Posted on December 7, 2011 - by Nurse Virginia
In the past when an elderly person experienced changes in behavior or increased confusion, the health care community collectively thought that this was normal; after all you’re getting old. How many times has a doctor said to a family member “What do you expect at his age, he’s getting old.”
Addressing the behavior or the increased confusion was the focus, not the underlying physical change in condition. Identifying that physical or pathological change will require the persistence to search for a cause and the ability to clearly communicate your findings.
Signs of a urinary tract infection:
- Going to the bathroom more frequently
- Complaining of a burning sensation on urination
- Increased temperature
- Bladder or kidney pain
- Blood or pus in the urine
- Concentrated, dark/cloudy urine
- Rambling talk, disorganized thinking
- Unstable emotions
- Increased problems with judgment or thinking
The elderly with dementia are more likely to be hospitalized for a fracture, lower respiratory infection, urinary infection or a head injury than an elder without dementia. Once admitted, the elder with dementia will usually remain in the hospital twice as long an elder without dementia. The elder with dementia will also be more likely to be re-admitted within 90 days after discharge than an elder without dementia.
Virginia Garberding R.N.
Director of Education, The Wealshire, Lincolnshire, Illinois
Author: Please Get To Know Me – Aging with Dignity and Relevance
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