Can UTIs Cause Behavioral Changes?

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Can UTIs Cause Behavioral Changes?

behavioral changes in elderly

Can a UTI cause behavioral changes?

Can UTIs cause behavioral changes?

If your elderly loved one has struggled with a urinary tract infection (UTI) then you know that even with all the modern treatments, UTIs can be stubborn and difficult to treat. In adults with dementia, UTIs can also cause behavioral changes in addition or sometimes, instead of the regular symptoms.

How should you deal with this as a caregiver?  In this post, we will go over how you can identify behavioral changes due to a UTI and what you can do about it.

But first, it’s important to know which symptoms are associated with a UTI.

  1. An urgent need to urinate
  2. A burning sensation during urination
  3. Pain in the pelvis
  4. Fever/high temperature
  5. Chills
  6. Urine that has a cloudy or unusual color
  7. Sometimes, urine will have a bad smell – When a person first passes urine, it is usually odorless. Thus fresh urine that has a bad or strong odor can point to an infection.
  8. Nausea
  9. Vomiting
  10. Blood in the urine

If you notice any of these symptoms, chances are that an infection is present.  It’s best to consult with you or your loved one’s doctor in this case. Not doing this could lead to the spread of the infection which complicates matters.

UTIs and behavioral changes

While this is not a “usual” symptom, in older adults with dementia or who are risk for it, may experience behavioral changes with a UTI.

These changes include:

  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Withdrawing from company they usually enjoy
  • Falling down
  • Hallucinations
  • You may also notice that your loved one is unusually hyperactive

If your loved one is typically not like this and you notice that this has happened for more than 24 hours, it is a cause for concern.  Get to an emergency room immediately.

What you can do to help

When it comes to UTIs and behavioral changes, quick action is the key to reversing the changes as well as treating the infection.

To take it a step further, it is helpful if you can recognize a UTI during the very early stages of infection.

You can do that with our Pixie Smart Pads which detect infections very early on so your loved one can receive the treatment they need.


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