Urinary infection - makes matters worse

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by terry999, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. terry999

    terry999 Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    Mum's wandering got very bad in the recent 2/3 months.

    A doctor told me to get her urine checked for infection. I did, and she did have an infection. Sorted with 3 day course of antibiotics.

    She is much calmer/ much more together.

    I would never of guessed a urine infection would affect someone's mental state so much. Apparently its quite common.
  2. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    Dear Terry,

    Both my late father and mother suffered many UTIs and I too was amazed how different they could be at those times. Can't offer an explanation, but just wanted to you know that there's a lot of it about and I know how unsettling it can be. Good to know that at least there's a cure for this, sadly not for the dementia problem as a whole.
  3. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    West Yorkshire
    Dear Terry
    Thanks for your post. Your doctor did well to recognise and treat your mums infection. These things do aggravate the dementia symptoms. I have realised that its so important to keep a close eye out for things like this happening. My dad reacts to, seemingly quite simple, but uncomfortable and treatable conditions, very badly. Its a really important job of nursing someone with dementia to keep on top of these things, because our loved ones can't explain whats going wrong.
    take care
  4. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Terry, thank you for flagging up this problem once more.

    It has cropped up time and time again here on TP, and many of our older members will well be aware of the danger signals.

    However, first time for everything, and it is better to be forewarned. Do hope mum is feeling better and therefore more settled.
  5. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003

    UTIs should be top of the list of things to be considered every time a new 'problem' arises.
    An undiagnosed UTI is the main reason I have neglected my once regular visits to TP: my husband had been unwell, GP couldn't 'find anything', when I called her again she wasn't able to visit so I called out paramedics: they couldn't 'find anything'. By then, my husband had lost all mobility, was stuck in a foetal position in a wheelchair he had hardly ever used before :eek:
    My big mistake: I thought the sign of a urine infection was darkurine. Not so!!! But neither GP or paramedics contradicted me. How I wish I had known better.

    Much has happened in the 3 months since: stress, pressure sores, cellulitis, pain, despair, frustration, four weeks in emergency respite (because as a sole carer I was unable to lift my husband and tend to his personal care). Repeated antibiotics have sorted out the UTI, most of the pressure sores have healed, but I doubt whether my lovely husband will ever get his mobility back. Stuck in his wheelchair, he is now more prone to skin problems, digestive problems, joint problems - we can't turn the clock back, but I do wish every carer had the knowledge and conviction of putting their GP under pressure to act, rather than accepting comments such as "it is probably just a decline in his/her condition" :mad: IMHO the UTI caused the decline in his condition!
  6. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Dear Carmen, what a miserable time you and your dear husband have had.

    Thank you for flagging up UTI's once again, but I am saddened to read of the devasation they have caused your dear man. Why it is not the first thing that is looked for I really cannot understand?

    Pleased that he is back home with you once more, and hope that he will continue to improve.

    Meanwhile look after yourself, and it is good to have you back. Love Connie.
  7. lesmisralbles

    lesmisralbles Account Closed

    Nov 23, 2007
    Urinary Tract Infection's

    How do I know that there is one.
    Just been told pee colour does not indicate there is an infection.
    I have noticed, Ron's pee smells' bad some day's. Some day's, no smell at all.
    How do we stop this happening.
    More fluid's ?
    How do we Know?
  8. citybythesea

    citybythesea Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    coast of texas
    OH how I wish I had your id...Nutty Nan...that would so fit me right now as my name is Nancy.

    Anyways you are right dark urine is not the only sign of a bladder infection. But that can also be a sign of slight dehydration. My question is also since he is wheelchair bound in fetal position. Has he had a stroke or a TIA. Sometimes a stroke can leave the bladder "shocked" and the bladder does not automatically empty. Also it can leave the body with partial immobility and the tendons start to tighten up and put the body in a fetal position.

    Therapy can be used to loosen the limbs. I seriously recommend a therapist showing you how to do this but if that is not something that will happen and would like to know how to do it just message me and I will explain.

    You are doing an awesome job and heres a BIG HUG.!
  9. citybythesea

    citybythesea Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    coast of texas
    a few common signs

    dark urine....not always....could be dehydration....in any case more water is always better (OK, so trying to get them to drink 64 ounces of water a day is like trying to catch the tooth fairy...sometimes it just isn't so)

    lack of urination....most of the time this will be a sign of a problem.....could be dehydration..still always see a medical professional

    burning sensation when peeing...(nneds to be able to tell you)

    there really are not any signs that you as a caretaker can see from the outside that are a good indicator. It'll just take time for you to get to know his body better. I seriously recommend a diary on what his day is like..in the long run it will help you.

    Two more things : smell can be a factor but foods are most likely the culprit and dehydration can cause both a smell in the urine from it being more condensed and dehydration can cause some contracture. I hope all gets better and I do hope and prayer for a little sanity for all of us. I apologize for how I have written this but knowledge is key and really only your doctor will be able to tell you after testing if your patient has a UTI, but it is nice to know a little of what to look for.
  10. lesmisralbles

    lesmisralbles Account Closed

    Nov 23, 2007
    Thankyou, cityby the sea

    Know what to look for now
  11. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland

    Oh Nutty Nan, your experience exactly mirrors mine with John, except that I haven't got him home, he's now in an EMI unit. There's so possibility that he will recover his mobility, and he sleeps almost all the time.

    Prior to the UTI he was physically very fit, with no problems apart from language loss. I know the UTI caused the decline.

    The doctors also failed to pick up his infection for a week. It's such a waste that something so simple can cause such devastation.

    Love and hugs to you.
  12. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Yes a UTI can have a massive effect.

    You can have a UTI with almost no other symptoms. All the nurses and doctors we have ever spoken to, when we say my father has had a bad day, is "do you suspect a UTI?".

    The test is very easy, just a dipstick test in a sample, it will detect the slightest traces of blood or white cells, which indicate an infection.

    I believe that cranberry juice can be helpful in preventing UTI's, apparently it has something in it that helps to prevent bacteria adhering to the bladder wall. Cranberry extract tablets can do the same thing.

    As ever, it;s best to consult with a doctor before starting these things.

    My mum used to get periodic UTI's (she does not have dementia), I know, they are more common in women than men.
  13. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    TP - What an amazing 'club'!!!!
    Immediate response and support. Immediate realisation that there are others 'out there' who understand without lengthy explanations.
    Between us, we could write a pretty good handbook for GPs, SS, CPNs and many other professionals ;)

    Thanks to you all for being there!

    Hazel, how about starting a campaign under the name of AFIRATOUTIs:


    ........ as if the world did not have enough campaigns to cope with!
  14. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Oh Nan, I'm so glad you go in for snappy titles!:D:D:D

  15. scatterbrain

    scatterbrain Registered User

    Jan 10, 2008
    not just UTI's ...

    My Mum scared the living daylights out of me when she came to stay one Christmas. Actually, I had to go and fetch her - a 2 hour drive during which she kept asking me where we were going and whose car we were in. Once we arrived and were sitting in my kitchen drinking coffee she asked me if I lived there and if my mother was still alive: she clearly didn't know who I was. That might sound pretty much par for the course - but she had not been diagnosed with AD then!

    I knew that she had a very heavy cold, and I had persuaded her that she would be happier suffering in our house than alone in hers over Christmas, but I had no idea how confused she was. The rest of the visit was a nightmare: she nearly fell down the stairs at 2am, she fell out of bed several times and I was seriously worried about letting her go back home. However, once the cold cleared up a few days later so did the confusion, or at least quite a lot of it. Mum's doctor said that almost any illness can exacerbate the symptoms of dementia - and I believe it!

    One good thing came out of the whole experience: it spurred me on to do something about Mum and she is now safe and (reasonably) happy in a care home near where we live. Even better, she has not been ill since she moved in there: I don't want to think about how bad she would be now, given that the AD has progressed significantly since that Christmas.
  16. citybythesea

    citybythesea Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    coast of texas
    about that dipstick

    after mom came out of the hospital for "bladder shock" from a stroke I noticed her urine was darker. (Take into account she has a catheter now) I thought oh great another bladder infection ..when the hospital did the "dipstick" no less than 5 times it always came back normal. Still I had them culture it and it grew a staph. bacteria. Mom was on a 14 day regimen of a pill that is not normally prescribed because it was antibiotic resistant. Take into account that she does have a catheter, which is a forign body and with every bowel movment if she is not cleaned up properly infections could happen. Just if you think it might be one it doesn't hurt for them to still culture it to prove someone right or wrong.

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