A urinary tract infection is a common issue, particularly among older adults and women of varying ages. Caused by bacteria that multiplies within the urinary tract, including the bladders, kidneys, and urethra, UTIs can lead to a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms such as burning and pain, pressure and discomfort in the belly and back, fever, and even delirium and confusion in seniors. As a family caregiver it is important that you recognize that these infections can worsen and lead to far more serious conditions, including kidney infections. The care that you give your senior when they are suffering such a condition can make a tremendous difference in your ability to manage their condition, recover from the infection, and prevent further infections.
Use these tips to care for your senior when they are suffering from a urinary tract infection:
• Encourage them to drink plenty of water. One of the primary causes of UTIs is bacteria not being properly flushed from the urinary tract. Drinking plenty of water is important to keep the urinary tract clean and prevent the bacteria from attaching. If your senior already has a UTI, this will help your parent’s body clean out the tract to hasten healing.
• Avoid irritating beverages. Some beverages irritate the bladder, making symptoms of a UTI worse and potentially leading to a worsened infection. Avoid beverages with caffeine, alcohol, and those with citrus juices.
• Use heat to ease symptoms. Symptoms such as pain in the lower back, abdomen, and pelvis are common in UTIs. Help to ease these symptoms by encouraging your loved one to use a heating pad. A warm bath can also be soothing, but keep in mind that sitting in a bath with any type of bath product, such as bubble bath, bath salts (other than Epsom salts, or bath oils can actually increase the risk of urinary tract infection for women or worsen such infections.
• Drink cranberry juice. Cranberry has been shown to help cleanse the urinary tract and prevent bacteria from thriving. Encourage your loved one to drink cranberry juice or eat cranberry sauce. Make sure that it is not a juice cocktail with artificial flavorings for the best results
If your elderly parent has been struggling with health problems that you feel need further attention or you have been looking for ways to improve their quality of life through additional assistance and support, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elderly care for them. An elderly home care services provider can be with your senior on a schedule that is right for their individual needs, challenges, and limitations, as well as the care that you give them already. This means that your parent will be able to remain safe, comfortable, healthy, and happy throughout their later years while also pursuing a lifestyle that is more active, engaged, and independent. Knowing that your senior has the highly personalized services of such a care provider can ease your caregiver stress and make you feel more at ease both when you are able to be with them and when you are not.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering elderly care in Chestnut Hill, PA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands of Central Philadelphia. 215-274-0900.