A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a painful medical condition that can affect your loved one or family member. UTIs occur when bacteria enter the lower urinary tract, which includes the bladder and urethra. If left untreated, these infections can spread throughout the body and lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening immune response to the infection. UTIs are more common in elderly women than in men because in females, their urethras are shorter.
Symptoms of UTI
While it might be difficult to spot the typical symptoms of UTI, there are some tell-tale signs you can look out for to determine if you or your loved one has it:
- Pain in the genital region or in the lower back
- Burning sensations during urination
- Frequent visits to the restroom
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in sleep patterns
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, do make an appointment with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.
Drinking plenty of water increases the frequency of urination which allows bacteria to be flushed out of the body when your loved one goes to the restroom. We should try to drink eight glasses of water per day and if this proves difficult, we can increase our fluid intake by drinking healthy alternatives to water such as decaffeinated drinks like herbal teas, and fruit and vegetable juices or smoothies. You can also try eating fruits with high water content like watermelon.
Try not to irritate your bladder by limiting or avoiding the consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages. On top of staying hydrated, you should also empty your bladder regularly as frequent urination aids in the prevention of bacteria buildup in the urinary tract.
Women going through menopause will have low estrogen levels due to hormonal changes in their bodies. This leads to a higher risk of getting UTI. To bring up the estrogen level in the body, estrogen rings, supplements and creams are simulated forms of estrogens that have been used by many women. However, if you’re interested in these estrogen treatments, be sure to speak with your doctor about the possible side effects that you may experience.
For those seeking a more natural way to bring up your estrogen level, there are some healthy foods that you can include in your diet like flax seeds, soybeans, sesame seeds, black cohosh, dong quai, alfalfa sprouts and hummus.
Geriatrics Feminine Hygiene
It is important to practice proper vaginal care to avoid contracting UTIs. Women should wipe their perineal area from front to back to prevent E. coli from entering the urethra. We should also avoid using scented feminine products. While such products may smell nice, they can disrupt the balance of microbes in the vagina and result in UTIs. Hence, prioritizing the proper cleansing of the perineal area takes precedence over using products like scented pads or tampons, scented powders and deodorant sprays. Instead, it is recommended that we gently rinse the labia with mild soap and water.
Personalized Care Plans at TerraBella Lake Norman
Here at TerraBella Lake Norman, assisted living is an excellent senior living option for residents who may require some assistance with daily living activities, like bathing or showering assistance, insulin and glucose management, and even continence management. With 24/7 professional and personalized care services, we always have our residents’ best interests at heart. If you or your loved one is interested to learn more about our senior living community, contact our team and we will be more than happy to help address any questions or concerns you may have.