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The Link Between Chronic UTIs & Memory Loss

Learn how UTIs present in individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia

 

· Health,UTIs,Prevention,Pixie

Urinary Tract Infections in Older Adults

For adults with memory loss, urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are a silent killer. And because individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s decline in their ability to communicate, they often have trouble identifying and voicing early symptoms of a UTI - a burning sensation, frequent trips to the bathroom, and pain in the lower abdomen, among others. Infections quickly escalate because they are rarely treated at their inception.

In individuals with cognitive decline, UTI symptoms may mimic those of memory loss and old age — increased irritability, delirium, falls, and fainting. Family members, care providers, and the individuals experiencing these effects are often unable to distinguish between markers of a UTI and the challenges that come with dementia or aging. And when symptoms become severe, loved ones and the individual at hand are more likely to attribute these symptoms to a stroke than to a UTI.

Again and again, UTIs go unidentified in older adults, ultimately leading to bladder and kidney infections — at which point hospitalization is required to fight off life-threatening or even irreversible conditions. Because aging gives way to a natural decrease in one’s bacteria-fighting agents, older adults are poorly equipped to deal with infections. For individuals with memory loss, UTIs increase the rate at which the body and its essential functions shut down.

Older adults with dementia are more likely to lose out on taking actionable steps — like increasing hydration — to prevent a UTI from worsening. The first few days of infection are crucial in dealing with a UTI and ultimately dictate whether an individual will have to be admitted to the hospital. Once UTI symptoms become present, it can be difficult for older adults to recover.

Preventing Chronic UTIs

To avoid infection, hydration and changing incontinence undergarments regularly are key. For people with dementia who may not be able to get a clean catch,  Pixie Pads may be a great solution.

Each pad contains a proprietary biosensor to detect signs of infection. Our goal is to help reduce infections and hospital admissions. Pixie Smart Pads will prevent unexpected ER visits, lost hours, and a need for a higher levels of care. In addition, Pixie Pads enable the user to act against UTIs the moment they strike, taking advantage of the early onset period with preventative measures such as increased hydration.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, AARP, Sepsis Alliance, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Center for Biotechnology Information, Pixie Scientific

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