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New member
Nov 15, 2018
Just thought I would post here to see if anyone has any thoughts or similar experiences.

To start with my 93 year old Mum lives with my wife and I. She has worsening dementia and is doubly incontinent, though more often than not she manages to have a poo when on the toilet which is some relief.

She suffers from recurrent UTI's. At least we think they are UTI's! Its been impossible to check because whenever we have sent a sample for testing it comes back as contaminated. We've worked through various antibiotics and is currently taking a daily low dose. Not really sure if it helps or not because she still gets UTI's, but I'm starting to wonder if that's what they really are.

Our measures for thinking she has a UTI are as follows:
  1. Increased confusion - but that's a tricky one with dementia. For example she can still be doing jigsaws reasonably well when in other areas she's clearly below par.
  2. Flushed appearance - but not always.
  3. Cloudy urine - but not always, in fact quite often not.
  4. Decline in mobility - this is always the case. There is always a massive decline in this area. She even struggles to stand up using her frame or when leaning on a stool in the toilet (I won't go into further detail). In fact on more than one occasion we have requested UTI antibiotics based purely on this decline in mobility - because they help.
So I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts or experience as to whether it could be something other that a UTI that affects her mobility and responds to antibiotics?

Thanks for any thoughts.


Registered User
Jan 4, 2018
I recently had this with mu mum, including the flushed appearance though hadnt really thought much about it till your post, I noticed it more while she was asleep and it was a darker redness around her nose and mouth.
The rest if it I do relate to, including samples tested, and coming back as no infection although antibiotics had already been given as a precaution and really do seemed to help.
Sorry not to be more help, it baffled me ( and an experienced carer too)
We ensure liquids are given frequently including cranberry juice although no medical evidence that it actually works but I think it cant hurt either so old wives tale or not, I am happy to go with it.
Mum takes paracetamol pretty much daily as she seems to have ached and pains and due to her lack of communication at times we feel its easier to err on the side of caution in case she is feeling pain and hasnt got the capacity to know or explain it to us ( usually given at bed time)
When she is like this she displays all the signs of a UTI ( or cystitis, although again, nothing showed in tests) and is up to the toilet multiple times before she finally settles, then seems to be fine and will then go hours without seeming have the urge to go, when in the previous hour the urge was all consuming
I will watch this thread with interest.


Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
North Manchester
we have sent a sample for testing it comes back as contaminated.
Contaminated as oppose to 'no infection' needs sorting out.
Without a result you have nothing to go on.

I had a few years of regularly submitting samples for my wife, first by normal method (preferably early morning mid stream), followed by more devious methods such as clingfilm and a container in the toilet, and finally by squeezing out pads (search child UTI for special ones that IMHO are not worth it) and I never had a 'contaminated' result.

Check with GP or district nurse how you are obtaining the samples.


Registered User
May 12, 2017
Uti's have been the bane of my mums life since having dementia. In the early stages the first signs were usually an increased need to go to the loo plus a tendency to be unable to hold her urine (before she became incontinent). I used to ring the docs & be issued with antibiotics prior to getting a sample for testing. The tests did sometimes come back negative despite all the signs but the antibiotics did the job in getting rid of the symptoms. I was told by a doc or nurse that a follow up sample a few days after completing the course should always be obtained to ensure the infection had gone otherwise it would recurr again after about a week. Because of the frequency of these uti's mum was put on a maintenance dose which stopped them for 6 months but they gradually returned as resistance had built up even though they were changed. Now mum is in care, doubly incontinent & getting uti's very regularily still, the same problem still occurs in that sometimes the tests come back negative but a week later are positive. The new docs that attend the care home will not prescribe antibiotics until a positive result so mum seems to have signs of uti nearly all the time. She does look a bit flushed but also very sleepy,they are the more obvious signs that present themselves now that she is immobile & in late stages of dementia. I have this constant fear that mum will get urosepsis as her uti's appear resistent to most of the antibiotics she is prescribed. Her latest one is a penicillin type which seemed to work a few months ago but the infection is now recurring more frequently. The carehome staff use a Newcastle pad (?) to get a sample nowadays.