Urinary tract infections are very common among seniors. Senior women are more prone to develop UTIs. Both men and women have an increased risk of UTIs as they get older. More than 10% of women over the age of 65 get a UTI in any given year. That number jumps to more than 35% for women over 85. Many things can cause a UTI, including not cleaning properly after using the bathroom. Seniors that are at risk for UTIs and have bowel or bladder incontinence should consider personal care at home.
What Causes UTIs?
With personal care at home seniors will have help making sure they clean themselves properly after using the bathroom. That can help them avoid getting a UTI. Other risk factors for UTIs in seniors include:
- a history of UTIs
- catheter use
- bladder incontinence
- bowel incontinence
- a prolapsed bladder
UTIs in seniors can cause a range of symptoms including confusion and dizziness. It’s very common for family caregivers to think seniors are having some type of medical event when they really have a UTI. The most common symptoms of UTIs in seniors are:
- Sudden changes in urinary habits (such as increased frequency or urgency)
- Pain or burning during urination
- Pain or tenderness in your pelvis, lower back or abdomen
It may not be possible for seniors to totally avoid getting UTIs, but they can lower the risk by following these tips below.
Use the Bathroom Often
Seniors shouldn’t hold it in when they need to urinate. It’s a good idea for seniors to regularly visit the bathroom throughout the day. Seniors who have Alzheimer’s should go the bathroom once an hour or once every two hours as a matter of routine because they may not be able to recognize the feeling of needing to urinate. Home caregivers or family caregivers should encourage seniors to go to the bathroom often.
Wipe Front to Back
Wiping front to back can help prevent UTIs by ensuring that bacteria doesn’t enter the urethra. Seniors who have trouble wiping after urinating may need personal care at home to ensure that they aren’t putting themselves at risk of getting a UTI by wiping improperly. Seniors who are incontinent may also need help cleaning themselves properly when changing their incontinence pad or underwear. Briefs should be changed often throughout the day to prevent bacteria growth.
Drink Cranberry Juice
Pure cranberry juice with no sugar added can improve urinary tract health and help seniors avoid getting UTIs. Drinking water will also help flush out harmful bacteria. Seniors should be drinking lots of water throughout the day. However, drinking a glass or two of unsweetened cranberry juice each day can improve bladder health and help protect seniors from getting UTIs.
Eat Probiotic Foods
Probiotics can help balance the healthy bacteria in the gut. When the gut is functioning the way it should seniors are less likely to get UTIs. Foods that contain natural healthy probiotics include yogurt and kefir. Yogurt is also a great source of protein for seniors. Including yogurt with breakfast or eating yogurt as a snack can have big health benefits for seniors. Fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut also contain probiotics that can help seniors balance their gut bacteria.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Personal Care at Home in Glenwood, MN please contact the caring staff at Alternative Senior Care today. Providing Home Care in Central Minnesota and Surrounding Communities. Call us Today (320) 352-3350
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