Jul 17, 2016

2 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Alzheimer's Care and Urinary Tract Infections

The psychological and emotional devastation that comes from death as a result of an undetected urinary tract infection can be overwhelming.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

The words in the subheading above might seem harsh - but they are intentional.

More than 10 readers of the Alzheimer's Reading Room have written to me about the overwhelming burden that comes with the death of their loved one as a result of an undetected urinary tract infection. It happened again yesterday.

The purpose of this article is clear and intentional - don't let it happen to you.

Every long term Alzheimer's caregiver and dementia professional will tell you one of the most difficult problems we face is the behavior that accompanies a urinary tract infection (UTI).

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Most Alzheimer's patients suffer from silent UTIs. They simply can't tell you they have urinary tract infection. They don't know.

Here are 3 things you need to know and do to prevent the problem from getting out of hand.

1. Is it a Symptom of dementia or a Urinary Tract Infection.

One of two things usually happens when a loved one is suffering from a urinary tract infection. One symptoms is meanness or aggressive meanness. Meaner that usual. This is often a tip that your loved one has a UTI. When in doubt - always think UTI first.

A second type of symptom is exactly the opposite. The person living becomes dull, listless or seems overly confused. If this happens think UTI first.

This did happen to me. One morning my mother woke up and asked - when are we going to go home? I responed - we are home. I then asked her where she though home was - she said the address of a place she had not live in over 25 years - her previous home.

As time progressed she seemed dull and listless, like she was out of it. I was new to caregiving at the time and I remember thinking - is this it? Is she going to fall into the black hole of Alzheimer's. I was completely distraught. I can still feel it right now.

The next day she was burning up with a fever. I took her to the doctor and she did have a UTI. After a day or so of taking the medication she was back to her old self.

How to Get Answers To Your Questions About Alzheimer's and Dementia

2. You Must Become a UTI Detective.

You have to vigilant. You have to be on the job everyday. And, you have to check for a UTI twice every day. This is the only way to insure you won't find yourself in a difficult situation, and maybe even in the hospital emergency room.

I finally figured out how to do this by first establishing my mother's core body temperature. It was not 98.6 like everyone usually thinks. It was 97.8. I learned by doing research that our core body temperature drops as we age.

You cannot rely or the doctor, or the physicians assistant to detect a UTI. They assume all is well of the body temperature is 98.6.

I detected about 15 UTIs in my mom after I learned how to do. I took her to the doctor immediately that day.

Please take the time to read this article.

You can learn everything you need to know by reading from this list of articles.


Alzheimers Dementia Symptoms

Care of dementia patients at home

Memory Care

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR).

You are reading original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room

"All of us in the Alzheimer’s community are fortunate that Bob has taken on this important work. At Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, we encourage people to follow the Alzheimer's Reading Room." 
- Tim Armour
President of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund