The immune system weakens with age, which can result in constant urinary tract infections (UTIs). A UTI can spread to the organs and cause permanent damage, which is why it’s so important to catch and treat these infections as quickly as possible. Here are a few ways to help older adults manage UTIs.
1. Increase Hydration
Many people reduce their water intake because of the discomfort while urinating, but this can be a serious mistake. The germs might spread to other parts of the body if they aren’t regularly discharged through urination. Older adults need to consume at least eight full glasses of water per day, but that number should go up if they have a UTI. As a general rule, seniors should continue to drink water until their urine is almost completely clear.
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2. Suggest Emptying the Bladder Regularly
Allowing germs to linger inside the bladder could make the symptoms worse. As soon as your loved one feels the urge to urinate, he or she must visit the restroom. Holding in urine gives the bacteria more time to reproduce and spread. Seniors who have been diagnosed with incontinence or other bladder disorders should attempt to urinate at least once or twice every hour. They must also wash their hands before and after urinating to prevent the germs from spreading.
3. Don’t Serve Sugary Drinks
Drinking plenty of cranberry juice is a great way to minimize the symptoms of a UTI, but seniors need to avoid beverages that contain quite a bit of sugar. When sugar is consumed, the bacteria inside the bladder will be able to feed off of it. Within a short time, a minor UTI can quickly result in a serious bladder infection. Instead of drinking cranberry juice that has added sugar, your loved one might want to take a cranberry juice supplement.
Hiring a professional caregiver is a good way to help an elderly parent manage issues such as UTIs. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Edmonton Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
4. Discourage Baths
Impeccable hygiene habits around the genital area are an absolute necessity during a UTI. Baths are sometimes easier for older adults, but the stagnant water could help the germs spread. Older adults who have a difficult time standing up for long periods might need to take sponge baths or have grab bars installed in the shower. Another great option is to invest in a shower stool that has a comfortable seat and nonslip feet.
5. Provide Plenty of Vitamin C
In addition to boosting the immune system, vitamin C also makes urine more acidic. When urine is acidic, the bacteria won’t be able to reproduce and spread. Colorful fruits often contain large amounts of vitamin C, but they also have plenty of sugar. As an alternative, your loved one can take a high-quality vitamin C supplement that has no sweeteners or additives. Seniors should try to consume around 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day.
UTIs can make it difficult for older adults to manage daily activities. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Edmonton seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To learn about our premier in-home care options, give us a call at (780) 977-7379 today.