With the long-anticipated summer knocking at the door, it’s good to be aware of some of the not-so-friendly things that can arise. While mosquitoes might come to mind, let’s discuss another aggravating issue: UTIs. Did you know there are more UTIs in the summer? Heat, dehydration, or waiting too long to use the bathroom can wreak havoc!
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, involve the bladder, kidneys, ureter, or urethra. Bacteria tend to be the root cause of these infections, which are so prevalent that they happen over 400 million times annually worldwide! While many of us might know the typical UTI symptoms, they may differ for seniors, making them difficult to detect.
Technology + Healthcare = Aspire Clinical Intelligence
Symptoms of UTI in Seniors
- Changes in behavior
- Cloudy, dark-colored, or blood-tinged urine with an odor
- Loss of balance/falls
- Decreased appetite
When UTIs strike, our senior loved ones may not act like themselves. While they may not immediately complain about pain, they might still seem off. It’s important to advocate on their behalf if they cannot tell us what’s wrong. If you suspect a UTI in your loved one or if they have a history of recurrent UTIs, contact their healthcare professional as soon as possible. Early treatment of a UTI may prevent complications, which can include a worsening infection, an infection that spreads to the kidneys, kidney damage, or sepsis, which can lead to death if untreated.
Increased Risks of a UTI
- Poor hygiene
- Being an older female
- Having an enlarged prostate
- Kidney stones
- Catheter use
- Weakened immune system
- Hand washing
- Cleaning up after toileting
- Wear clean, dry clothing
- Avoid waiting long periods to use the restroom
- Eat a diet that helps you avoid constipation
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Remain active
- Limit alcohol and caffeine
- Avoid smoking
The recidivism rate of a UTI is higher for women—the National Library of Medicine tells us that 80% of UTIs diagnosed in women are a reoccurrence. As people become afflicted with UTIs and are treated with antibiotics, those UTIs can become increasingly more challenging to treat, as the antibiotics can become resistant. A strict plan of care prescribed by a medical doctor can help immensely in learning how to reduce the risks of recurrence.
Tech to the Rescue
While technology cannot prevent a UTI, software programs can help. Aspire Clinical Intelligence created the Dynamic Health Record as a proactive way for nurses to help residents in senior living. This software can be used to red-flag patients at risk for common health conditions based on their medical history. If a patient is at risk, interventions like doctor visits, care plan changes, and prescriptions can be suggested to help alleviate and prevent issues like UTIs. Aspire’s technology is like having an extra set of eyes on each resident, which can help them enjoy their retirement years.
If you’re interested in how Aspire Clinical Intelligence can bring efficiency to your senior living community, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.