Noticing and acting on urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms at the earliest possible stage can help improve health outcomes for older people.
Not only does this ensure that treatment can be given to prevent further development of the infection, it can shield older people from more severe symptoms and prevent unnecessary hospital visits.
What is the link between age and urinary tract infection symptoms?
The correlation between age and urinary tract infection rates is well-established.
Older people - especially women - have a significantly higher risk of contracting a urinary tract infection than their younger counterparts.
However, age isn't the only factor that increases urinary tract infection risk. Poor hygiene and the following conditions/treatments can also make infection more likely:
- Kidney stones
- Weakened immune system
- Enlarged prostate
Not only are older people more susceptible, urinary tract infection symptoms can be much more severe among the over 60s.
Confusion, delirium, agitation and restlessness are all very real possibilities, leading to the condition being attributed to dementia or other cognitive conditions in many instances.
Urinary tract infections are also among the leading causes of hospital admission for this age group. This is likely to be a stressful experience and increases the risk of developing a secondary condition.
What urinary tract infection symptoms do I need to watch out for?
These are the urinary tract infection symptoms you should act on if you notice them in an older loved one:
- Uncomfortable, hot sensation when passing water
- Sudden or frequent urge to urinate
- Cloudy, pungent, discoloured or blood-filled urine (especially in unusually low volumes)
- Stinging pain in the lower back or abdomen
- Lethargy, shakes/chills or fever (potentially indicating the infection has reached the kidneys)
Therefore, if you've noticed any of these symptoms, or a loved one has reported them, ask to speak to a relevant healthcare professional.
What is The Good Care Group doing to reduce risks associated with urinary tract infections?
At The Good Care Group, we're all too aware of the detrimental effect urinary tract infections can have on older people.
However, healthcare professionals can treat such infections much more easily if caught early, while carers can help prevent them altogether by improving hygiene-related practices.
We're in the process of developing innovative new care practices to help reduce risks among older people to an absolute minimum. Initial trial results have surpassed all our expectations.
We've issued all our carers with urinary tract infection testing kits and trained them on effective usage. These testing kits don't diagnose the condition, but they do provide a clear indication of whether the condition is likely to be present.
Regular testing enables doctors to commence treatment at the earliest possible stage. This prevents the condition from developing further, and significantly reduces the likelihood of hospital admission.
After launching this project, we saw an immediate increase in the number of UTIs reported, combined with a dramatic reduction in hospital admissions caused by UTIs.
Such results indicate that implementing these steps has made The Good Care Group adept at identifying infections sooner. This enables us to initiate effective treatment at home, avoiding escalation of the condition and stressful, unnecessary hospital admissions.
Find out how The Good Care Group's innovative approach to UTI detection and management can help reduce risks and improve outcomes in older people. Speak with our friendly team.