Key symptoms of a urinary tract infection
If you have a parent in long-term care or possibly approaching that stage in life, you will have many concerns as a caregiver. You will need to do your best to make sure he or she has adequate care in a facility that looks after medical concerns.
Familiarity with one common condition in the elderly can help prepare you to meet the challenge.
Why a urinary tract infection is so serious
The Cleveland Clinic cautions that a UTI has the potential to cause confusion, hospitalization and death in the elderly. This is especially true if your parent or loved one is frail. The presence of frequent UTIs could also indicate an underlying problem, such as a bladder obstruction in men.
It is important that you understand the symptoms of a UTI. While confusion is often present in a patient, especially in the latter stages of infection, other signs are also likely to appear:
- A fever over 100 degrees
- Pain with urination
- Frequent urination
- Tenderness in the lower abdomen
A quality long-term care facility should recognize these symptoms quickly. Once discovered, your parent must receive fast and appropriate treatment.
How to treat UTIs
In most cases, a doctor might prescribe a narrow-spectrum antibiotic for your elderly parent. Doctors commonly prescribe amoxicillin. This is less likely to cause side effects or antibiotic resistance than a broad-spectrum drug. Medical staff should also consider the medications your parent takes regularly.
Proper care and treatment for a common condition for your elderly parent show that a company understands its responsibilities to residents. You have a right to expect a reasonable level of care in an assisted living environment. Failure to properly treat a UTI could indicate a pattern of nursing home neglect.