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About three times now my mother has scared me with having mental symptoms resembling stroke in combination with UTI's. Last hospital round it was shown that she has had an number of small strokes, so that is happening. But whenever she gets treatment for the UTI, it seems like her mind comes back fully - for a while till the next UTI which seems to happen too frequently. Talking with her doctor about this. Do the UTI mental symptoms have meaning? Do they mean that her brain is barely functioning normally and the UTI just tips it over? She gets word finding problems and sometimes substituting the wrong word. She also last time developed time problems and believed early evening was right before dawn.

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GladImhere, I'm laughing imagining you following your mother with the jar saying "do you have to go now?, how about now? need to go yet?" LOL! That's good the cranberry juice sounds like it is working. I'll have to ask my mother if the juice or the pills would work better for her. We sure need to do something because it practically gives me a nervous breakdown each time she has one of these "dementia accelerations". I'm in the middle of one right now in fact. That's a shame you can't just bring a sample in for them to test - that would be so much easier for everyone.

Thanks GGsGirl, my mother has Type 2 diabetes as well - I often wonder how well she's really managing her sugar. That may be part of why she keeps getting these also - would be good if she would take cranberry in some form.
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My mother moved in with me three months ago, and since then I noticed more confusion & short term memory loss with increased urinary incontinence. I started her on cranberry supplements in case of a UTI and everything improved in a short time. I don't think she can tell if there's an infection, but I know she had been prone to UTI's prior to moving in with me. She has Type 2 Diabetes and although I monitor her sugars closely, she snacks and has a stubborn sweet tooth. I think there is a definite correlation between sugar intake, UTI's and dementia symptoms flaring up. I also make sure she stays hydrated, as that helps, too. Now when I see symptoms becoming more pronounced I get her back on the cranberry pills.
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Hi Bermuda-
I have no idea why they keep recurring, it could be she was never over them to begin with. Those with dementia have a difficult time cleaning themselves after they poop. This is especially worrisome for women because the urethra is so short so it is east for bacteria to get in there.

The docs talked about putting her on a low dose antibiotic daily, but of course they don't want to do that because of the chance of developing resistance to the meds. I used to be able to take in a urine specimen just to have it checked. But that was probably against Medicare regs, so now we need an appointment to see the doc to get her tested. And that wasn't too bad, but they have just moved the in office lab out of the doc's office and it has to be done at another lab, a different building, about a mile away.

Then when I know we are going to need a urine specimen, I have been known to follow mom around for two or three hours, with the had and specimen jar to collect it. It is a pain, but that is why I am paid the big bucks, right? Check out my thread and my initial entry titled "you know you are a caregiver if..."

If you aren't sure she is taking the Plavix, you might want to ask the doc if a low dose aspirin would do the trick, plus it is much, much cheaper. I buy the King Soopers brand, it is yellow, and has a cute little heart on it. I haven't had to do this, but if I had to convince her to take it I could make up a story about what it is from the heart.

I have started mom on a cranberry supplement and a daily half a glass of cranberry juice. But make sure it is the Ocean Spray 100% juice, not the cocktail which has a lot of sugar. Another contributor can be the amount of sugar in the diet as it feeds the bacteria. So, we have cut way back on the sugar. She hasn't had a UTI now since the hospitalization in September. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

But it was so strange, very frightening for me, but mom did not even recognize there was a problem. She couldn't walk and speech was very garbled.
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Thanks Gladimhere, sounds like you've dealt with the very same situation! I had no idea that the UTI could even hurt the ability walk. That must have been so scary for her and you! Last hospitalization my mother's talking was compromised for about three days. They did an MRI and say she has evidence for the small strokes and got diagnosed with vascular dementia with the possibility of Alzheimer's. They've got her on Plavix and not aspirin but sometimes there are questions about whether she's really taking it every day like she should - again she's still competent enough to fend off people asking nosy questions about what she takes and outright lies sometimes. It makes me CRAZY.

Do you know why the UTI's keep recurring so often in your mother's case? Have the docs tried anything to address it?
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is she taking low dose aspirin each day? This can help to reduce the chances of a stroke.
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Bermuda-
I'm not aware that the symptoms displayed with a UTI are an indicator to how advanced the disease is. We have hone through 5 UTI this year. The last one required hospitalization, with stroke symptoms. Could not walk or talk, became increasingly confused. The first UTI was a backache and some behavior issues. Symptoms really run the gamut. There is no way for doctors to test the stage of the disease scientifically. It is this best guess based on an overall evaluation.

How did they determine small strokes? When my mom was first diagnosed I was told from the MRI results that it is either a series of mini strokes or Alzheimer's disease.
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