urinary tract infections


Registered User
Dec 21, 2004
Hi all,

Beginning this past June, I had been on a mission to find out why my mum was complaining about being weak alot of the time, along with frequent falling, and failing memory. I took her to her heart doc (4 month checkup) and questioned him about the statin drugs that have been known to cause muscle weakness. He says "no" she's one the least offensive drug (Pravachol). Then onto the kidney doc who says (after extensive testing) that she has 50% kidney function and is just tired from being old. And then finally to the neurologist who has given the preliminary diagnosis of AD. A follow appt will be scheduled soon to go over the test results.

It was only after a trip to the emergency room at the local hospital because she fell (nothing broken, no fractures) that it was determined that she had a slight urninary tract infection. After antibiotic treatment, she was like her old self again. I couldn't believe it! The ER doc warned me of the noticeable improvement that I would see, and that it would be short lived. That has turned out to be true. What's that all about, I wonder?

My question is: how often does the elderly get urinary tract infections? are they hard to cure? what have your experiences been with them?

I have to admit, I thought for a brief moment that I had found the cure! Antibiotics, who would have thunk it!



Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hello Gladys

Oh Lord, the things I have had to learn during the past 15 years.

Jan would also get urinary infections and I understand that this is partly because of the layout of the female anatomy. [someone will for sure correct me if I am wrong - though it was our doctor who first told me of this]

Because of the close proximity of the Female Bits Down Below, it is less easy for someone who has dementia to ensure that, while they are still able to do their own toileting, they clean up without causing contamination in the area.

Certainly urinary infections do cause major upsets for the person with dementia - upsets in health, capability and behaviour.

It is interesting that there is an improvement after the infection goes, but that it is short-lived. The same is true of head injuries. Jan has in the past suffered a number of nasty bangs to her head during falls. As she recovered from them, she would - for a short while - seem to regain a few faculties, a bit of awareness, before the Fog closed in again.


Dear Gladys, Bruce

Yes it is to do with the location of the female bits and pieces. It is one of the reasons that I have had battles royal with the nursing home over the urinary infections suffered by Mum on several occasions and the reason why I had battles royal with Dad over bathing a very reluctant Mum when she was at home.

I felt embarrassed having to explain to him until one day in frustration blurted out that he had to allow me to know when a woman required to ensure her bits were healthy. That stopped the arguments, with him anyway (gynaecological matters always floor a male of a certain age, I've found) Although she had a seat in the bath I used to ensure that the water reached over the seat and would make a joke of her washing her bits whilst I washed her back - she still had some cognizance then and her dignity was all important.

Prior to the nursing home she fortunately did not suffer any infection, but it was very debilitating for her when she was so ill - couldn't eat, no energy at all, completely out of it.

Of course, the answer is a bidet but I will leave to your imagination the ructions to ensue following an unexpected blast of the water jet! Lends another meaning to 'a rocket up the jacksie'!

Best wishes


Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
Chesca,Bruce and all
you are all so right, it is all about a ladies secret bits,although men can get cystitis etc.
I have no knowledge of what happens with toileting in homes but I do know that even incorrect wiping of botties (the wrong way)can cause problems