Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a serious problem for the elderly, with women and patients who have urinary catheters being particularly at risk. Because many elderly patients do not have traditional symptoms of UTIs such as burning or painful urination, these infections are often untreated until hospitalization with antibiotics is required. There are, however, lifestyles changes you can help your loved one make to help reduce the risk of these serious infections.
- Improve Hydration – If you only help your loved one make one lifestyle change, this would be the most important to prevent UTIs. Drinking 8 8-ounce glasses of water (or as near to it as you can get) promotes more frequent urination that flushes out the bladder and prevents bacterial growth in the urinary tract. If you provide elderly home care in Mesa for your loved one, make sure they have access to water bottles in frequent areas of the home such as in the kitchen, by the bed, and in the living room. This can help promote drinking throughout the day.
- Drink Cranberry Juice – Many urologists recommend daily doses of cranberry juice to reduce the risk for a UTI. Cranberry juice makes the urine more acidic and this acidity prevents the bacterial growth which leads to infection. However, be sure to look for labels that read “100% Juice”. Those labeled “juice cocktail” are mostly water and high fructose corn syrup with very small amounts of the actual juice.
- Practice Good Hygiene – Sometimes urinary infections can be caused by poor hygiene. If you suspect that this might be the case for your loved one, it is probably time to sit down and have a delicate conversation with them on this subject. Good habits are important to help keep bacteria away from the urinary tract. If your loved one needs assistance with personal care activities and you are unable to provide help, click here to learn more about in-home hourly care and how caregivers can help with household activities like bathing, dressing and incontinence to ensure senior safety and comfort
These are all simple steps to take and can go a long way towards the best treatment for urinary tract infections – preventing them first place!