Prevention of urinary tract infections in older adults

Health Description
Health Consultation Description: How can urinary tract infections in older adults be prevented?

Expert Reply

Condition analysis:
Since urinary tract infections (UTIs) in older adults are usually caused by urine that sits longer than normal in the bladder, improving the drainage of the bladder can help reduce incidences of UTIs.

Some specific ways to avoid a UTI:

-- Ask a doctor about medications. Especially in men, some medications can improve one's ability to urinate effectively. Men with prostate problems are most prone to having difficulty emptying their bladders properly, which sets them up for UTIs.

-- Promptly clean up an incontinent person and take steps to minimize incontinence. For example, try bladder training. Incontinent people are at increased risk for UTI.

-- Consider catheterization -- carefully. Some people may need to start regularly draining the bladder by inserting a catheter several times daily. This provides continuous bladder drainage. Note: These so-called indwelling catheters (often used during hospital stays) also allow bacteria to have much easier access to the bladder. Minimizing use of indwelling catheters is less convenient for hospital staff, but it has been proven to reduce hospital UTIs. When a loved one is hospitalized and has an indwelling catheter, family can help prevent UTIs by reminding hospital staff to remove the catheter if at all possible.

Avoid Anything That Irritates Your Liver: Alcoholic drinks, caffeine, cigarettes, Coke or carbonated drinks, spicy food and sugar all cause harm to your liver and make it malfunction, which significantly affects the urinary tract in a bad way, and especially the bladder. It is recommended that patients use vegetative cooking oil and eating highly-concentrated carbohydrate food (i.e. bread, rice, etc.), and if possible, vegetarian food.

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 Key words:  Urinary tract infection

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