It’s National Bladder Health Month. Your mom has Alzheimer’s, which makes it a critical time to address her bladder health. People with Alzheimer’s often experience UTIs in the middle and late stages, and it can be hard to identify them. How well is your mom doing when it comes to her bladder health?
The Risk of UTI in Alzheimer’s Patients
One study found that four out of five adults with dementia had urinary incontinence. This increases the risk of a UTI. A UTI occurs when bacteria makes it into the urethra, which is more likely if your mom is sitting in damp underwear or not wiping herself properly. Back to front may be easiest for your mom, but it’s also the most likely to lead to a UTI.
Another issue with UTI is that your mom may not remember if she’s had a drink lately. She could go all day without remembering to drink. Even if she gets her own drink, she will forget it’s there and once it’s cold or the ice has melted, she dumps it without having taken a sip or two.
Your mom needs to go to the bathroom, but she doesn’t pay attention to the cues. Or, she gets sidetracked along the way and by the time she actually decides to find the bathroom, she’s already had an accident or has held her urine for so long that she’s creating bladder health issues.
When your mom has a UTI, the signs may not be what you’d expect. The signs of a UTI often include agitation, confusion, and anger. Those are common occurrences in Alzheimer’s, so it’s difficult to differentiate. Eventually, she may experience back or abdominal pain, but again, you may not associate that with a UTI.
You have to start learning to question everything. If your mom is distressed or agitated, assume she has a UTI. Keep test strips on hand and keep a collector pan on the toilet. Ideally, aim for one that your mom will have a hard time removing. When you get a urine sample in the pan, test it out of habit. If you find anything suspicious, call her doctor.
Alzheimer’s Care Services Protect Her
When your mom is having a harder time remembering how to get to the bathroom, when she last had a glass of water, or cleaning herself after using the toilet, it’s time for Alzheimer’s care services.
At this point in time, UTIs become a major risk, and they will quickly go from bad to worse. She may not be able to communicate that she’s not feeling right and is having issues with bladder health. You need an expert who can make sure she’s assisted with toileting and hydration and prevent the UTI from impacting her bladder health.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Alzheimer’s Care in Spokane County, WA please contact the caring staff at Angel Senior Care today at (509) 326-4357.