Portland, Oregon
1225 NW Murray Rd, Ste 101, Portland, OR 97229
(503) 643-2010
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UTIs Can Cause Behavioral Changes in Older Adults

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care in Portland, Oregon.

UTI In Older Adults Could Cause Negative Behavior Change

Did you know that a UTI, or urinary tract infection, may explain a sudden behavioral shift in older adults? Many adults, especially over the age of 85, can have dementia or Alzheimer’s to some degree. This can change the personality and cognitive abilities while making the job of caring for them even more challenging. 

There are many good techniques that can help a family member or caregiver manage challenging behaviors. However, a sudden shift in mood, confusion, or irritability in older adults can be indicative of other problems, such as a UTI. 

Your Comfort Keepers caregiver is trained to notice these changes and respond accordingly with ways to calm our patient while working with the appropriate medical provider to resolve the underlying issue. 

Signs An Older Adult Might Have A UTI:

Normally, a UTI is accompanied by the frequent need to urinate, a painful burning sensation when urinating, as well as unusual odor or color to the urine. There can also be a fever. But these symptoms can be completely missing in older adults, especially those with dementia, who also have difficulty expressing or articulating how they feel. You may notice a marked increase in anxiety or confusion, irritability, and frustration; all signs that they may be suffering from a UTI. 

In addition to the physical symptoms of a UTI, here are common psychological symptoms in older adults that take the form of a sudden increase in certain behaviors, or change in mental status.

Common Psychological Symptoms in Older Adults Suffering From A UTI:

  • Confusion
  • Memory Loss
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Lethargy and increased sleepiness
  • Hallucinations or Delusions
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Violent Behavior or Yelling
  • Changing levels of consciousness (difficulty waking a senior is considered a medical emergency)

The medical community is not sure why UTIs cause confusion and behavioral changes in older people. But in patients with dementia there is already a diminished ability to think clearly which can lead to challenging behavioral shifts.  

What To Do If Your Older Loved One Has A UTI:

Seek help from a medical professional if you suspect that your senior’s uncharacteristic confusion or mood change could be from a UTI.