The elderly are more likely to experience Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and they can be more susceptible and vulnerable to them than the rest of the population.
A UTI is an infection that travels from your kidneys, through the ureters, the urinary bladder and out through the urethra.
Elderly women and men often experience weakening of the muscles of the bladder. This leads to more urine retention in the bladder, poor bladder emptying, and incontinence. This in turn can lead to UTIs.
UTI Elderly Symptoms:
- Cloudy urine
- Bloody urine
- Strong-smelling urine odor
- Pain/burning during urination
- Frequent/urgent need to urinate
- Pressure in the lower pelvis
- Low-grade fever
- Shaking, chills, night sweats
UTI Elderly Symptom Risk Factors:
- Urinary retention
- Using a urinary catheter
- Kidney stones
- Bowel incontinence
- Enlarged prostate
However, it is important to note that elderly people do not always exhibit the above symptoms. More often than not, a UTI in an elderly adult will rarely cause those symptoms and they might not experience pain or discomfort either.
Common warning signs in the elderly are urinary incontinence, confusion or sudden change in behavior. Many elderly patients do not show signs of fever because their immune system is unable to respond to the infection due to the effects of aging.
Moreover, UTIs in the elderly have been mistaken for dementia or Alzheimer’s because they can experience hallucinations, dizziness, poor motor skills, agitation, and other behavioral changes.
If an elderly adult suffers from any of the above conditions, then they are more susceptible to developing a UTI. If left untreated, a UTI could also damage the kidneys. It can also cause a more serious condition known as urosepsis.
Urosepsis is a bacterial infection of the blood and is life-threatening. Symptoms include altered mental status, drop in blood pressure, rapid breathing and heart rates, decreased urinary output, and severe nausea and vomiting.
It is imperative that a UTI be treated at the earliest stage in order to ensure that there are no other complications or that it does not develop into a worse condition.
If you or a loved one has experienced an assisted living UTI death in the Los Angeles or Orange County area, please contact one of our attorneys today.
Sources of Information: