Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common yet severe issue. It is a common problem in elderly women and usually increases with age. A UTI is an infection of part of the urinary tract connected to the urethra, bladder, ureter, and kidneys.
People with the limited movement who have a weak immune system or blockages in the urinary tract due to kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can get UTIs. Though medications and medical treatment can help with the treatment, it is better to be well-informed.
Here is what you need to know about preventing UTIs in elderly females.
How to prevent UTI in elderly women
You cannot always avoid UTIs, but reducing the risk of getting it is possible. Here are some lifestyle and personal hygiene changes that can prevent a senior from developing a UTI.
Drink plenty of water for relief
It will help if you stay hydrated all day. Drinking lots of water will make you urinate more, which helps to clear any bacteria out of your urinary tract. Try to have eight glasses of water daily. If it is hard for you to drink water, you can always try sparkling water, milk, smoothies, or decaffeinated herbal tea. Limit or avoid any alcohol and caffeinated drinks as they may irritate the bladder.
Wipe front to back
The anus is a primary source of bacteria. After using the bathroom, it is best to wipe your genitals from front to back. The risk of bringing bacteria from the anus to the urethra is reduced. This habit is more important if you have diarrhea. Having diarrhea increases the chance of spreading bacteria to the urethra.
Avoid holding your pee
You should avoid holding in your urine, as it can increase bacterial growth. Instead, pee at most for 3 to 4 hours as it increases the risk.
Wash up before sex and urinate after
The risk of UTI increases with sexual activity, especially for a woman. This is because, during sex, bacteria can easily find their way to the urethra. To avoid the risk, you should use soap and water before sex, and afterward, urinating helps to push away the bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract.
Avoid scented products
The vagina naturally contains different microbes which help keep it healthy and maintain the pH level balance. However, this balance gets disrupted with scented feminine products, allowing the harmful bacteria to overgrow. This results in UTIs, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis.
Bubble baths and scented bath oils and soaps can also irritate the genital area and result in an imbalance in vaginal bacteria.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that help to increase good gut bacteria. They also may help grow good bacteria in the urinary tract. This could help prevent getting a UTI. Also, probiotics can be taken in several ways, such as by eating yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, and probiotic supplements.
Cranberries and vitamin C may increase the acidity of urine, reducing the overgrowth of bacteria. You can also take unsweetened and pure cranberry juice.A good diet plan should always be on the card for seniors.
Treatment for UTI in elderly women
An accurate diagnosis of UTI is essential for older adults. If your loved one shows symptoms of UTI, you should see a doctor immediately to avoid future complications. For diagnosis, a urinalysis or a urine culture is required to determine the kind of bacteria in the urine. Then according to the diagnosis, the doctor might prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic for treatment.
With early diagnosis, a course of antibiotics usually clears the infection quickly. In some cases, the elderly person may need to be admitted to a hospital and requires assistance consuming fluids and receiving the correct medication. The treatment period for complicated UTIs is usually more extended than a simple one.
Home remedies may include using a heating pad or a lukewarm heating pad to your belly to help with bladder pressure or discomfort.
Home remedies for UTI In elderly women
There are many things to try in the comfort zone of your own home when it comes to finding home remedies for UTI prevention in the elderly.
This is quite basic, essential, and undoubtedly important. Water is the source of life, and keeping hydrated is vital for older women with UTIs.
A heat therapy
An elderly person can apply a hot water bottle or a form of warm cloth to their abdomen or back to cope with any bladder or kidney infection pain. This friendly water treatment is helpful as it gives a form of relief to the person who is suffering from UTI.
A heating pad
Like warm or hot water treatment, keeping a heating pad is much more flexible. Apply a warm heating pad to the belly to relieve bladder pressure or discomfort. For elderly women with UTI, it is advisable to keep a
When to visit the hospital?
Even though UTI can be tended to with urgent home care at most times, often, there are times when an elderly woman has to be taken to professionals for urgent medical care. Elderly women suffering from UTI should visit the hospital if they find themselves in situations such as:
- Vomiting or extreme cases of nausea.
- A high fever that lasts for more than 24 hours.
- Breathing difficulty may be from an abnormal heart function.
- When the person has a weakened immune system (known) and could face other physical complications.
Certain medical conditions can be prevented if not wholly cured. As such, UTIs can be treated at home or with professional medical care. However, for elderly women with UTI, life can be challenging and discomforting at times. So we advise trying out the prevention methods to reduce discomfort.
Also, always seek expert medical advice regarding serious health matters like UTIs in elderly females. If you want to know more about UTI in seniors, visit here.
What is the first line of treatment for UTI in the elderly?
Aside from standard remedies like staying hydrated, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is the preferred empiric oral option for older adults suffering from UTI. These are antibiotics used to treat people with clinical UTI problems and are known to work within the first three days.
What causes recurrent UTIs in older women?
In simple terms, recurrent UTI problems in older women persist because of their low estrogen levels, as older women are likely to develop UTIs during menopause and perimenopause. As estrogen level goes down, bladder and pelvic muscles get weaker, making it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder, leading to UTI.
What can you take daily to prevent UTI in the elderly?
The American Urological Association (AUA) conditions that daily low-dose antibiotic treatment may help prevent UTIs from coming back. But it is best to consult a medical professional as some people or elders have weak immune systems. For the most straightforward method, staying hydrated as much as possible is best.
What happens when an elderly person gets a UTI?
Getting UTI, particularly for elderly women, can be a very discomforting feeling. It can ruin a good day as the constant pain and discomfort often last for hours. In addition, it can change their behavior and other symptoms associated with cognitive functions and lead to dizziness or a sense of vomiting.
Are UTIs the same in older women as younger women?
Elderly females with UTI will feel more discomfort. That is because older women are more vulnerable to UTIs than younger women since they have weaker immune systems. In addition, as UTI worsens, even drinking enough water won’t suffice as older women with kidney issues have to watch their water intake.