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What are the warning signs and prevention of urinary tract infection

Date:2012-08-17 click:

Urinary tract infections aren't just a nuisance they can cause serious health problems, and older adults tend to be one of their targets of choice. 

 
Here is a caregiver's guide to understanding, identifying and preventing these infections:
 
What are urinary tract infections? 
They are bacterial infections involving any part of the urinary tract.
 
Why are older adults more prone to them? 
Weak bladder muscle tone leads to incomplete emptying of the bladder, decreased immunity, decreased water intake and urinary catheter use.
 
What are the warning signs? 
Typical symptoms include burning while urinating and an increased need to urinate. Older adults also might exhibit additional symptoms that are often confused with dementia, depression or Alzheimer's disease, including confusion, lethargy and diminished appetite.
 
How can urinary tract infections be prevented? 
Hydration, hydration, hydration: Many older adults do not drink enough fluid because they fear urinary leakage. Empting the bladder every two hours with or without an urge to urinate can be very helpful. Also, avoid constipation and increase physical activity.
 
How should they be treated? 
A short course of antibiotics is usually prescribed. Recurring infection is common, and many physicians might prescribe treatment over the phone. 
 
What can I do if get urinary tract infections
Family caregivers should try to make a note of symptoms and their association with a urinary tract infection, since it could help with early detection and avoidance of complications.

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