1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. Boredhousewife

    Boredhousewife Registered User

    Dec 18, 2012
    Dear all,
    I am hoping you can advise me. My Mum is in a care home, a specialised dementia wing. She keeps getting UTI's, one after another. She's just finished a course of antibiotics for one, and the symptoms return. Now, we have had quite some arguments with the home in the past over this issue and others but today I am wondering what we can do to help get rid of and prevent these infections from happening. It seems to be an unusual situation and the home are getting annoyed with us keep asking for dip tests and Dr appointments and antibiotics. I have no idea if mum is very unusual for having recurring utis or if the home usually don't bother treating them, or what.
  2. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    Hi boredhousewife, recurrent utis are common in people with dementia but efforts should be made to prevent and treat them. What is the general standard of hygiene like in the carehome do you think? Infection control is important not only in hospital but carehomes too. It would concern me if the home were becoming irritated with requests to treat something in the best possible way rather than being complacent about it , as it sounds they are.

    Fluid intake is vital for helping to prevent utis and needs concerted effort by staff and visitors to encourage and record fluid intake, daily, no let up. Barley water can help in symptomatic relief. Frequent use of antibiotics can hinder as immunity to antibiotics can build up too. Each time there is an infection suspected a urine sample should be sent for culture and analysis so that the correct antibiotics are prescribed. Having a antibiotic for the wrong bug can lower natural immunity so making one more vulnerable to infection and the infection wont clear up. I would ask to speak to the home manager and ask about the way forward and discuss your concerns. Hope you get a good outcome.

    Best wishes
  3. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    Unfortunately, UTIs are very common with dementia - I believe it's often because of either a level of incontinence, or the person is no longer wiping or cleaning themselves properly, so that germs from the intestine are getting into the urinary tract. I had an aunt who had one after the other, though the care home was very good.

    As the previous poster said, drinking enough is very important, but this can be easier said than done when it comes to dementia - some people are very stubborn and just won't. At my mother's CH they give them lots of small glasses of weak orange or blackcurrant squash throughout the day - these seemed to go down a lot better than plain water, which some of them will not drink at all.
  4. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    East Kent
    Eventually we decided with the GP to put mum on daily antibiotics to help prevent her recurrent UTIs. They helped a lot and cut the UTIs down vastly.

    Wiping from back to front, wearing pads and not drinking enough can all cause UTIs
    Often though you can do all the right things and still get the pesky things.

    If the staff at the home are getting annoyed with you keeping asking for dip stick tests, shame on them. . Keep asking, I suggest you speak to the manager
  5. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    UTIs can cause untold misery. Ask to see or speak to the GP the care home use and say you would like your mum to be on antibiotics every day so that she is not so uncomfortable.

    I've been on nitrofurantion for over six months now to treat this.
  6. Wigan

    Wigan Registered User

    May 5, 2013
    Sometimes we think the infections just keep returning when in actual fact it is the same one that hasn't cleared. Within 3/4 days of mum finishing the antibiotics, her symptoms would flare up again. We got the on-call doctor who said a water sample needed to be sent off 24 hours after finishing the antibiotic to know whether it was a new infection or the same one that hadn't cleared. We suspected it was the same one and was right as the sample came back positive.

    It is always best to get the samples sent to a lab as they state which antibiotics the infection is resistant to and sensitive to, although even though mum is always sensitive to nitrofurantoin, it doesn't shift the infection. We have now booked an appointment with a urologist to see if he can offer any advice as she is currently never without an infection.

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