1. tartbag

    tartbag Registered User

    Hi all,

    I,m new to this site and are struggling to find my way round, I was wanting advice on how a water infection can affect alzheimers? My mother-in-law was diagnosed in Jan 2005. This week it's all gone mad, hallucinations, calling police out getting dressed in the middle of the night etc . I'm sure this all sound familiar to you but we (As a family) weren't aware thing had got this bad, She lives in sheltered accommodation at the moment but as thing are this bad we've brought her to stay with us for the weekend.
    She has a water infection and I'm told this is making her worse but she's been on antibiotics now since Wed should things be calming down by now coz We can't cope with another night with no sleep.
    At what stage do we need to think of moving her as we feel she needs more care than we can provide?

    Please help any advice is welcome

  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Hi Rachel and welcome to TP.

    Yes, absolutely a urine infection can definititely cause an increase in symptoms. However, you're correct. the antibiotics "should" have had some impact by now. However as someone who personally gets UTI's (urinary tract infections), I have had some experience of the first antibiotic tried not being effective against the infection, or the infection being so well extablished that it takes soem time to work. I realise this isn't much help to you at this point, but if her symptoms haven't diminished by Monday I would get her back to the GP.

    Sadly of course, alzheimer's disease is a progressive illness: it may be that your MIL's illness has progressed to another stage, and even when the UTI is effectively treated she will still be unsafe to live alone.

    I am taking the liberty of moving your post to the main support forum as I think you'll get more replies there
  3. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear tartbag,I totally agree with jennifers response to your post.UTU's can make the symptoms of az/d worse.the antibiotics may only kick in towards the end of the course,wherby i would send another MSU just make sure the infection has gone.If so then there are obviously other issues to deal with.I only have this experience from working in a care home and am trained to spot the signs of a UTI.9/10 this is the cause of confusion and unusual behaviour.I do hope this is the case for you,if not then ask the G.P for further investigations,it can't do any harm can it?love to you all.elainex
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello Rachael.

    I`m sorry you`re having so much worry about your mother. I always believed antibiotics should start to kick in after 48 hours, so if you still have concerns I would check with her GP.

    It`s unbelievable how a UTI can have such a dramatic affect on the body. My husband had one and I thought he had something far more serious.

    You could do with a good chat with the GP to identify what symptoms are caused by Alzheimers and what from the UTI.

    Take care xx
  5. germain

    germain Registered User

    Jul 7, 2007
    Why UTI's

    Hello Rachael,

    A few months ago we suddenly found our Mum half concious (sp?) and she was hospitalised with malnutrition and dehydration - told it was all down to a UTI.

    Got it all sorted and she moved into a wonderful assisted living place, got the Reminyl upped - all going well and we were feeling really relieved and suddenly its all started again - extra confusion, refusing to eat and drink, not wanting to get out of bed etc - GP says yet another UTI - can confim that these cause an enormous change in her condition - she has antibiotics like "elephant pills" which seem to kick in after around 3 days but it takes a little while longer for her to settle again.

    BUT - why does anyone get them in the first place ? We thought it was a personal hygiene thing but that seems to be sorted now. We thought it was a "female" thing - but if you look thro' others posts it seems the fella's get them just as often.

    All I can advise is from our experience is- watch the eating - the very first sign with our Mum is that she refuses food , the extra confusion and behavioural problems etc seem to follow on a couple of days later- if you catch it really early - (and your Mum will probably have her own signs- ) treatment seems to kick in quicker.

    All the best - hopefully it will settle with no lasting effects- it really is a roller coaster with infections - not sure if its something to do with AzD affecting the immune system or something.

  6. allylee

    allylee Registered User

    Feb 28, 2005
    west mids
    :) Hi Rachael,

    as everyone else has said UTI does cause confusion in the elderly, compounded when that person has AZ too.

    The first course of antibiotics are usually prescribed "blind" that is without the results of a urine sample.
    THe doctor will give a broad spectrum antiobiotic that will kill a variety of bacteria, but in some cases this wont be effective . Once the sample results are back the correct drug to target the specific bacteria causing the problem can be prescribed.

    UTI in the elderly are more common generally because they drink less and the kidneys are less active.

    The kidneys produce less urine so the bladder doesnt empty so often, this means that concentrated urine is sitting around in the bladder, an ideal breeding ground for bugs.

    The simple answer is regular fluids, easier said than done with my mum though who either clamps her mouth shut or spits it all over me:)

    Good luck
    Ally xx
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I have just Googled UTIs.

    There appear to be many causes, but two causes which stood out for me as far as we`re concerned, are obstruction caused by prostate enlargement in men or neurological diseases in either sex .
  8. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Indeed, although in women particularly, one of the major causes is poor personal hygiene and bad wiping technique (sorry to be so graphic but..); when wiping, everyone should always from front to back (up rather than down). This prevents bacterial infection.

    Men should too, although their plumbing arrangement, as it were, means they have a much longer urethra and therefore it is far more difficult for bacteria to get into the bladder.

    That is why UTI and cystitis are far more common amongst women.

    But on the upside, at least you don't have a prostate to think about!
  9. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    At what stage do we need to think of moving her as we feel she needs more care than we can provide?

    Dear Rachael,
    You've had excellent responses to the UTI so I thought I'd address this point.

    Firstly, don't make any irreversible decisions whilst the UTI is going on. Her behaviour and your lack of sleep may prompt you to do something drastic, which you may late regret.

    BUT - I do believe that when you start thinking it is going to be necessary to go to the next stage soon, that you should start planning for it. Can you discuss the matter with the sheltered housing people - or would that be likely to cause additional problems?

    I suggest you and your husband (her son?) look at homes in the area and start making enquiries so you can get to know what is available. You may need to put her name on waiting lists.

    Being aware of suitable accommodation and the "pros and cons" is helpful in ensuring you have some control over final decisions. If you wait until there is a disaster of some sort, you may find you have no choice but to take what is available. This might - or might not - be suitable. Better by far in my opinion to have some choices in these matters.

    I do hope your MIL is making steady improvement and is well soon.
    Going without sleep is the WORST thing, in my opinion!
  10. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Nell, thank you so much for making that point. I know when I'm being rational that you're so right.

    But in the small hours of the morning, desperate for sleep, constantly fighting to keep John in bed when he was determined to get up, knowing that if he did he'd end up on the floor again, I made up my mind that the NH he's going to for respite isn't enough, and he'd have to be admitted permanently to an EMI unit. And I was definitely going to ring NHS24 and get him admitted to hospital, I couldn't cope any longer.

    This morning? I'll give the antibiotics another day!

  11. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Oh the havoc those dreaded Uti's can cause.

    could be so right in Lionel's case. Early prostate problems were diagnosed 18 months ago, so I shall mention this to the care home.

    This second episode seems to have been caught just in time (I hope) for him.
  12. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005

    Dear Hazel,

    I for one am amazed at your strength and resilience. How you (and others like Sylvia and Cliff, just to name a couple - there are many more) manage as you do is a constant source of inspiration.

    Don't discount the hospital angle though. That isn't a permanent decision and perhaps a few days in hospital could give John the care he needs and you a little respite. I imagine you may fear that they would not want to let him come home again . . . .? Is this correct? You certainly don't need bureaucracy siding against you!! :eek:

    Thinking of you and hoping John's recovery from the UTI has at least begun. It is Monday morning here. By the time you get to Monday morning, I daresay you'll know whether or not the anti-biotics are doing any good or if John needs another type.

    Thinking of you and sending my most caring wishes.

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