I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. Because it is high risk “UTI season” due to the summer heat and lack of hydration, I wanted to remind everyone to be vigilant and watchful of a UTI, urinary tract Infection, that may go undetected. Our goal as gerontologists, is for everyone, old or young, to stay out of the Emergency room or hospital. UTI’s account for thousands of hospitalizations in our country. Most could have been prevented or detected early on from their primary care physician. Older Adults with memory loss or dementia can easily be treated by their primary care physician or geriatrician at their office, at your own home or at the facility they may live in.
Please also be aware of the many causes of UTI’s for older adults: proper hygiene, adequate fluid and water intake, regular toileting, avoid constipation etc…
However, someone has to advocate for the testing of urine especially if any symptoms are occurring. Some symptoms include: New or worsening confusion or agitation, change in urinary odor, pain on urination, urgent need to urinate, new or worsening incontinence, pain on side of body or leaning, back pain, frequent need to urinate, falls or loss of balance, blood in urine, nausea or vomiting, cloudy urine. At our facilities and at our home care, we use urinary dip sticks to detect UTI’s. These dip sticks report everything from bacteria, glucose, dehydration or even blood. Everyone is on board with the testing. We even ask for family permission on admission. It takes a true village to care for someone with memory loss. This village also needs to communicate quite frequently about the signs and symptoms of the UTI. Attached is an excellent flow chart of how the detection of the UTI should flow and communicate symptoms with the physician. Please again see the “Guidance on Prevention and Early Detection of Urinary Tract Infection in Older People in Care homes chart it will explain our process.
As for the purchasing of dip sticks, they are so many you can order from, either on the web or at your local medical pharmacy.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me here
Have a wonderful and safe summer.
Jacqueline Dupont, Gerontologist
Owner and Founder: Irvine Cottages, Vista Gardens and Assured in Home Care, Inc.