An senior Caucasian woman and a young Caucasian woman with text "UTI and Dementia?"

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in seniors can become a complex issue. It is important for family caregivers to know the signs of UTI in the elderly. UTIs can cause serious side effects like delirium and possibly lead to kidney infections and sepsis.

The elderly experience different symptoms of UTI compared to middle aged adults or even younger people, and the symptoms can be much worse. Older adults, particularly those with dementia, may not realize they have an issue and often are unable to communicate their symptoms to their caregivers.

When seniors contract a UTI, they sometimes experience a sudden and unexplained change in behavior, such as confusion, agitation, or withdrawal.

Certain UTI symptoms are easier to recognize in seniors than others. Following are a few indicators that can accompany UTI in the elderly:
• Behavioral changes
• Confused or delirium-like state
• Falling
• Hallucinations

Some UTI symptoms may be present but are ignored by elderly individuals.
• Fever
• Cloudy or bloody urine
• Pain with urination
• Strong-smelling urine

There are a few simple steps to help avoid contracting a UTI, such as drinking plenty of water, emptying the bladder frequently, and encouraging urinary hygiene.

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