deteriorated with macular degeneration that she had developed a habit of looking at the tissue to see if it was clean, and I strongly suspect her reaching from the front was responsible for the UTI. I imagine diapers might have the same cross contamination effect.

In my mother's case, back pain resulted from the infection in the urinary tract when it was not immediately discovered, and unfortunately was wrongly assumed to be related to an earlier medical issue. Hence, it wasn't until hospitalization that the UTI was discovered and treated, and by then a great deal of damage had been done to the urinary tract.

My advice would be to: First, when seeing the doctor, don't assume you know what any pain is caused by...stick to the facts and let the professionals figure it out. (It might not be what you think.) Second, keep an eye (if you can) on toileting habits, especially if your loved one may have trouble "reaching around" or has visual issues. Third, if confusion arises, suspect a UTI and get help immediately.

Now of course, this is complicated by the fact that recent hospitalization may have caused the sundowning and some dementia, so I would imagine you wouldn't suspect the UTI for awhile, as they should have treated any such thing in the hospital, hopefully.
All you can use is your best judgment, when your loved one can't clearly tell you what is the matter. Most of us are ill-prepared for these things. A guessing game, indeed.
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Have him rechecked for recurrent UTI. Make appt with dr for full medical and mental evaluation. Write dr in advance and share your observations and concerns regarding dads behavior and possible impairment. That way dr will,have some background.
It could be another UTI, meds interaction or something else. Regardless, knowing the truth will help you and dad prepare for next steps.
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My Mom had 1 strange episode where a UTI caused confusion and 2 more UTIs that sent her to the hospital in full delirium that started with confusion. She came out of the delirium after 3 days and slept a lot and then was back to her normal self mentally and cognitively within a few days. The hospital nurses told me this delirium or confusion could even last several months in some people.
The first nursing home she was in for rehab for a broken bone did not seem to understand that UTIs can cause huge behavioral changes in older people. Some doctors seem to not understand this either and yet it is so common. The first thing I would look for is a UTI and then proceed with tests for a stroke or dementia...but with my Mom is always has been a UTI and it has been such a battle getting doctors to even understand this happens. Her current doctor won't even prescribe antibiotics if the home nurse gets the urine to the lab and the test results positive for a UTI because he wants her to go to a urologist first because he " can't handle" her having a catheter that the last hospital sent her home with due to a back wound that happened in that awful nursing home for rehab.She is pretty much bedridden. By the time she gets in to see a urologist she could be in delirium again. Make sure you have a cooperative doctor on board that will prescribe antibiotics if the urinalysis is positive, which most doctors would do.
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Is it possible that the uti and dementia are simply coincidental? I've often wondered if my dads dementia is related to surgery and anesthesia a few years ago, but I'm just guessing. In any event his dementia is getting worse and I suspect your father will also go downhill. Be prepared for it.
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In taking care of my dad(89) for the last 2 years or so, I have noticed a decline in his cognitive abilities after every time he is hospitalized. After an 8 day hospitalization in October 2014 for a UTI and other issues, he was no longer able to be in charge of his checkbook and medication. He stopped reading the sports section of the newspaper for a few months, but has gone back to that recently From my experience I would say that 2 weeks is too short a time to see any improvement. My dad's age related decline is greatly affected by the medical issues he is dealing with. I have had to learn to cope with each successive loss of function.
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This is interesting to me because the same thing is happening to my Mom. UTI then Dementia which the hospital doctor said is common. I would guess that it is a reacurring UTI that your Dad has. Better get him back to the Doctor for a urinalisis to be sure. Hope this helps, it's hard when there are no other symptoms.
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See if you can pin his doctor down and have a good conversation to thrash this one out. It's comparatively unusual for a man just to "get" a uti (on account of their lengthier plumbing, hem-hem) - he doesn't have a catheter or anything, does he? - so I'd be looking around to see what else could be going on. I hope you get some satisfactory answers, best of luck with it.
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UTI can be caused by multiple things with the elderly it often is associated with lack of fluid intake or incontinence. Even with the male anatomy when they are incontinent in as brief/diaper the bacteria can travel back up the penis and into the bladder. It is often more prevalent in females but does happen in males as well.
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Thanks for all your your comments. Dad has been through several rounds of antibiotics (I think 8) until a few weeks ago when he finally got the clean bill of health from the urologist. They have put him on a medication that changes the urine in the bladder to be inhospitable to the bacteria. Unfortunately it's been about 4 weeks since he's been UTI free and his cognitive ability has not returned. I am hoping and praying it will return but given that he had the UTIs for most of the fall it might take that long or longer for his brain to return.

Does anyone know if UTIs do permanent damage to the brain?
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