UTI, Sepsis and Dementia- What you need to know
“Mom had been acting a bit strange over the past two weeks. But then h she just came unglued. Her anxiety was through the roof! And anger does not begin to describe her mood. It was so unlike her. We just did not know what to do. I forced her to go to the doctor. She didn’t want to go. We both cried the whole way. As it turned out Mom had a raging urinary tract infection and was now septic. I did not know what any of this meant!” ~Clara- 66-year-old daughter of 88-year-old mom.
Clara and her mom were sent to the hospital immediately. Sepsis is a very serious condition which may lead to death.
So How Could Clara and Her Mom Not Know She Had An Infection?
The symptoms of a urinary tract infection are much different in the elderly. Many times, the common symptoms of frequent urination or burning when urinating are not there.
In place of these symptoms an elderly person with a urinary tract infection (UTI) will have drastic changes in mood or behavior. Someone who is already diagnosed with dementia will get much worse. And someone without dementia may behave like someone with dementia. It can be very confusing for families.
Good Rule of Thumb
A sudden onset of any symptoms warrants a trip to the doctor. Whether the symptoms are physical or mental makes no difference. If someone suddenly starts behaving differently it need to be checked out.
And Now It Has Become Sepsis
“If sepsis progresses to septic shock, blood pressure drops dramatically. This may lead to death.” ~ Mayo Clinic
Because the infection had been untreated for several weeks the situation became worse. While sepsis can happen to anyone it is most dangerous in
People who have chronic conditions, such as diabetes, kidney or lung disease, or cancer
People who have weakened immune systems
Luckily Clara insisted that her mother go to the doctor. Sometimes it’s not easy to do the right thing.
At Light Heart Memory Care our caregivers make special note of any changes in our residents. With a small home and only 8 residents we are able to keep a close eye. Doctors and Nurse Practioners visit our home. As such they can order tests to check for common infections like a UTI.
Call_281-282-0770 to schedule a tour of Light Heart Memory Care. And remember to have a light heart. Everything is going to be okay.
In honor of our founder Pat Mack we are carrying on the tradition of caring for our residents in "The Light Heart Way"
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Email her today for more information.
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