Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) can be a serious problem for the elderly in nursing homes. Those afflicted with UTIs can have delusions, dementia-like symptoms, and will feel the urge to urinate all the time. This can be a recipe for disaster for a person that requires help to get to the bathroom. Many serious and fatal falls occur because residents with UTIs will constantly feel like they need to get to the bathroom, forget to use the call bell, and will get up on their own.
Additionally, if UTIs are not treated they can lead to sepsis and death.
One of the historically typical and easiest solutions to avoid UTIs was to just drink cranberry juice. Unfortunately, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and reported by KFOR places this common wisdom into doubt.
Although drinking cranberry juice was not discouraged, the study showed taking cranberry capsules (pills with cranberry extract) had a “limited potential effect.”
Families know their loved ones best, and many times it is families that diagnose UTIs and not a facility. Watch for signs of increased urination, delusions or odd behavior, fever, or general lethargy. With quick treatment, most UTIs clear up, but if they go untreated they can be lethal.