Oct 212011

As someone who works for the Alzheimer’s Association with support programs for caregivers, I decided to do a little research today on our Message Boards, where Alzheimer’s caregivers are able to communicate with each other about their concerns and get information and support from peers. For those who have been providing care to someone with Alzheimer’s disease for some time, the result will come as no surprise, but for those who are newer to caregiving, you can turn up a result that may make you curious.

If you go onto our message boards and search the Caregivers Forum with key words, you can pull about 30,000 posts containing the word “Alzheimer’s”, 14,000 that include the word “brain” and 10,000 that contain the word “neurologist.” No big surprises there, but here is the one that may surprise the newer caregivers: If you type in “UTI”, you will pull over 8,000 posts that are on 410 pages of our message boards.

UTIs, or urinary tract infections, can cause changes in someone with Alzheimer’s disease that you might never expect. The impact can be really profound. Some of the titles of the message board threads in which UTIs are mentioned tell the story well, including “Sudden decline,” “Yelling out and undressing in public” and “Manic episodes… WOW!”

Here is a sampling of some of the posts on the topic:

  • “For me, falling and hallucinations always mean check for UTI”
  • “Our compromised elders, especially females often develop, “silent” urinary tract infections. These UTIs are called “silent” because they usually have no symptoms of pain, no burning, no odor, no frequency, etc. BUT there will often be profound changes in behaviors.”
  • “UTI, UTI, UTI, UTI, UTI! When my mother has a UTI she sleeps all day. We can’t get her out of bed, she will also stop eating. Have the doctor check her for a UTI. “
  • “UTI and dehydration!!!!! I’ve never been so happy to get that kind of diagnosis. They have her on IV antibiotics. The interesting thing was that her urine was clear and they were pretty sure she didn’t have a UTI. Luckily the testing came back positive.”
  • “With my aunt, I could always diagnose the UTI because she started acting crazier than her current norm. (When she picked up a glass of water and threw the water over her shoulder, I called it right away —UTI.)”

When UTIs are wreaking havoc with the family members of our Alzheimer’s caregivers, we sometimes see threads in which the caregivers are in a state of panic about the symptoms. And for good reason — the symptoms are powerful and can actually mimic the end of life for some people. These caregivers are used to a slow disease progression, and the UTI with no overt symptoms can make everyone involved act in ways that reflect their feeling that this situation is a life-threatening emergency. The good news is that, while the UTI does need to be treated right away, this is for the comfort of the patient and the family. UTIs do not cause permanent damage, and they respond quickly and successfully to treatment. And best of all, once the infection clears, the person returns back to their condition prior to the UTI.

That’s when the message board posts show caregivers breathing a deep sigh of relief and thanking their peers in the online community for their caring support — and for tipping them off to one of the oddest but most treatable components of Alzheimer’s disease.

Learn More

Today’s guest post comes from Ellen Carbonell, LCSW, Associate Director, Family Programs for the Alzheimer’s Association’s national office.  Ellen is responsible for developing and producing dementia-related family programs for chapter implementation nationwide, and oversees the caregiver and early-stage support group programs. Trained as a clinical social worker, she has over 30 years of experience working with individual and family programs in mental health, vocational, educational, clergy and voluntary health care settings.

  208 Responses to “Sudden Change in Behavior? Urinary Tract Infection Could Be the Cause”

  1. This is a very informative article because UTI as a part of having Alzheimer’s is very new to me. I’ll definitely share this to other people. Thanks for posting this and more power to your website.

    • This is the greatest sign of a UTI. My mom has now suffered with the disease for over 7 years. My Mom has been battling reoccuring UTI's now for about a year. The symptoms are so eay to spot these days. Her normal behavior is very sweet and kind and passive. When the infection begins she becomes restless, aggitated, and combative. This past December it all started again. The nursing home did not test her and stay on top of what we believed to be symptoms. They decided to give her stronger meds to passify her. Th meds hid the Uti symptoms of aggitation and combativeness until the infection had increased. She spent 6 weeks in the hospital. It was touch and go with ecoli bacteria and Uti and pneumonia. She declined rapidly and has not been able to walk or eat properly since. She had been doing better until the last 2 weeks. The rage and aggitation is back and we are again treating for UTI. Be aware of personality changes and alwasy listen to your gut feeling on what is wrong. Those closest person to the patient can always recognize a problem.

      • How do you get the doctors to do the right tests when symptoms of uti or other infection are present due to behavior changes? I have worked in nursing homes before and would rather die myself than place my husband in one. The ones in our area are not the best. He has lthc but this doesn't help much at all!

  2. I was my Mother's only caregiving for 14 years. She just past away two months ago. It was the hardest job i ever had. Some times i would have help. But unfortunately there were so many times that my Mom didn't want any one to touch her. I am very grateful that i was able to do it. Until it was not safe at the house for her . Unfortunately i had to place my Mom in a Nursing Home. That almost killed me. Whom ever is reading this just know that your not alone. I know how hard it can be. I would cry myself to sleep every night. I give anything for just one more day with my Mom. I loved taking care of her. It was my way of giving back to her for all the she gave to me when i had cancer.

    • I just recently placed my mom in a nursing home. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I dont get much sleep worring about her. I go c her everyday and actually I recently got a job working there. Her behavior has changed. She has started throwing things, trying to pull the tablecloths off the table and seems very angry about something. Im worried about her behavior.

    • i took care of my mom until she fell and broken her hip about a year ago and on top of that she had a stroke and was put in a rehab and she started to go down hill come to find out she had alzheimer's and now is in a nursing home and it just hurts me to see her like and can't do anything for her. i love my mom very much.

    • My God bless you. I am having the same problem with my Mother.

    • My dad is 69, and it kills us to see him like this. He only allowed me to help him bathe … but know he is very difficult. And we feight (mom, brother, sister) alot amongst each other. This is such an unfair disease. I cry most of the times when nobody sees or hears me. Trying to stay strong and positive. Tring to keep the peace even though I also explode sometimes. It is bad enough that they forget who you are why all this other baggeus, I dont understand and ask so many times why.

    • Thank you for your post. My mom was fine a month ago, developed a UTI, and life has changed completely.
      I'm the youngest of 3 and trying desperately to do this right. I'm the one who's close by, so I live with her while my husband works out of town.
      I'm trying to not be resentful, scared, sad, lonely for "my mom" and paralyzed by feelings of inadequacy.
      Reading this, makes me know I'm not alone.
      I'm sorry for those of you who have suffered the losses of your loved ones, either figuratively or literally.
      Bless you.

    • IM going through this with my Dad, I am so hoping he has just a UTI which will clear up and he will be back to his normal grumpy self again. very scared at this time especially as I live in Wales and he is London with no other family to help.

      Your email made me cry.
      Kim in Cardiff.

    • I understand. I have been taking care of my dad and had to put him first in Assisted Living, then Nursing home. He is in late stage Alzheimer's and since January has had UTI infections quite frequent. I have had to battle with the nursing home in getting him tested in those times he changed. They would tell me that he did not meet the criteria. I would name them off in what I saw as I would talk with him 6-7 times a day and in to see him every other. Each time I was right. However, this time the UTI and Congestion are different. He has been on meds for over a week now and I have not seen a change that is good. Losing weight, sleeping more, confused and can not carry on a conversation with him. I feel in my heart this is getting close to the end. My father was there for me ALL of my life and watching him deteriorate is so hard. I cry get upset inside and try to deal with this sad disease. I am on the verge of crying as I type because of the pain I feel for him and there is nothing I can do but watch.

      • i am taking care of my mom today. My husband, son and duaghter all take turns in helping my mom when i am at work. Its very hard. I cry and cry. Sometimes my family don't understand and they try to comfort me by saying its okay… grandma is doing fine. I cry when i think this lady in front of me is not my mom. She has been taken away from me. I cry because i feel very guilty of not giving her what she needs; feel guilty that i can't give her enough help. My mom was a very active person and she was her family matriarch. To be honest, i feel guilty of having to speed up this horrible disease — one has to think that she will be in peace after. I love my mom and will give her all the help if i have the ability to give her. I wanna give her the best care before her life ends.

  3. My mother who passed away from the disease 3 weeks ago, suffered from a UTI that placed her on the quick road to her death. All of the signs mentioned above were seen: fever, not eating, sleeping all day, and yelling out. It was the catalyst that led to her visit into Hospice and a 6 week downturn. Thank you for alerting others to this infection so they too may look for the silent signs.

    • Dear Ellen, I am so sorry for your loss, my mom passed away 3months ago monday. She had a UTI, but the nursing home said that it as a combination of end stage Dementia to send her to a Hospice facility, she hung on for 12 days without food or water comfort measures only, this nearly killed me and if may very well still. Unfortunatley we do everyting that we can, I used to be at the Nursing Home everyday, when they told me she was at end stage I feel like I lost all control, we can only do the best we can, I know it doesnt lessen the pain we feel, but knowing that others are going through it with us helps a little. This country definatley needs better Nursing Home Care

      • So sorry about your loss Diane. My mom has Alzheimers also, and we fight UTI's it seems monthly or more. This really does a number on her mental status. The last few weeks have been hell for her and me. I'm her full time caretaker. Your absolutley right about the Nursing Homes in this world. SOme of them are shameful, and I wouldn't put any family member in. I know she gets taken care of at home by me. I just wish other family members would pitch in and help out in some way.I pray that there is a cure for this horrible disease real soon. It's pathetic to have to go through. Keep your head held high knowing you did the best for your mom! God Bless!!

  4. My husband who has been diagnosed with Dementia had an episode where he couldn't satisfy his thirst.. He would drink water or tea and showed little interest in food. Suddenly, I noticed his gait was off, he walked rigid and unbalanced and appeared confused and totally disoriented. Strokes run in his family and I immediately thought he was having a stroke. I rushed him to Emergency and found out that he had depleted the sodium in his body. After a saline IV, we returned home and find myself monitoring his fluid intake more closely. After reading about UTI's I'm concerned I may be over reacting and cause him to have a UTI.

    • No, Joyce..you did not over react. My mother gets the every 2-5 weeks…she is in the hospital at least 2 times a month with them. The doc is now saying that because she has had so many, so frequently that he recommends not treating them anymore and has given her 6-8 weeks to live. It's awful to watch her when she has them…suddenly she doesn't recognize anyone ( she usually recognizes everyone) She has had alz. for 5 years. She had congestive heart failure, one kidney is failing, a pubic cath, and has have been having mini-strokes and 2 hear tattacks in 2 years. I am her main caretaker ( she lives at home) and I feel if I do not have her next UTI and I don't have it treated, I will be killing her…not a good place to be…..

  5. I am acaregiver for more that 10 years and, therefore I am always on the lokout for UTIs
    Understanding preventative measures will save caregivers the stress and patients the pain and worry of this infection
    Preventative Care:
    I usually pay attention to my femails' bathroom care habbits i.e. (daily showers or washes of appropriate areas using the carrect soaps)
    Consistent fluid intake / outputs as well as a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, outdoor activities as tolerable
    It realy helps to practise preventative measures………..
    Andria Harris
    Dementia Care Living

  6. I was wondering if a UTI could cause sudden “sexual” interest in a female patient. My Mother has suddenly started talking about sex and wanting to “sleep” with her husband and why can’t she? She seems to think that everyone around her is having sex and she isn’t. Is this just a symptom of the disease or should I ask the “home” to check her for a UTI?

  7. i lost mother in '09. These symptoms were there.I needed this help the last 10 yrs of her life. God Bless all of you. I didn't know what to make of her behavior and the doctors were no help at all. Her care was so stressful that I developed high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. I had osteoarthritis so badly that I couldn't lift her.I felt as if I would die. Lifelong promise was I would never put her in a home.. She seemed to hate me before and was so happy to see me afterwards that whenever she wanted to go home with me, I would tell her that "I would rather be loved".
    Putting her there nearly killed me. Homes were no relief because they would not care for her properly. I spent those last years unable to sleep for having to find new places and move mother so many times. I wound up with 5 tubes in my heart. Inspite of LTHC, my greatest fears are being confined to a wheelchair or having a stroke that results in my daughter putting me in a home when I am unable to communicate my needs or pain to anyone and am forced to suffer in silence.

    • My heart goes out to you Miriam, and I can't imagine how you dealt with this for 10 YEARS. I am on Year 2 with my mom first developing this disease, and now it is my dad. I do think he has a UTI because suddenly he is sleeping all day, moving around restlessly at night and being extremely combative and verbally abusive to my husband and I. For us it's not as simple as it was for you either; putting him in LTHC won't work as we (husband, daughter & I) lost our home and live with him; mom is in LTHC and if he were to go into LTHC we would be in a shelter. I couldn't bear that. I wish I could have known you sooner while your were suffering so with your mom alive so I could have offered you some support and comfort. As you found, there is extremely little from family or friends. Bless you, and feel free to write back to me.

  8. “Sudden decline,” “Yelling out and undressing in public” and “Manic episodes… WOW!”. That is exactly what happen this weekend. I am so lucky to have found this posting. Thought it was the begin of the end. Took mom to ER and yes UTI it was. Can't believe that can happen. Thank you and pass this on to other caregivers.

  9. my mother got diagnosed 10/2011. My did not realize that UTI was apparently a common occurrance. She did not even know she had the UTI. I also was never told by the neurologist who made the diagnosis and placed her on 2 medications for the alzheimers, that there was a scale of 1-7 and never told me what the scale really meant. In October of 2011 he had already placed her at a level 5 but I was unaware of this information. I just recently moved her to assisted living faciity from an independent senior apt. I try to be totally aware of all her care, meds, treatment, etc. so that I can make sure she gets the best care possible. She has so other many medical conditions that the first thing I remember the social worker in the neurologist office said that he was really surprised she was still alive and that the other medical conditions, i.e congestive heart failure, carotid artery disease(almost 100% on both side, uterine cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, renal insufficiency, etc. would probably kill her long before the alzheimers will. We see the neurologist in just a few weeks for her follow up visit and I am going to point out to the physician that it would have been nice to know that information.

  10. I figured this out right away with the UI. Everyone thought I was just making it up. I noticed her physical appearance along with certain behaivor or phrases. I’m new at this. I’m trying to understand as quickly as possible and be correct. Its hard when I don’t have that confirmation. Thank you

  11. Been trying to get my husband's doctor and family to see what I discovered once I was home everyday for 3 years in retirement. . We are talking about a man w/4 degrees. So hard to make a doctor see what I see in a 20 min. appointment. After taking the online test after Church today. I made a list of 34 issues that Fred is doing I realize he is in stage 5. Thank you for your comments. Fred's been wearing depends since the second week in Jan 2012. This is the first time I have seen anything about UTI infections. We will be talking to the doctor tomorrow morning!!! Thank you one and all. Ruth

  12. Very interesting…my Dad was recently diagnosed with a UTI…I definitely have to share this article with my Mother!

  13. My khusband has been wearing Depends for about a year. Five years ago he had his prostate removed because of cancer. I thought the leaking was due to that surgery…..he also had bladder cancer and surgery. Do you think his leaking could be from UTI? He has alzheimers and many other problems to take meds for. Char

  14. My Mom has suffered uti's in the past but now that she is in her latter stages of the disease it is harder to detect. She has been the hospital twice this year. She just got out a few days ago after almost 3 weeks. the infection will spread into the blood if unnoticed for to long. These infections are noticable when the are still mobile because they won't get up or become lifeless. It is harder when they stop walking or talking. Just look for fever and lack of appetite.

  15. January, 2011, my mother – seven years battling Alzheimer's – was diagnosed with a UTI one and a half years after moving in the nursing home. She had not spoken a word in four years and was confined to a wheelchair. After the UTI diagnosis, she continued trying to get out unit doors never making it outside the building, but the staff repeatedly called me regarding her 180 degree behavior. I looked up UTI and Alzheimer's and 'tried' to explain the UTI was the cause of her behavior. I'm the yougest daughter and was sole, legal guardian and caregiver. Finally, I was called into a meeting with the Assistant Director of Nursing and Social Worker and was told – my mom had to be moved out! I was shocked and devastated. The move was profoundly traumatic and she stopped eating/drinking in the next and last facility. A month later, I had no choice than to call in Hospice and my mom passed 3 wks later. The nursing home wanted the money (rent) for her room space, but not the problems!! Their incompetence, attitude and sheer stupidity — and total lack of compassion is simply appalling!!! It's been a year since my mom passed, but the memory of the meeting and move stays with me.

    • Nancy and Barb
      I completely understand ,somehow, we are caught off guard, what is happening “Sudden decline,” “Yelling out and undressing” and “Manic episodes
      Nancy, the exact same thing happened, exact, I was called in to a meeting with the assistant nursing director of the Nursing Home find another place for her, she was sent to a Hospice Hospital, was this really the end, I had no idea, I felt like I was spinning in circles. My mother had a UTI and had only been on antibiotic crushed in Apple Sauce, but most of the time she had started refusing her medication, so obviously, not enough got in her to cure the UTI, she had also had a Bowel Empactment , behavior, saying pain in French, underessing and clawing at her stomach, saying take it out, get it out. .
      I hate to think of putting my mom in hospice no food or water becuase she had to be heavily sedated and also quite a bit of morpheine, my mom was 93 and very fraile, but she held out hope, she passed on the 12th day in Hospice, I just cant come to terms with the fact that maybe she would still be here

      • So sorry about your loss Diane. My heart aches for you. I'm currently caring full time for my mom with ALzheimers. It's a bitch doing it all by yourself. I have heard such stories by homes such as your story, and that mortifies me. They should be ashamed of kicking someone out of the only place that was normal to her. I would not stnad for this at all! Your mom is in such a better place now, so know that she is at peace, and pain free, not being ignored, and or sometimes abused in them homes. Those UTI's are nasty and do a number on the patient!! They get them frequently in homes.

    • I know how you feel Nancy my mom had a Bowel Impactment and a week later a UTI and they said they could not put up with her behavior same thing Assistant Directory of Nursing and Social Worker told me to move her out after 5 years, and she was set up with Hospice it was like a small hospital, no food or water comfort meseasures only, yeah ok, you mean measures so they dont have to be bothered by them. I am so upset it will be 3 months monday, my mom lasted 12 days in Hospice she may look fraile, but she had a strong will, and it was all for nothing, everything started to shut down, I cringe when I think she may have been thinking my dauaghter or grand=daughter will bring me something to eat and drink, I remember her gagging when they first administered the medication, a dry gag, but I hate them also for not giving her a chance, she was ready to fight and she showed it. We are in the same boat, a boat that I wish would either just sail away or sink

    • I can quite imagine your distress.
      GPs/Physicians, Care Homes are too slow to diagnose and treat UTIs…. For your mother to then be moved out of the home when she was in distress was appalling…. I expect and dread it happening to my own dear mother who suffers from ALZHEIMERS and continual UTIs.

  16. Have Alzheimer's patients drink 2-3 glasses of cranberry juice(can be cran-raspberry, cran-grape, etc.) everyday and UTI's will be a thing of the past. It solved the problem of my mother who had numerous UTI's until she began drinking the juice. She's been UTI free for almost 2 years.

  17. MY Mom has had Alzheimer's for 8yrs and had her first UTI in Aug. IT has been a devastating whirlwind decline. every other week. i believe the uti has never gone away completely. It is being addressed again and this time she is the most sick.. i am hoping they can treat aggressively and she will come back to her usual state. Is there any suggestions to treatment to get rid of the uti for a longer period of time? thank you from Michelle Simon

    • Hi Michelle

      My mom has had ALZ since 2001, and I home care her. She has battled UTI’s for the last three year’s. I have tried everything to avoid it but it keeps coming back. However, I have found that keeping her clean w/frequent diaper changes, cranberry juice and cranberry chewable tablets have helped to reduce the frequency. Also, I rinse out the wipes before I use the and stopped letter her clean herself. I do it or her home aid does. Unfortunately, this is one of those problems that is not going to go away and is part of the disease. However, the more you understand your mom’s personality, the easier it will be for you to quickly identify a change in her. Also, if she has care providers make sure they keep track of any changes in her urine, smell, color , her behavior, etc. Then you can get her checked quickly. May God provide you and everyone else on this blog with the help we all need to care for our loved ones. Monica

    • Hi Michelle
      My mom used to get uti's all the time, that was one of the reasons that I decided for her health and safety to let he stay in the Nursing home, which she was happy with at the time, after being there 4 times for P/T, my mom had one so bad that it turned into Sepcis, they had to put a pick line in her arm, so that they would not have to keep looking for a vein to administer the anti-biotics. I had her seen by a Urologist , everything turned out ok, I asked if she could be put on a preventative, becuase they would get more out of control each time she would get one. I hope my memory serves me wright, it was called Promethazine and worked wonders, she only had 2 in 2 years after that, the last one got her thrown out of the nursing home, becuase they could not stop her from screaming and would not take her pills, she ended up in Hospice with so called End Dementia, if their is such a thing,

      • Oh my God, so sad. Nursing Homes, GPs, Nurses, Physicians, Carers should act very quickly when UTIs suspected. My own mother had suffered from them time and again. Had the first one been diagnosed and treated promptly I believe my mother would not now be so "crazy" and suffering so badly with Alzheimers.
        I dream my mother will "wake up" and come back to me.

        • My Mama has been suffering from Alzheimers for 5½ years and her decline over the last year has been very rapid to the point where she can no longer do anything for herself, or communicate properly. She has been having spells of changes in personality, I have never seen this forum before and so so glad I found it as it has explained alot to me and now me & my father can go to the doctors and ask that she be tested for a UTI, as from reading all the personal experiences on here it sounds to me that this is the problem with my Mama.

          I too dream that my Mama will come back to me.

        • Susan,
          I pray for you – how sad this is.

    • Watch your mother closely, she will suffer from UTIs continually now. In my experience, sufferers do NOT fully recover from them.
      My mother's GP/Physician was too slow to diagnose and treat my mum's first UTI – and too slow to deal with subsequent UTIs !

      Drink lots of water ……….. be careful not to infect private parts with bacteria – difficult with older, possibly incontinent people.

    • Michelle, I,m just doing some research and wondering if you mother ever had a "serious" infection in her life. I believe that an infection like rheumatic fever or bacterial pneumonia or some other infection ( possibly even UTI) can cause alzheimers or dementia. Also I believe that you never really get rid of UTI once you have it. Long term doxycycline or minocycline are antibiotics that can be used. Work with you Dr.

      • My mom passed away a month ago, we took her to her doctor for pain and was not seen, then my dad called and I heard my mom screaming in the background, I called 911 in Ormond beach fl. But they didn’t take her to the hospital until I called the second time. They took her and she had diabetes along with all heifer and kidney disease, then I ask my daughter to bring her to me. She stopped screaming, well I never heard her scream before, she didn’t have outbursts, but when I got the hospital paperwork nothing was specified as to her problem. They released her to my 18 year old daughter and 4 days later not earlier someone from the hospital called my dad that she had a urinary tract infection and prescribed Microbid, she had an allergic traction and died within 15 hours. She is allergic to penicillin and can only take doxcyline. I was feeding her, she ate, gave her her insulin and made sure her blood level was normal. They claim she had hypoglycemia but why would a hospital call 4 days later to inform us that her urine test or blood work showed a uti, and I know there was still life in her because she pointed to her photo and she grabbed my hands and shook them and gave me a kiss. I think she had anemia and that pill Microbid did her in. She was fine with me and after giving her that pill an hour later she started to wheeze and was breathing with her nose. I stayed up until 3:30 am and altho the wheezing continued she didn’t appear to be gasping for air so when I woke up at 8 she passed away. I saw symptoms of her having had an allergic reaction, swelling of her lip, her face and she was warm to the touch. The pharmacist were the drug was prescribed failed to clearly label exactly the symptoms of an allergic reaction at all. I would have immediately took her to the hospital had I known. I found out later this pill should not have been given to my mom because she was a diabetic and want to know what type of antibiotics were given to your loved ones. My mom was not screaming under my care. Any insight? Thank you. She could have lived longer if she had proper nutrician. I was not the caregiver but she was weak when my daughter brought her to my home. She knew who she was, did not speak English but understood spanish. I observed her nonverbal behaviors. If she could have grabbed my hands and look at my nodding her head as if she was communicating to me thank you and kissed me, she was not totally gone.

    • This happened all the time to my client. Dr. Put her on low dose Macrobid daily. Haven't had one in a loooong time. Hope this helps. Kim

    • Make them do lab to see if virus is resistant to the meds.
      In my mother case that is what went on they called 3 days later and changed the meds.
      My mother 90 with Alzheimers could not talk for a week could not walk for 2 weeks.
      It hit her so BAD and fast over night I thought she was passing on.
      That was last year.
      Now I use a home test $10.00 for 3 test strips and check her EVERY 10 days

  18. My mom had a UTI – she was placed on antibiotic. While she was still on the antibiotic she developed slight pneumonia of the right lung and within a week she died. Does this happen often? We are all still in shock over her death.

  19. I am so appreciative of this article and the accompanying posts. We are into my mother's second year of the diagnosis of Alzheimer's and we lost my father to the disease in 2003. My family and I moved back to Chicago from California in 1998 to be with our parents who were beginning to show marked health issues. My husband's father had Parkinson's Disease and my father had Alzheimer's Disease. As I care for my mother I am so worried that I'm not doing what is right for her.
    When I saw in the report about uti sympton's of sleeping all day, not eating, etc. it was my "aha" moment. I also am grateful for the cranberry juice recommendation.

    Thank you all and I pray your strength during these times of care-giving.

  20. My father has dementia/Alzheimer's. He has UTI's over and over, causing all the symptoms referred to above. When one infection is cleared, it's only days to a week before he has another. This article is very enlightening, as others are looking for why the infections keep occurring!

    • Maurine, my moma is in the same situation. Since October, she has been hospitalized or in a BMU for 4-5 times and everytime a severe UTI has the blame for her violent outbursts. She had another one this AM grabbing a CNA by the throat and by the time I got there she is as calm as can be. I know the brain is shutting down and along with it the rest of the body. But why does it cause the UTI to begin with?

  21. HELP … I’m my Mom’s caregiver of 4 years and she had a sudden decline that that resulted in ER visit was give Macrobid for 10 days .. during that time she got dehydrated & so I took her back to ER and she was treated for dehydration & they also gave her antibiotics and we were in the hospital for 4 days the Dr. stated she is back healthy on all her levels … problem after being home for 1 week her eating & fluids were not much but now she shows no interest in either … I feel it’s UTI still as all of this was so sudden but many tell me it’s the disease … I feel there is still hope in her if the UTI is not clear and just wondering if heading back to the ER would be too much trauma for her … she will not take med’s so going to Dr to get more antibiotics want work?

    • You may be long over this problem, but if she doesn't have the liquid antibiotic that tastes like a popsicle, try that next time she needs one. Works like a charm for my mother who could no longer keeps the big antibiotic pills down–choking on them or trying to chew them and then getting sick.

  22. In my opinion a post treatment urine specimen should be dome to ensure the infection is clear. For some of the folks I work with who get UTI after UTI I have a Doctors order for a routine urine specimen the first of each month. While some don't agree with this, it helps us catch the beginning of the infections before they are creating so many issues for the person. I would encourage everyone to really be keeping track of your loved ones fluid intake. This helps stave off some UTI's.

    Many Physicians and care facilities are reluctant to do a urine test if there are no typical symptoms. Most people I work with have no typical symptoms! Remember there is the initial results but the urine should be tested for sepsis as well. Advocate, advocate, advocate for your loved one. You know them best and if you feel something is medically wrong, you are probably right. Too often the Alzheimers gets blamed for symptoms that have to do with a physical ailment!

  23. My husband was admitted to the hospital on Christmas Day when he was bleeding a lot when urinating. The doctors said he had a very high PSA 16.11 and said it was causing the bleeding. After being in the hospital for four days he started to become disoriented and anxious and they said he had an UTI started him on an antibiotic. He does show signs of Dimenia. Please comment

  24. I have been taking care of my patient (85 yr old woman with dementia and gillian barre syndrome) for over a year now. 5 days ago while taking her to the bathroom to wash she said she didnt feel well and got very very white she rested her head on my shoulder and i then felt her body go limp i grabbed her and placed her on the floor. She started to snore really loud arms shaking straight out and tounge wash rolling back in her mouth i rolled her onto her side, i thought she was having a seizure well i called 911 and she was rushed to the ER to find out she had a UTI, dehydration, and a irrerular heartbeat. They placed her on a bp med, heart med, and a antibiotic and also with a oxygen tank and released her from the hospital 3 days later! The following morning from her being released i get her out of bed at 7 am she was complaining of pain under her breats all day. After getting her into the bathroom and wwashing her the best i could she could not get up herself and i really had to help her into her chair after sitting up with me and her nurse for over a hour she asked to go lye down so i helped her to bed. While in bed this weird attack came over her. She could not get comfortable she would lay down and say help me help me help me sit me up sit me up so i would sit her up after sitting up she would say let me lye down help me help me help me so i would lye her down and this went on for about 20 mins she was getting really cold but sweaty at the same time. I proceeded to call 911 again. She went into a trance and im pretty sure was taking her last breaths but i still felt a pulse. She had oxygen on at the time i put it up to 3. Could a uti bring on these symptoms after being treated in the hospital for 3 days with a antibiotic? This seemed like a heart attack to me she was complaing of pain under her breats alll day could a uti bring on a heart attack? What baffles me is that she was released from the hospital the day before she died and was on a antiobiotic for 3 days! Please help me understand this cause as a caregiver i feel like it was my fault and that i could have done more or something differently to save her! just me not noticing the uti i blame myself and say that i should have noticed it sooner her urine smelt she could no longer hold her urine and was peeing her pants she also said it always feels like the pee is never gone but she had dementia so i just thought her saying that was a syptom of the dementia. If she woulda said it burned when she peed it would have rang a bell right away. I feel so guilty that i didnt find this before it was to late and i should have i have been a caregiver for 17 years!! Thank u for your time! Amy

    • Hi Amy
      Their is no way to tell when a UTI will hit, the urine could look fine, no foul smell, I had been through many many of these 5 years before my mom passes, in and out of hospitals, being diabetic, it would affect her sugar levels at times. After enought of them, they got more and more violent I asked her regular MD to have her seen by a specialist, everything was ok, she was put on a preventative and had only 3 minor ones in 4 years.
      My mom had a UTI the last 3 weeks of her life, they found it at the Home she was in, I went everyday, but she only got 2 days of treatment if that becuase she had started refusing medication, cure her, becuase they wanted her out. I feel the same way, my mom might still be here, she hung on for 12 days in Hospice no food or water, comfort only, sometimes we face horrible circumstances, which we have no control, they are supposed to know better than us, I would have taken her home, but I had to unfortunatley move into an apartment.

    • This was NOT your fault. Your observations of symtoms prior to hospital admission are indicative more of a stroke,or cardiac problem so they would I assume run basic CT and EEG scans, not finding anything they treated only what they did diagnose. However what occurred after she returned home could very well be the result of a ruptured aortic aneurysm.
      Amy,What a lovely person you seem to be and conscientious, qualities that I am sure were felt by this woman and made a positive difference in the last year of her life. I wish you well!

  25. my mother-in-law is in last stage…she has what I would describe as "her insides are shaking"…does anyone else know if this is related to alz? thank you

  26. I completely understand what Many of you are feeling,Moms, not sure what is happening “Sudden decline,” “Yelling out and undressing” and “Manic episodes
    , I was called in to a meeting with the assistant nursing director of the Nursing Home and the Social Worker, make it, . However I did receive a telephone call telling me to either take her home, or find another place for her, she was sent to a Hospice Hospital, was this really the end, I had no idea, I felt like I was spinning in circles. My mother had a UTI and had only been on antibiotic crushed in Apple Sauce,for only 2 days,before told toleave but most of the time she had started refusing her medication, so obviously, not enough got in her to cure the UTI, she had also had a Bowel Empactment ,2 weeks prior, which caused her pain and a change in behavior, saying pain in French, I hate to think of putting my mom in hospice no food or water becuase she had to be heavily sedated and also quite a bit of morpheine, my mom was 93 and very fraile, but she held out hope, she passed on the 12th day in Hospice, I just cant come to terms with the fact that maybe she would still be here

  27. This post I found very interesting, since I am a caregiver, and most of the time, my lady is very combative. UTI, is a tool, that I just learned by your information. I will have her see a doctor, because, I do think that she does have UTI. Thank you so much, for the info, that is making my job, easier, and also, for my residents.

    • Just want to know is UTI found in men also. My dad is realy changed alot in last 4 months. very agressif especialy when bath time.

  28. Just discovered this with my Mom! I had no idea. Every day I learn something new about this disease.

  29. Thank you! Going to call Dr. tomorow.

  30. Soooooooooooo true.

  31. My mother has been experiencing UTI's every 2 wks. to every 3 weeks. She has a pubic cath… She is in the hospital every month (at least) with these. My brother & sister have decided to put her on an "end of life" program which means that when she gets another UTI…no meds will be given. I would say that my mom is in stage 3 of alz. Does this sound right? She still remembers our names, recognizes family and friends. Yes, these UTI's are silent. One kidney is failing, she has congestive heart failure and pain from spinal stenosis that can easily be treated with Advil. my sibs out voted me…their doc said they were doing the right thing…but I feel like I will be killing her if the UTI's go untreated ( I am the main caretaker). I met my mother 25 years ago. She had to put me up for adoption because she was a minor at the time & her parents made that decision. I asked her to legally acknowledge me as her daughter, but she never did. So my 1/2 sibs have left me out of any decisions or legal matters. Will I be killing her if I don't have her UTI's untreated?? Thank uou. M. Hahn

    • My mom just passed away she was living with me almost ten years. She had dementia and alzheimers she was in the final stage she had been in a wheel chair all of that time due to a hip replacement. except since last July until April (now) she was totally bedridden. My mom had a cath since she became bedridden (10 months) she was 94. every since she was in a wheelchair she had uti very often the doctor told me that there would always be some of the infection "colonized" but as symptons would occur – we would put her on antibiotics and always made sure she drank plenty of water and either cranberry juice or cranberry tablets all of the time. My mom had congestive heart failure too. she was in pain from a broken femur bone last july, and still from the hip replacement from 10 years ago.
      Marge, I dont know how old she is. she probably cant have surgery can she ? if her kidney is failing and (my moms was) they still gave her an antibiotic for the uti but it was time to let go. once her kidneys began to shut down – other organs did too and she had fluid build up in her lungs. they gave her morphine to keep her comfortable. Your mom probably already has an infection that has spread. keep her comfortable and let her know you love her.

    • Marge my mother has a lot of the same conditions as your Mom. She remembers most of the family, has UTI frequently and has congestive heart failure…. but I would never deny her treatment for her UTI. That is morally not right and I would questioned why your brother and sister would even consider that.

    • Typically end of life programs include comfort care measures or just things to keep them stable so just make sure that antibiotics truely aren't going to be given because I have rarely seen them held in treatment in cases like what you are describing. If you don't treat her UTI what will happen if her body can't fight it off on her own which it seems like she isn't, she is likely to have two outcomes. The first being that UTI's cause confusion known as delirium because it is not a permanent increase in confusion it is a temporary one caused by the infection so she is more likely to fall or perform unsafe activities that can lead to more injury or death. The second outcome is she will go septic from infection and that will cause too much stress on the body, she will enter septic shock and die if untreated. However, you must respect her wishes and ultimately come to terms with your family about whatever treatment measures are put into place.

      • My mom has had chronic uti along with her Alzheimer's. She has been on hospice for two years. They have always treated her. But the shots really upset her. Ciprofloxacin was last week. Now she has blood in her urine. This is my first time posting. And I take care of mom at home. Any suggestions on what to do next?

    • i am 45yrs old…I had a uti infection…my doctor put me on olazinpine said it was mental health…its the medication stops everything working….look up all the people who have took there family off this drug they are now home and well…yes they have alz but its better without the drugs

    • Whether the UTI causes the alz or reversely, untreatment of the UTI would surely worsen alz. Treat the UTI is crucial for the alz patients. If she has used a lot of antibiotics, try a simple way to wash her genital area with white vineagar plus Vitamine C and probiotics. Good luck to your Mom

  32. My dad has Alzheimer’s and has his first UTI, should we expect him to get these more frequently now?

    What causes, any way to prevent? Had a really bad change in behavior

    Yesterday, glad for this blog to get more info.

    • yes, it is possible to prevent frequent UTIs. My Mom used to take a certain drug ordered by her urologist that cut way down on the number of UTI's. Also, research has now proven that the cranberry and a very low sugar cranberry juice( research this,as most store bought juices are loaded with sugar) can help make the lining of the bladder less likely for the bacteria to " stick" to the lining of the bladder. Dehydration also needs to be avoided…so, encourage drinking lots of fluids._ Many UTI's are caused by ecoli,but not all are. Cleanliness and keeping the skin clean us very important._I am a nurse and have been caring for my Mom since 2003….she is very prone to UTI's…so do see a urologist, who can offer you more help about prevention.

    • Yes, you must expect him to get continual UTIs now. They suffer from them time after time ……….

    • Your dad will be prone to Uti's for several reasons but it's not just because he has had this first one. Several things occur with Alzheimer patients including their quality of perineal care. He may forget how to properly wipe or bath his genital area in which case whoever is taking care of him needs to make sure this is being done properly. He is elderly so he naturally now has a weaker immune system and that immune system is not going to be able to handle stressors like UTI's as easily as before.

      Do not give him cranberry juice over frequently, it is way too high in sugar, unless of course you are giving the sugar free. Other juices with antioxidents are good as well. There are cranberry extract pills available over the counter that are what he should be taken. Being in the healthcare field I can tell you statistically these work! I've seen great reduction in UTI rates with those who have the chronic reoccuring UTIs.

      If he has urinary retention, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), dribbles when urinating or kidney issues talk with your doctor about things like flomax because if he is not emptying the bladder every time he voids that urine sits in their and builds up bacteria.

      Fluids are the key intervention. Always make sure they are drinking enough because this flushes the kidneys and bladder. With Alzheimer's he may not recognize the feeling of thirst as easily or as early as a normal person.

      Early treatment is important so the if the people around him notice something is not quite right, get his urine checked because so many people just write it off as just their condition worsening.

  33. Im currently taking care of a lady with Alzhimers. She is 92 years of age and has had it fpr about 7 years. She sleeps all day but is not combative. i cant figure out wat to say to make her want to get out of brf. she has days where shes happy and she is more then happy to get up but most days are spent in bef and she stays up during the night till about 3 in the morning sometimes. i am a 24 hour caregiver and its starting to get hard. i take care of her and her husband. i love them dearly and i just need some advice.

    • You need to seek professional help for these two people. Sounds like they should be in a good care home with 24/7 care. This will get worse. You will not be able to look after them properly.

    • If UTI,s, sleep disorder etc are not the cause, sounds like she may be depressed. But sending them to a nursing home should be a last resort. Yet it is understandable as a 24h/7 worker you need respite time. You may have tried all of the following but just in case not….put on some plesant music /perhaps songs from her youth about 20 minutes before you ask if she would like to get up.Does anyone phone her,come to visit etc?Tell family members that even if she does not remember later, it is the in the moment experience that makes a huge difference to well being. Does she have anything symbolic of her previous hobbies or interests that you or someone else can bring attention to? Even if it is brief interactions and even if she appears not to comprehend, in my experience this has made some difference. The need to feel useful amd of some significance matters so much.Is there any volunteer group or friend that could take her out for a drive in good weather?Is there an at home physio service available? Having exercises to practice between visits is motivational for some people and the movement and interaction with another person in some cases is useful. One of the people I look after often asked "can I help you" it dawned on me one day to say yes, I did have to do the task alongside her initially until she recalled the action and then she continued happily and attentively.
      Are you in the UK?as she is 92 she probably had a role to play in WW2 maybe there is a group that could send her pictire books etc or a visitor?
      Something else I experienced was although up,and wode awake at night she wanted to go back to bed but thought caregivers were guests and was politely waiting for them to leave! lol

  34. Does this disease cause complications or create a heart condition?

    • When ever my mom developed a UTI, the first symptom was fluid in the lungs from congestive heart failure. Antibiotics and ultimately, cranberry extract pills put an end to those symptoms.

  35. Recently my Mother who is 58 years old has had sudden onset of dementia. She does not have Alzheimers but is an alcoholic and drug abuser. When admitted to the hospital she was diagnosed with Pancreitus, vitamin deficency, Hepatitus, Chirrosis and was detoxing because she hadnt drank in about 3 days because the pancreitus had her so sick. Her ammonia level was normal but her Thyamine was very low. The Hep and Chirrosis is minimal. I understand that detoxing can cause dementia but i am still concerned because the dementia was so severe , she had lost all touch with reality and was hallucinating. I dont really want to elaborate but she thought she had toys implanted in her knees and several organ transplants. This terrified me that this cold happen to this extent in 3 days. She had never shown any signs of mental problems before. She was released from the hospital 3 days later with no change in the dementia. Several tests were run and seems to be no brain damage. she was given the meds she needed to recover from the pancreitus and vitamins and the doctor said he softened the landing on coming off the pain meds but she still has to have them “pain management for chronis conditions” She is taking way less pain meds now but only seems to show any improvement when she takes the meds and its limited to ( assisted walking, recognizing family members and a little reality here and there. As they wear off and the pain comes back she is back to “no reality”. 16 days later with little or no improvement she is back in the hospital with a urinary tract infection and vitamin deficency. That was 3 days ago and has has been treated but still no sign of improvement. What should we expect? Can this be permanant? How long should it take for her to recover? Other than her issuses with dependancy my Mother was completely normal 2 weeks ago and now she cant even walk on her own!! Please help me to understand this better. This is tearing me apart!

  36. am basically replying to everyone's post, I am in fear that I have dementia, my mother has it and was curious if it is hereditary?, I am now reading about the UTIs I get at least one a month i drink a lot of cranberry juice and take cranberry pills to try to keep my urinary track clean but to no avail one come again, also when I urinate it hurts so bad its like it had an automatic shut off valve and my urine has either a very strong odor or a tin like smell to it and is very yellow and I drink plenty of water. I forget things all the time, I have family member's that get so frustrated regarding my forgetfulness, I will ask the same question about 5 times and my children's response is "mom how many times do we have to tell you?" I forget my grandchildren names, I forget just about everything, I have been diagnosed with ADHD, which basically has some of the same symptoms, or I thought because I had E.S.T. my memory loss was from that, but he Dr. told me that shock treatments are for forgetting long term memory such as I was suffering from P.T.S.D. my traumatic childhoods memories. I can and do remember my past although I am still working through past issues. Its the NOW I am stuck in, I suffer from depression, anxiety,disorder hate crowds cannot go into a grocery store, without a panic attack and those are so embarrassing, My memory is so bad that I beat myself up mentally calling myself a dummy, stupid, I ask myself Sharon "how did you forget your cigarettes 3 times, it could be anything I forget. I am easily distracted and go from one tHINg to another, I stayed in bed for 7 months depressed, I am going to be completely honest, I would go two weeks without a shower, I am much better now in the hygiene area, I do stupid stuff like run the water for the dishes walk away and get distracted with something else and the dish pan is running over on to the floor. So embarrassing, so there is no test or scan I can go get to see or be tested to see if I have dementia . At this point I would rather have the doctor tell me I have something instead of feeling crazy all the time, and pressing my brain to remember things. I put a pair of tweezers away and told myself OK here they are Sharon so u don't forget them and now I would know where I have put them. I have torn the house apart, I still cant find them anywhere, so frustrating. I had to buy another pair. Sometimes I feel when my children tell me something thing and I honestly do not remember them telling me for example a birthday party, I respond with "you never told me" and I would defend myself to the fullest because I really did not remember and thought they had a ploy to make me think they did tell me and are just trying to mess with my head or trying to ,make me feel like I am going crazy, After reading your posts and you mine, please tell me and be honest with me especially the caregivers that know and work first hand with the real deal and I could use some honest opinions and suggestions because you all seem to know what you are doing. THANKS AND GOD BLESS TO YOU ALL…….Sharon

    • Sharon, I have good news for you. The forgetfulness that you are experiencing and many of the other issues you have are treatable. I am no dr but I have been studying and researching what infections can due to us because I have an autoimmune disease. I believe all the issues that you are experiencing are a result of your uti. The dementia that your mother has is also from either rheumatic fever, pneumonia or some other infection. For some reason Drs don,t ask "what infections did you have". You will never get rid of your uti but you need to control it with an antibiotic. Doxycycline or Minocycline are the antibiotics of choice. You need to be on it a long time. (a year or longer). Find a Dr who will work with you. It will take time to get results but believe me it will work.

    • i feel for you my mother has altzimers but i think your adhd and depression anxiety would cause simerler simtoms get second opinion wishing you all the bess sorry about spelling dont know how to correct it jill x

  37. Wow my mom is being treated for UTI I would have never guessed it changed her behavior.She is very calm child like but today she cursed a very bad curse word. My mother even spoke about her dad. He died when she was a teen. Mom is86 and my dad is 90 they have been married over seventy years.

  38. I’m curious to discover out what blog platform you are using? I am having some minor security issues with my latest site and I’d prefer to discover some thing much more safeguarded. Do you’ve any solutions?

  39. My daughter went into the hospital on Friday evening after quite a long wait in the emergency room and Saturday morning they still had not been able get her to let them do another blood test and would not take her medicine. Today is Monday labor day and as of last evening they still had not done a check for urinary tract infection. She is 45 years old and got a little combative on Friday afternoon but she has been acting not so good and strange for about 3 weeks. She had 2 grade 3 brain tumors one in 1990 and then in 1997. I am so worried about her.

  40. What if a sudden decline isn't due to a UTI infection what else could it be?

  41. How do you convince spouse that having sex with his wife with Alzheimer's Disease is inappropriate. Frequent UTI's due to inabililty of caring for self. At my wits end. Please help.

  42. We went through episodes of UTI's with both parents. Both sudden physical and/or mental issues with no other actual symptoms of a UTI. With Dad, they never did get the UTI's completely controlled but with mom, the visiting nurse recommended huge cranberry extract pills. After 3 or 4 hospitalizations and lots of antibiotics for UTI's, instituting the cranberry extract pill regime seemed to stop the UTI's in their tracks!

  43. It starts as a bladder infection, and then the urgent care gives a antibiotic. Two weeks later the same symptoms of lack of walking with balance and as if staring into the abyss. I bet it is another bladder or UTI…..taking her back and demand they do blood work and check with a catheter again…Conofusing

  44. We just recently had to place my father-in-law in a skilled nursing facility. He had fallen and the new changes of scenery have really upset him. The question I have that I cannot fine the answer to is closing ones eyes a part of late stage Alzheimer's ? He closed them two days ago and has not opened them since. He responds to the nurses and eat and drinks. Please help if you can
    Jean Rollo

    • Hi Jean,

      The closing of the eyes is not a traditional sign of late stage Alzheimer's. It is possible that the fall created pain and that the closing of the eyes is related to that. That is only one possibility. The best route would be to contact your doctor.

    • My mom is in late stages, and she too will rarely open her eyes. After reading this blog, I am wondering about testing for a UTI – previously was told sleepiness, and an unwillingness to open the eyes was common at this stage.

    • My dad is in stage six and he just started refusing to open his eyes. Sometimes he is sleeping. Sometimes his eyes are just closed very peacefully.

    • Jean- My mom has had Alzheimer's for 6 years. She closes her eyes most of the time. She does open them when I touch her or talk to her. She closes them more and is more sleepy when she has a UTI. Hang in there, everyone is different. Hopefully, he has opened his eyes again by now.

    • Jean, l
      We are going thru the same thing, mom just closes her eyes. Even tries to walk around with them closed. Last time this happened for weeks and it was due an UTI.

  45. I am a 61 yr. old female who goes completely crazy and paranoid when I get a urinary tract infection. I get no other symptoms until it is too late and I may lose my apt. over it. I have had only 2 of them in my life and both happened in a 3 and a half year span.I also get confused for 3 days or more.This is a true curse! So sad in Montesano, Wa. Any feedback is oh so welcomed!Thank you for reading this.

    • Dear Carol,

      You need to treat your UTI, the infection of which is far-reaching. Antibiotics heals the UTI temporarily but potentially kills good bacteria, leaving a large space for fungi which also could lead to the UTI. By such, the treatment of the UTI becomes a vicious circle. I am younger than you, having suffered the UTI problem for years until I found my way to treat it. This is my way you may try it: use the water mixed white vinegar to wash the genital part and eat vitamin C and probiotics. It healed me. I also recommended it to my Mom, 78 yrs, and her UTI also got controlled. It is my way, I am not sure if it works for you. Just share. Good luck!

  46. My Husband has had many UTI's since August 2013. He was diagnosed with NPH 12 years ago. Incontinence, Dementia, and Mobility are the 3 conditions.
    Each time he had hallucinations. He goes on antibiotics and the symptoms dissipate.
    Last week it started again only this time his hallucinations have been very intense and scary. Our Dr. put him on antibiotics
    and suggested if he gets very agitated to give him Risperdol. This morning we had to give it to him-which eventually quieted him. How long can they keep giving him antibiotics? He is 89 years old. Can this be late stage dementia?

    • Hi, my dad is only 69 years. I want to ask if you don't mind does Rispedol make them just sit their and not realy have any emotion? Why am asking someone advised us not to use it for know.

  47. My Mother has had UTI for the last three mounths. She is in stage 7. She takes off here paints & pull up at night in bed.I see a big change. from Dec.2013 to April2014.

  48. After reading about UTI's I contacted the hospital where by 88 yr old dad has been for past 3 weeks. He has Alzheimer's and COPD he was admitted with pneumonia which is now clear, remains in hosp awaiting a nursing home. Since going in to hospital he has stopped walking and when he speaks he is unable to find the correct words. The staff say he is very aggresive when they change him as he has also become incontinent apx 3 weeks before being admitted. I asked if Dad had a UTI and was told that they would have difficulty getting a urine sample as he is so aggressive but if he did have a UTI it would have shown up on the previous blood tests. Previous to going in he was speaking relatively clearly although confused esp in the evenings and at night. He was walking well and would be able to walk around the local supermarket with me or go out the back garden. From the day he went into hospital he has never walked and is totally incontinent in nappies. I thought it was meds but they say not

  49. do people with dementia seem to sleep a lot in the day time as my husband who is in a home seems to be sleeping a lot

    • Carol: You can find out more about daytime napping and "sundowning" here: alz.org/alzheimers_disease_10429.asp
      You can also speak to someone 24/7 at: 1.800.272.3900.

    • Yes and you really can't force them to change their schedule. Even though it's a tremendous burden for you. Our brains tell our bodies to cool down at nite. But people with Alzheimer's disease bodies warm up at nite. Feel how warm he is at nite. The only thing you can do is tell the doctor you need to sale. They will give him sleeping meds. Don't feel bad you can't take care of him if your sick!

  50. Thyroid condition will also change a person with Alzheimer too

  51. my mum has not been sleeping during the night the last two months,on a good night she would sleep 5hrs,but most nights its 1-2 hrs,I am worried that this is going to have an effect on her,mum has frontal lobe dementia.she is just starting her third course of antibotics for uti.mum needs 24 hr care,has no speech to tell me if she's sore etc.its 8 years since we noticed a decline.has anyone been in my situation dealing with a frontal lobe dementia patient,i would be grateful for your opinions.

    • Hi Louise,
      my Mum at 92 has also trouble sleeping. Has had Alzheimers for 5 years. I find that much of the time she is thinking, designing, planning. Some mundane things like modifying her room or fantastic ideas like building specialized hospitals.
      In her case it has become dangerous because she will ignore curfews e.g. stay in bed until 7.00am or whatever time coincides to daybreak. She had two falls on consecutive days, the second one serious enough to cause the sundowner syndrome to give me hell. I now have to watch for a subdural hematoma which is only signalled by behavioural changes. I no longer know what is normal and what is a change. They are all abnormal!

  52. My mum has just gone into a nursing home after three minor strokes and a blood clot. She has dementia and is on end of life care. She is being very aggressive to both my step dad ( they have been married for 34 years) and to me, just keeps repeating we have abandoned her and wants to go home to die. I am finding this very hard to cope with as my Mum and I were very close, but now I just can't seem to get rid of the feelings of guilt , as I know that neither my step dad or I are in a position to look after her. The nursing home have suggested that we stay away for a while until she hopefully settles down. I wonder if she ever will, as she always said she would never go there. I just hope we are doing what is best for her , the home tell me that her reactions are perfectly normal and this nearly always happens.

  53. I am a companion/caregiver for a lady of 100 years old as of July 16. She drinks milk with her meals, Always asks for milk. She refuses to drink water. As a matter of a fact she cannot stand water on her body. I do my best to wash her. When we do get in the bath she seems “frightened”. Nevertheless. She rarely goes to the bathroom -Once in the morn upon wakening and then before bedtime. She never complains of any pain, but I have noticed her “squiriming” in her chair. Her diet consists of plenty of fruits and veggies, however she is eating less these days. This lady only takes one 81 mg Bayer aspirin a day. Lately she has become somewhat withdrawn, more quiet than ususal. I suppose at 100 she can do whatever she wishes! How does a Dr (at her age) test for a UTI? She is quite modest and not incontinent, but I rarely see her go to the Bathroom.

    • This is the first time I have seen this problem mentioned; I would call her doctor and ask for the information or, if doctor "doesn't have time to discuss this" you could ask him/her Who should I talk to? This sounds like a definite change in behavior and should be addressed by a caring physician. If her doctor is "uncaring" ask if there is someone else in his/her office who can respond to your need for information on how to deal with these changes. SOMEONE in the medical office MUST respond to your inquiry… it's their job and ethical responsibility. God Bless You for caring for this woman; I sometimes care for an elderly lady with Dementia with Lewys who is in a care home. They are really responsible for her care, but I love her, so I take that responsibility upon myself… that's why I'm on this site right now, trying to discover anything I might do to help her. If her doctor won't help, contact the Alzheimers Association. Don't give up on getting an answer to your questions… it's why you're living through this experience!!
      May God Bless You for the caring work you do on behalf of this woman and humanity!
      Rev. Allorrah Be
      Manifesting Minister,
      Circles of Light Ministries

  54. My daughter is 52 yrs old, she was diagnosed with early onset dementia about 2 yrs ago! She was forced into early medical retirement after 30 yrs with the government. She is on 2 meds that seem to help her, at least she has stayed fairly stable. She has no desire to do anything except watch TV. I live several hundred miles from her but manage to see her 3 or 4times a yr.
    Right now she is OK staying home alone during the day, her husband works and is her only care giver at this time. He does the cooking and the other household chores! I worry about the time she is home alone, When I am there I usually can get her to go shopping, work a puzzle, etc. It is very difficult being so far away, and I am not able to pull up my roots & move there. Any suggestions?

    • We are sorry to hear of your daughter's diagnosis – she is so young!

      Dealing with diagnosis is a challenge for anyone but your daughter is also dealing with a major life change at the same time. We would recommend attempting to get your daughter involved in something outside of the home. Perhaps she could volunteer somewhere a few days a week. This will give her a sense of purpose and make her feel useful and needed. Especially when someone has to quit working as a result of this diagnosis it can make the person feel worthless and depressed. Depression can go hand in hand with an Alzheimer's diagnosis. We would also recommend your daughter, or her husband or yourself is she is unwilling, speak to her doctor about what you have noticed. The lack of interest in activities can be a symptom of depression.

      If you would like to discuss this further, please call us 24/7 at 800-272-3900. We have counselors available to assist you.

  55. Hello everyone, My mother has spent six weeks in the care center now, after eight years staying at home being taken care of by my father, sixty years of marriage on July 4, 2014 my father couldn't get her up and stay up she complained that she hurt, so he called the ambulance the next Monday she went into the nursing home for two weeks she seemed to being doing great but complaining of pain. She had arthritis but would take aspirin, the care facility are using patch for pain and this seems to make her sleepy all of the time and not eating very well.

    We think she's in the later stage but when awake she will hold her head up and seems to eat good for breakfast, needing help to eat.

    Her over all health at 88 is very good except for this robbing disease not sure if she's going to live very much longer but appreciate any words of wisdom from others experiencing similar issues with their loved one ?

    Thank you!

  56. My mom 85yrs had a stroke and
    She couldn't get out bed she is using kimbies and cannot doing anything for herself .She went to hospice where her sugar drop to 1.4.At the moment she has an extreme bladder infection.She is 85yr old.Can you please explain to me if she's going to die

    • Debbie, You can speak to someone at the Alzheimer's Association's 24/7 helpline: 800.272.3900.

  57. My dad has alzeimer. And it is haert braeking. He refuses to bath and gets very agressif most of the time. He does not go to the toilet when he has a nr 2. And getting him to take his pants off to help him wash is a total nightmare. We sometimes
    take two hours plus and then we have no choice but for one to hold his hands. Other wise he hits you and very hard. if he can not use is hands to hit you he treis to head bang you. And then I talk in a loud voice sometimes shout at him, he will then start laughing and say but I will never do that. Saterday I had to ask my hubby to hold is hands. when he seemed calm we let go but he then took his slipper and hit my hubby. After he was clean I kleave him to cool down but he then went to my brother just talking to him and hit him and then also my hubby. Aftera while I satwith him and he was calm. When I picked up a sock laying on the floor her hit me with his slipper out of no wear. And my dad was never an agressif person.

    • Hi Charlotte – my mother died from Alzheimer's disease last year. My mom was never a violent person, but she too began to hit other people in her care unit and grew very suspicious of everyone. Her doctor put her on Haldol, and the violent and suspicious behavior stopped. Make an appointment with your father's doctor as soon as possible. Haldol really helped my mom. Toni

    • I can empathize with you. The past three and a half years have been filled with such episodes. Angry outbursts and physical assaults especially in the early morning hours. Nothing can prepare you for the change in personality, personal habits, sleeping and eating, etc. It can be overwhelming and upsetting and cause a great deal of stress and depression. Don't be afraid to ask for help or admit when it becomes too much to handle. There are experienced caregivers who can assist you if you check around. Ask your doctor or visit a local nursing home and you may find experienced people who will be willing to watch him while you take a break. Just remember you can't take care of him if you don't care of yourself. Good luck.

  58. Every 3 -4 months UTI. Mom is in a nursing home. I suspect that it was the disposable wipes, not changing her enough, sitting in a wheelchair. She has had Cdiff and the last 3 UTIs were e.coli. Picc lines have been used, but she would pulls them out. This time the doctor is treating her with pills. So confused as what could set her anger off…UTI each and every time. Music has helped, but her little CD player is taking a beating. We have been in a nursing home for the past 2 years and the past 9 months there have been so much change in her personality. Also dealing with diabetes, High numbers – Low numbers. It seems at times we should own a wing at the local hospital.

    Being an only child with family halfway across the US. Well, we know how hard it is to carry the load.

    My saving grace is my faith and the people that support me when I feel I cant go any longer. Plus Moms humor also helps.

    Much love and support to each of us.

  59. If an elderly man, age 86 had routine hernia surgery…came home with a catheter because he couldn't urinate, 2 days later was suffering what we thought were symptoms of a stroke, took him to the ER, only to find out not a stroke, good news of course, BUT was a UTI, he was slurring his words, couldn't do simple things he usually does, hallucinating. So of course they kept him for 3 days, he continued to hallucinate etc..but was getting better due to the anitbiotics he was on! We came home, and also incorporate short term memory issues.A social worker came to our home to help us know our options regarding possible in home care, he also did a standardized neurological assesment and the score that my dad scored was so low the social worker told us he had dementia..My question is, can you all of a sudden develop dementia from a UTI!?

  60. This was an eye-opening posting for me, and I was so glad to have this information! I would, however, disagree with the author's assertion that "while the UTI does need to be treated right away, this is for the comfort of the patient and the family. UTIs do not cause permanent damage …" Unfortunately, this is not always true. UTIs, if left untreated, can migrate to the kidneys & cause permanent kidney damage, or even death. From the Mayo Clinic website (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/kidney-infection/basics/definition/con-20032448):

    Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is a specific type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that generally begins in your urethra or bladder and travels up into your kidneys. A kidney infection requires prompt medical attention. If not treated properly, a kidney infection can permanently damage your kidneys or the bacteria can spread to your bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection.

  61. I am so glad I found this information. My dad has had Alzheimer's for about 3 years and it was discovered a couple of weeks ago that he had a UTI. Last week he suddenly started having delusions, talking to himself, sleeping all the time, losing control of his bladder, and there were times that my step mother couldn't wake him up. He was admitted to the hospital for a couple days but they said his UTI was cleared up. I'm beginning to wonder if it is. His changed behavior hasn't stopped. Thanks to this information we will definitely have him tested again and ask his doctor about the possibility of putting him on a preventive antibiotic. Thank you all so much for sharing your stories.

    • When my mom was diagnosed with a UTI two months ago, I was initially relieved and thinking the sudden and persistent delusions and negative behavior would stop immediately as soon as the infection was cured. But I found out it took a good month or more after her urine was clean for the depression and other psychological symptoms to abate, and she is still not totally back to where she was emotionally.

  62. Thats whats going on with my mom,but as soon as she starts feeling better after antibiotics she gets another uti.its a never ending battle

  63. I was my moms caregiver for many years..She had dementia. she One day she started acting funny, worse then her usual forgetfulness, she was hallucinating.I did not know what was wrong.My husband and I decided we would take her to her doctor the first thing in the morning. She got up in the middle of the night took a fall in the kitchen I called an ambulance when we got to the hospital they said she had a uti. She died a week later. To this day I feel it was my fault because I did not know the signs. I never thought a urinary tract infection could be so dangerous. well it can. Especially for the elderly. She had broken her hip and she caught pneumonia in the hospital.She was 80 years old but she still had a lot of life in her. I miss her dearly.

  64. I have a question, maybe someone can help me. My grandma is 98 years old, she is now living in a nursing home. Last Jan she fell, broke her hip, recovered well, came home, caught pneumonia which took all her power to walk away, she was fine though after that. No mental instabilities, no confusion, no pain, etc. Last Friday she was a little on the sleepy side, I thought maybe she slept bad last night, Saturday…worse!! Slept all day, didn’t want to eat, Sunday SAME THING, had then take blood and turns she has UTI and is dehydrated. They have her on IV and started antibiotics on Tuesday evening, wed, thurs, and STILL TODAY she is in bed, and EYES SHUT, shes coherent, but has no strength to open her eyes or talk well. She doesn’t wanna eat, please can someone tell me if this is normal? Will she ever heal from this? SHe has Edema also and her protein level is VERY VERY LOW and has a weak heart. 🙁 We been giving her protein shakes, Greek yogurt with protein powder, etc. I though with 2 days of antibiotics she should feel somewhat better. Can anyone help with some info?

    • Hello. Please call our 24/7 Helpline: 1.800.272.3900 to receive advice from professionals who can address your specific questions.

    • Hi my dad went through all you have said re, uti dehydration sleeping no strength low protein not eating, he was given high protein yogurts/drinks,this got bad on boxing day this year, screaming in pain in chest back shoulders stomach and head, called paramedics rushed to Hosp with fast heart rate of 200 and very low b/p at hospital they gave fluids to regulate all, he seamed more comfy but was in hospital 4 wks developing another uti delirious hallucinating very poorly and in pain, they medicated him till he was calmer and practically unconscious and discharged him on 23rd Jan, he was rushed in again on the morning of 26th Jan with suspicious blood in sick, at Hosp they left untreated in corridor 5 hrs saying just dehidrated , I force him into a room dad was getting worse his colour changing breathing shallow bruises appearing all over in front of us, Hosp said nothing wrong and they took blood ( not much as unable to get?) But he would get results within her, saying I was being silly as my dad was and will be OK after fluids they will give when bed on ward found , 5 minutes later Dr returned took me into side room saying dad will be gone in 2 hrs he was dying, ran back to dad hugged him and he was gone, the coroner states acute renal failure!! My point being do not just accept uti if your gran has recurrent uti and dementia make them test for kidney failure, my dad was also given haliperidol in Hosp without explaining it can cause sudden death to elderly dementia patients with card vasc disease and recurring uti , my dad was 84 and was medically neglected because he could not communicate his pain (he suffered for 3 years) please ensure this doesn't happen to your loved one

  65. UTIs are always a BIG problem.
    It makes BIG changes in someone with Alzheimers.
    My 90 year old mother with Alzheimers had one last year the change was SO bad.
    Her balance went she could not walk or stand she also had a hard time talking.
    It all changed overnight I thought she was passing on It was so bad.
    I took her to the medical center they found the UTI .
    They put her on sulfameth/trimethoprim 800/160 mg for a week.
    They also sent sample to lab to grow for 3 days good thing they did!!!
    They found that this virus was resistant to the first meds.
    And called me at home to tell me to stop the first meds.
    And changed to nitrofurantoin mono/mac 100mg
    It took about 1 week for her to start talking better.
    Took about 2 weeks to get her to start walking.
    Now what I do is use a home test strip every 10 days.
    The cost was about $10.00 for (3) test strips that test for Leukocytes and Nitrites
    If the test detects something. In my mothers case it has 2 times in last year
    I call her physician and get her right in her office.

  66. my wifes sister has had Alzheimer's for over ten years & has to have full time care. She has no memory of anyone. my wife is starting to show signs of loss of ability to write & read , Will she end up like her sister? What can I do to slow this down?

  67. My mother goes threw a coughing / choking episode almost every time we sit down to eat. Any ideas on what this could be?

    • Hi Natalie,

      We suggest that you contact a medical professional as your mother may need a swallow study performed to see if she needs her food modified in order to make it easier to eat. If you have other questions, please contact our 24/7 helpline: 800.272.3900.

      • My mom had the same issue and the video fluoroscopy showed the drink spraying back into her lungs, so dysphagia. That was 2 years ago and I've been pureeing her food and thickening her drinks since and she can thoroughly enjoy her meals and snacks – let't not forget the snacks.

    • She might have acid reflux that causes scarring of the esophagus. A "net" of scar tissue can develop, and cause choking at meals.

  68. We have a very serious bathing prob.My wife hasn't been in the shower in months. I did get her to change her under clothes two weeks ago, I wasted her feet and back.I gave her a wash cloth with soap to do the rest , but she didn't' use it.She has no body Oder, but sleeps in her clothes.Suggestions on how to get her into night clothes and bathing. Other than those two items, I feel she is doing great.Reads and plays the piano and is very smiley and cooperative.Have a caregiver mornings, but the aforementioned items baffle us.Any suggestions?

    • Hi Tom,

      You can find resources about bathing and communication in the Caregiver Center:



      Issues with bathing time are very common. We can help. Call our 24/7 helpline at: 800.272.3900.

    • Finding ways to keep your wife clean is the major issue, as I see it. Perhaps the caregiver can get a pattern of cleaning her into the daily routine. I used to be concerned about my husband sleeping in his clothes, but I stopped to think about it and decided that it wasn't worth the agitation and emotion in changing him at night. I make sure he is clean, as I must help him with toileting. If he questions why I am cleaning him or the need to, I talk about keeping him healthy and clean and he seems to understand it. Find something that is important to her and use it to help change the behavior. I don't change his clothes any more at night. We do it in the morning. I've had to let go of my mindset of what is 'normal' and decide what is best for us.

      • We have an ongoing issue with our mother's resistance to bathing. She will lock herself in the bathroom and come out and insist she took a shower, but she smells awful. She is incontinent and wears Depend underwear and oftentimes will put on a clean Depends over the soiled one. Our caregiver has tried everything to get her to allow her to at least help her wash herself but she roundly refuses. She won't allow any of us to see her naked and she doesn't trust anyone. We have had a couple of severe UTI incidents that required hospitalization and then nursing rehab centers, and with each incident, she comes home a little worse for wear. It's exhausting for all of us, but in particular for our sister who lives with her and does her best to cope with the behavioral issues that accelerate quickly when a UTI is on board. This is not something to be taken lightly and it is incredibly frustrating for the caregivers/family. I would disagree with the assertion that a UTI does not need to be treated right away, however. It most certainly does or the situation can spiral downwards very quickly.

    • May be she becomes anxious. Ask Dr. If she could have anti anxiety medication one hr. Before shower &then put
      night clothes on and go to bed.

  69. My Dad started having difficulty walking in December. He started having problems soiling himself, Then he had loss of appetite and drinking water. By the end of January he was rushed to the hospital with kidney failure. He was diagnosed with Sepsis due to an untreated UTI. He died February 16. So do not take anything for granted. Any change in an elderly person's demeanor, behavior, or daily activities should be concerning. A simple trip to the doctor may have saved my Dad's life. I was not the one taking care of my Dad, so I am not feeling guilt and I do not want to blame anyone. I am just suggesting that don't think that it is just part of the progression of alzheimers.

  70. Do not assume UTI's can't cause permanent damage! They can move to the kidneys and become life threatening. They can cause sepsis. Repeated UTI's can lead to bladder cancer, as they did with someone in my family.

  71. Does Alzheimer's create anemia?

  72. Please double check your statement that the Alzheimer's patient, after treatment for a UTI, returns back to their original state before the UTI. For my mom, and for many UTI's that caretakers discuss on the message boards, the patient does NOT return to their state just prior to the UTI.

    Additionally, you might emphasize at the beginning (where you discuss the process of the caretaker coming to suspect a UTI) that often no or few of the signs normally expected with a UTI are present. One has to learn first NOT to rule out suspecting a UTI unless the usual signs (burning and pain, frequent and often profuse urination, and fever) are present. This "no usual signs" holds true for all as we age.

  73. My Mom is 99yrs old and suffers from COPD and Sever Dementia. She lives in a wonderful Board and Care. She is also incontinent and last year had two UTI's. The Dr has had her on a daily dosage of Nitrosur Mac for the past 6 months and it has made a positive difference, no more UTI's. She is one who declines quickly, mimecing signs of end of life when she gets these UTI's. I am her daughter, Trustee and want only the best for her. I have the option of purchasing the meds and keeping her on them daily or not. She is not exhibiting any dangerous side effects. In her case, a 99yr old women, the good outweighs the bad… I believe. Thank you for commenting. I will be looking for you response.. Gail Wyatt

  74. My Mom is 80 suffers from alzheimers and does pretty well other than some hallucinations and waking up at night. Recently out of the blue she has been soiling her pants just a little and frequently. I am not sure if she is not feeling well or if it is incontinence. The doctor thought it may be a virus and diarrhea but I am just not sure. Could something else be causing this?

    • Hi Susie, You should see another doctor to get a second opinion or call our 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900.

  75. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer last year. My father looks after her full time. Since her Diagnosis she has days where she is continually asking to use to the toilet-for bladder emptying. Sometimes this can be up to 20 times a day, sometime she passes urine other times not.,exhausting for both of them. She can get very aggressive if she is not believed to be accurate. Is this a condition that is common that is common amongst those with this illness, all tests have proved negative.

    • Hello, Thank you for your comment. It is possible that your mother does not remember that she has just used the restroom. Her sensation of needing to empty her bladder may also be changing. Both result in her believing she needs to go more often. While it can be exhausting, it is not unusual. You can try occupying more of her time with activities in or outside the home. If you would like to speak to someone, you can call our 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900.

  76. I think this is very informative, however it is important to add that many younger adults with auto-immune disorders from severe anorexia or bulimia may also have severe mental symptoms as well. My poor daughter has suffered with anorexia over 15 yrs. and is now trying to recover from many other diseases and problems caused by this horrific disease. She has had so many problems that she is, just now after 8mths, been diagnosed with a bladder infection. She has been suffering from horrible hallucinations for quite some time and no one picked up on this. I felt it important to let others know so they would not let their loved ones go through this because of lack of knowledge. I truly hope that this will help when trying to find a solution to an easily misdiagnosed problem with their children or other people close to them. Laura Mitchell

  77. My Dad responds to intravenous drugs but not to a course of Bactrim. We now have brought in Hospice and everyone wants to treat the agitation with Xanex. I'm sure he has a UTI. Sleepy, mad when you wake him, not eating, undressing in the dining room at the Memory Care Center, all mentioned symptoms of a UTI in Alzheimer patients. He also has an enlarged prostrate due to "slow growing cancer". What to do?

    • Hello Mary,

      Please call our 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900 to speak to a professional who can provide more guidance.

  78. My mom is 86; she must had been hiding that she was having issues. Four weeks ago she was fine driving having fun etc. I was always bragging how wonderful she was an independent. Then she started acting strange.. not knowing days of the week or people and was very tired. She gave me the keys to her car does not want to drive any longer. After talking to friends they told me it was a UTI, have it checked out, I did all test came back good blood and CT. The doctor put her on Aricept now she is getting worse, very bad headraces not eating drinking very little, and now acting totally crazy. I finally took her to the hospital she had a UTI and they treated it, and sent her home the next day. Now we are into 10 days after discharge, she is not the same any longer. She is incontinent , does not understand her clothing, won’t eat or drink unless instructed to, and again knowing very little of the family not recognizing faces and names. I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING!! It should not be this quick. My dad went to end stage Alzheimer’s, he had it for 15 yrs… I know how this works… What is happening to my beautiful mom?

    • I am just reading your comment after it being written 10 weeks ago as I was on the site and it lead me to this UTI Article. I am so sorry for the quick change in your mother, especially after living through your father's life change with Alzheimer's. Unfortunately, Alzheimer's is RELENTLESS! Yes, our family members are beautiful and this disease is difficult to see them go through; some very quickly, others long and drawn out, each individual taking a different route and side streets, yet reaching the same destination. My father was placed in a care center in March after my mother was unable to care for him 24/7 in the home. My father was a world known artist and to see him slowly fade away is nothing less than heart wrenching! My parents are both 83. Something that helps my father immensely and brings him back is the fact that I play his favorite music, Jazz for him. We take him out to the garden, and hook up a speaker to my phone ( you can download music apps for free) and dad is immediately back in the clubs where he played his saxophone, in the High School Band, leading the Army Band, at the art table drawing to his music. He "plays" his cane, sings, plays the air piano."
      Yes this is very hard for us, but let's take our pain, fear, knowledge and put it towards taking our beloved family member to a special place! Music is very healing. They are finding out many things about music's play in helping those with Alzheimer's. I do understand, you are a blessing for all you do to help your parents!
      By the way, my father-in-law also has Alzheimer's so my husband's and my time together is limited. Thank goodness they are both in the same city!

    • I would take her off the aricept .My grandmother did know we had been at her house the day before when I took her off aricept she started to get better but now she has Uti her we go again !

      • It is strange that so many people had adverse effects from Aricept. My mom had a horrible experience after taking just one.Severe vomiting and diarrhea.She was so sick she could not move.

    • The doctors prescribed Aricept for my father. HIs behavior got so much worse! It was like he was a crazy man and he was explosive. Take her off of the Aricept and hopefully you will see a change for the better.

  79. What are actual symptoms of end stage Alzheimer'S

  80. UTI's cannot be left untreated in my Mom's case. While she will die from Alzheimer's she does not have to die from a UTI that has gone septic. Like so many other posts, we know right away from Mom's behavior that something is amiss. It isn't easy to get the urine sample but it can be done without terrifying her. After several UTI's over the course of eight years, our DR has a standing antibiotic prescription for her.

  81. Wow! I just joined after doing a search for UTI and Alzheimer's on Google. My wife has stage 6 Alzheimer's (early onset) and was hospitalized a week ago after a rapid increase in the amount she slept and some incidents of highly uncharacteristic aggressive behavior. In the E.R. they discovered a UTI. It may have been silent, but was allowed to run wild after a rounds of chemotherapy (Rituxan) for a kidney infection (microscopic polyangiitis–a form of vasculitis)–chemo suppresses the immune system like a sledgehammer. She had tolerated the chemo just fine when the infection first occurred a year earlier, so we were caught off guard when the behavioral abnormalities began appearing right after the first infusion in the recent round of chemo. Now that the the UTI has been subdued, she is beginning to return to normal (for Alzheimer's stage 6, that is). The difference for me is that I may now be able to continue to care for her at home rather than putting her into a memory care facility. The UTI-Alzheimer's connection reported on this blog was a true revelation!

  82. This is so true! I am the primary care giver for my mum she is 93 with AZ and over the last month, she has been acting stranger that usual. Hallucinations, fidgeting, sleeping all the time and not really interested in food. I had to insist the medical community in her residence test for a UTI. Sure enough it showed up in the urinalysis. A prescription for antibiotics cleared everything up. She is much more settled and comfortable. Let's not forget that patients with AZ cannot speak for themselves and more often than not, they do not know what is wrong. We have to be very vigilant as caregivers to look for clues and insist treatment is given.

  83. Although, this may not be the cure, it sure was the answer for my husband! He was hallucinating, and also experiencing a lack of control of his bowels and urine! A friend suggested Gatorade!! Sure enough, his electrolytes were off, and although I thought I was giving him plenty to drink, he still needed more. The Gatorade was a miracle juice! He was back to his normal in hours! So, the doctor said, this is a good fix, and worthy of a try before anything else! If you are not sure of the diagnosis, this will tell volumes.

  84. My husband has frontal lope dementia. He was doing fine and working. But suddenly he can't hardly walk or get up or down or work. He seems to be out of energy. He says he is tired all the time now and he just got out of the hospital in December. He wasdoing aa loton better. Then suddenly this happens to him. What could it be. Im so scared for him and me. Because im disabled with a spinal disease. Can someone please help me understand what could be wrong. Thanks

    • Hi Marie. This isn't typical. Please consult your doctor. You can also contact the Alzheimer's Association 24/7 at our helpline: 800.272.3900 to find help in your area.

  85. My mother entered the hospital last Sunday she was acting confused I thought she was having a stroke so I called emts got her to hospital. Dr said her bp was very high so had her admitted, the nurse who was on duty in e.r said she thought it was a uti and she was right. They've got her on antibiotics but she sleeps all the time and doesn't want to eat or drink. Is that part of the healing process?

  86. My mother also gets frequent unitary tract infections with no physicals symptoms but drastic behaviour changes. What is different than what is documented is that she talks very clearly about events that happened decades ago that she would not normally remember. I find that very interesting and wonder if there a link between a change in the immune system and the loosening of the memory genes on a temporary basis providing access to memory banks not normally available. I watched a research video that showed how memory could be restored with the use of certain chemicals in mice even suffering induced brain damage . It would be great to hear about this phenomena from others. Thank you.

  87. My mother in-law has late-stage dementia. She is confined to bed. She has taken to moaning all the time; even all night long. Is this common among dementia/alzheimer's patients?

  88. Is it true though that some dementia patients may not bounce back from the effects of a UTI, or any other infection in the body, once the infection has been treated and healted?

  89. Could extreme anxiety be a symptom of UTI

  90. my mom has dimentia and a bladder infection and has deleria but won’t take her mess or eat and Is a diabetic . she is in a nursing home but hides from staff and thinks they are poisoning her and feeding he humane remains. she won’t let them near her. I am totally lost as to what to do. I love my mom but unsure what to do. most days she she hates me or tells me to leave cause it’s not safe. what can be done

    • Maybe some of my tricks will help. My mom needs me to tell her the doctor said she needs to take the med (usually works). She also relates to who is her 'boss' so I assign one person at a time to be her boss and that is the person she'll trust at that moment. When my mom goes on about all of the people here in the house distressing her, I have to speak to them or tell her to let them know that she is not interested and they are to leave. (Sometimes they are nice to her and she keeps them around.) Sometimes I ask her who she trusts, pretend to call them and tell her they said it was okay/safe to take her med.

  91. I had trouble keeping my mother hydrated, she just wasnt thirsty and would take a sip or two then set it aside. I felt like I was constantly badgering her to drink. Eventually she would faint and we would call 911 or take her to the emergency room. After several hours of hydration by IV and sometimes antibiotics for a low grade UTI infection she was sent home. This started to happen every two to three weeks. Fortunately the visiting nurse was here when she went into one these fainting spells, which the nurse called syncope. When she followed up with us on how Mom was doing she suggested at home IV hydration. We also talked to her doctor about possibly changing the strength of her blood pressure medicine, one of the ER doctors mentioned that her blood pressure, while within normal range, was on the very low end of normal and that combined with dehydration might be what triggered the fainting spells. Long story short, between lowering her blood pressure medicine (approved by her doctor) and at home IV treatment it has been 6 months with no more fainting episodes. The IV is started by our local hospital at home care team. It is a pump and IV bag in a portable carry bag (no bag on a pole) so Mom can stay mobile for the 6 hours it takes. Hope this helps someone else who finds themselves in similar circumstances.

  92. My husband has Dementia he has outbursts, for example he will be watching tv and I say to him your to loud calm down as he is yelling at the tv and then he starts swearing at me calling me names I dont know what to do.

  93. My mother passed away this past May she was diagnosed with alzheimers. We placed both her and my father in an assited living
    My mother was there for ten days.. My father was there alone. He would have his mood swings. Nothing that couldn't be handled He was never officially diagnosed with AZ. But on fourth of July weekend he was at my sister's house and during the night he couldn't get up, lost control of his bowels, very confused. She thought he was having a stroke. Called 911 and yes he had a UTI. Treated him for that and he was okay. Doctors suggested he go to a rehab facililty to try to get his legs stronger. Well third night there he called 911 telling them he was being held hostage and they sent him up to the memory care
    unit in the nursing home.
    Hasn't been the same since. Two weeks later back in hospital with a UTI. He was unresponsive in the home. Can he lose it that quickly? Can the loss of my mother excelerate it. I want to bring him home to my house to care for him but honestly I'm afraid. I don't want him there but I'm afraid I won't be able to handle him. Any advise, please.

    • Hi Christine. Please call 800.272.3900 to speak to a professional who can assist you 24/7.

  94. Mum has dementia and when she first had a UTI we thought she'd had a stroke as she ranting, she has them frequently our doctor explained that because she wasn't drinking enough or moving, she walks with difficulty, her bladder gets stagnated and causes bacteria which then develops and get into her bloodstream and into her brain and affects her mind. He said if it was up to him she would have a jiggy chair that would shake her around to stop this he compared it to a stagnant pond that was still and not getting flushed out with fresh water. He had a patient whose symptoms of a UTI was that she started to hear her dead husbands voice, my mum usually hears music, repeating tunes and hallucinations, people in the house it can be very disturbing. I think many people must have UTI's but people think that its part of their dementia or just ramblings of old age. My mum is ill at the moment we have an arrangement with our doctor to keep antibiotics at home but they haven't worked so they have taken a urine sample which tested positive and we will get further details in a few days she has been put on stronger antibiotics 'Nitrofurantoin' At this moment she want to go the toilet but cannot stand up no matter how she tries, this seems to be another affect of it, that is why I came on here to see if any one else had seen this reaction. My brother is due home soon and has the strength to lift her to her feet then she usually is ok to walk it just seems she cannot get herself up and I cannot lift her and take the risk of a fall. I think there should be more publicity and information on UTI's I am sure there must be lots of people suffering unnecessarily and family worrying through lack of awareness.

    • My mom has the same thing.she keeps getting one after the next. Is on antibiotics .talking to someone all night. Peeing lots. Changing her like 5 times a night. Now she is singing.

  95. "Sudden decay," "Hollering out and disrobing in broad daylight" and "Hyper scenes… WOW!". That is precisely what happen this weekend. I am so fortunate to have discovered this posting. Thought it was the start of the end. Took mother to ER and yes UTI it was. Can hardly imagine how can happen. Much obliged to you and pass this on to different guardians.

  96. My Mom had an acute UTI, only the family didn't know it. She started spiting out her food. She lost 30 lbs in 3 weeks!
    Transferred her from skilled nursing home to emergency room where admitted for four days. We moved her to another skilled nursing home where they took great care of her but discovered the UTI was still there. Shortly thereafter, she completely stopped eating for about 10 days, then stopped drinking all fluids.
    She passed away yesterday, skin an bones…….
    Could the acute UTI have caused her to quit eating and drinking? Dr. says she chose to die this way, her way. She never complained of pain and was mentally stable the entire time. Knew who everyone was.
    So sad, she died a very painful death that was horrific to watch.

  97. How do I get my Sisters Family to take her to the Doctor to be checked? My Sister refuses to have Area on Aging to come into her house to help. For that reason she is home alone while her husband works all day and she's so bad that I worry about her being there all alone. I feel she's being neglected! How do you help someone with Dementia who wants NO help and has aggressive behavior? She won't even cooperate when she's taken to a Doctor! What do they do now? How do you help her when she wants no help?

  98. The Author is incorrect in saying that UTI’s do not do harm. My mother is currently struggling with UTI’s. She became so tired she was not walking enough and developed blood clots in her lungs. The condition affects her kidneys and brain. She has had so many she now has kidney a condition. This condition MUST be taken seriously because one may die from this if it is not treated. And Yes it may cause irreparable damage to ones kidney’s.

  99. How do I get medical care for my husband that has a UTI. His has difficulty passing urine or doesn't go at all. It has a strong odor, possible blood in urine and sudden behavior changes. GOING TO THE DOCTOR OFFICE IS NOT AN OPTION. He will go in the car but to walk into an office just does not work, His prime care physician said to see a urologist and called in a prescription for 500mg ciprofloxacin 2x a day. That is another challenge. Those pills are big. I have to cut or crush his other meds to get those in him. Cipro is very strong, I tried to dissolving them in water it tasted awful. Bottom line how do I get medical care for him quick.

  100. My dearest friend who suffers from vascular dementia had a UTI back in May this year. She started suffering with paranoia and was seeing things and people that were not there, she was admitted to hospital where they diagnosed the UTI however she then contracted pneumonia and was in a bad way. After recovering from the pneumonia she was placed in a dementia unit within the hospital, there she was assessed as having dementia with Lewy body. Her daughter who has power of attorney over major decisions, health and finances had a meeting with doctors and social services and apparantly the decision was made to put my friend in a care home for dementia. Since being in there, my friend has regained her strength and her state of mind and I feel that she should be re-assessed as there are none of the signs of Lewy body. She knew she was seeing things before and was frightened tto go to sleep but now she tells me that she no longer sees things or people anymore. I have been to visit her and have taken her out for days and in no way does she display any of those symptoms she had before, just the little bit of forgetfullness and the odd place name which is common with senile dementia I feel. How can I get her re-assessed as her daughter is adamant that she will be staying in there. May I stress that she cannot even have a conversation with other patients in the care home because they cannot communicate due to the severity of their dementia. My friend cares for herself with toilet and dressing and uses the phone to call me and her family and talks very very sensibly. Please please can you help me to help her as she has no say in the matter ( which she knows) and is desperate to return to normal life at home with her husnband. Kind regards

    • I didn't think the facility could keep your friend against her will. I was told that being my mom's POA over health and finances did not give me the right to put her in a facility against her will. I'm not sure what state you are in, but you might check your state law. I believe her daughter has to be her court ordered guardian in order to keep her in a facility against her will. What does her husband say, I would think he could get involved.

  101. I would question the term "does not cause permanent damage" with regards to UTIs. Too many, and if run unchecked, esp. if a person is bed-ridden, can eventually cause sepsis. I know because this happened to my Mother. She did not have mental issues/dementia, but we could always tell when sepsis was occurring because she would drop off to sleep without any warning, be difficult to wake up, and hallucinate. She eventually passed away due to causes of sepsis. So, while I'm not a registered nurse or doctor, I do know, based on experience, that frequent UTIs can become a serious, even life-threatening, issue.

  102. I have been struggling with UTIs since I was 18 years old and the Lady Soma Cranberry Pills work faster than other products to relieve the pain with my UTIs. I use this while I am waiting to get in to see the doctor to relieve my pain and/or while I am waiting the the antibiotics to start working which usually takes anywhere from 12-24 hours.

    This stuff helps to alleviate the pain (burning, urgency, etc) associated with UTIs within 20-40 minutes of taking the pills.

  103. I would like to say thanj u for the info on utis. The behavioral changes associated with uti are routinelyexperienced by not only alzheimer patientsbut most elderly patients generally. I saw many elderly while in my 20 years in nursing home caregiving. I am dealing with this with my own sister right now, she is only 62 and has no symptoms of alzheimers. Thank you.

  104. I am praying my dads ear and water infection clears up and he comes back to us as a normal hearing and the dad I speak to every day. I live in Wales he is in London. The infection is in his ears as well as his water. I am so so worried….

    • Hi Kim. You can find help at this number in Wales: National Helpline: 0300 222 1122 (9am – 5pm)

      You are also welcome to call our 24/7 service. We are located in the United States: 800.272.3900.

  105. I have asked my friend to contact you directly as I am just "passing on" information she writes about and she is truly the person to be talking to BUT I worry about her (my friend) because her mother is dealing with this disease and has been just thrown out of her third or fourth facility and they did not even have her shoes or sweater that she came with….and now won't answer the phone from my friend who is trying to get these things…..anyway, apparently her mother gets agressive and then the facility says they just can't deal with her….there must be something that is out there to help my friend. She buried her father a few years ago and I am sure her brother doesn't help much so this falls on her…she has walking pneumonia today (my friend) and is dealing with this. What does one do when the patient is rejected? They are not rich so mayb be that is part of the problem too.

    • I am wondering this same thing. It cost 6650 to be in nursing home until you are broke you an apply for Medicaid. But for that kind of money anywhere you would think if they know patient needs more assistance but they annoy restrain in nursing hone so I'm currently looking for a place with nee interaction with him he us currently stripping off clothes and manic combative which I think stimulates with the lack of people around to help and also when so many people are around causing anxiety attacks. I hope someone answers because I am not physically capable to care for him at Home. God luck to your friend.

  106. Apologies in advance if users of this site feel this post is not particularly appropriate to this thread, but I’d be very grateful if someone could explain how dementia (in any of its forms) can cause personality changes if the underlying pathology is neuronal death. I don’t get it. I don’t have any difficulty in accepting it can cause behavioural changes, but in personality? I gather it’s now clear from research into neuroplasticity that neural networks are re-mapped and maybe even generated throughout our lives in response to cognitive stimuli (I recently read, for instance, that a London taxi driver has – on average – a larger hippocampus than his bus driving counterpart), and personality changes in response to those of brain topology are one thing (apparently, it’s also not uncommon for clinical signs of even quite advanced dementia such as Alzheimer’s to be discovered during autopsies but for the individual concerned to have shown no signs of it because they had exercised their brains so efficiently – I find it concerning there seems to be so little mention of this). But I fail to see how such changes would result from the cellular necrosis by which I think this class of cognitive disorders is ultimately characterised. If remapping occurs in response to cell death in a given area of the brain – by way of bypassing it – it would surely be to simply replicate the functioning that had been lost.

    I DO (sorry for shouting but I don’t think I can use italics!) understand how it may be comforting to some children acting as carers to believe that personality can be changed by these diseases, as it may often be emotionally easier to ascribe to their affliction undesirable aspects of a parent’s intrinsic personality that might have not been exhibited prior to its onset (as they might have been skilled at masking or compensating for it). However, it is important to be direct, objective and reasoned in any analysis if for no other reason than the fact it may actually be discomforting to others, though truth for its own sake should suffice. It may also hinder therapeutic efforts, of course, if this assertion is flawed. For these reasons, I feel that the distinction between personality and behaviour is potentially important and not pedantic and/or petulant and/or merely academic.

    Great information re. UTI infections, by the way – this seems to have been at the root of a particularly manic period in my mother’s life a few months ago (she’s been diagnosed with mixed dementia).

  107. This is such an important and helpful piece as we are experiencing this with my mother. I don't think she has Alzheimer's, however, she has become quite forgetful the last few years. She is in her mid-80s. I'm wondering if changes in behavior occur only in those with existing dementia. With regard to dementia, are there any newer medications, supplements or anything else that are having a positive impact?

  108. My husband carries around knives and shoes. He will move them to different areas, put them down, pick them up and move them to a different location. He does this all day. He also pulls coats out of closets and just drops them on the floor. I am constantly going behind him and picking up these items and replacing them in the closet. Is this normal behavior for a dementia patient?

  109. why does a uti cause a memory loss

  110. My Mom who's is 80 has this horrible disease and also a UTI and she lashes out at us but she is upset because my Dad is in the hospital recovering from a major surgery. We learned he has stage 4 cancer in his liver but I have not told Mom because she cannot remember things and would ask over and over what has happened. Sometimes she can't remember where she is or when we take her to see as soon as we get home she forgets she just saw him and starts cussing us all out and threatening to kill us!!! It is hard and I've been sleeping on the floor in front of her chair so she won't get up and take off without her walker. I am exhausted and need some advice please.

  111. my uncle has alzheimers and he is so weak that he can not stand alone or walk. Sometimes he can. What could cause this? UTI he has had and he gets tired and weak, just stopped walking. What could be the cause. He has had two antibobitcs . But today he was so weak he could not stand or sit to eat. He hasn't walked for a while. He is taking therapy and they give him excercises to do. But he is too weak. What do you think.

    • Hello Sue. Feel free to call our 24/7 Helpline if you'd like to speak to a master-level professional who can assist you with this topic and issue: 800.272.3900.

      • This happened to my MIL. She got very weak, stopped eating and drinking, we thought she was dying. She was tested twice for a uti with negative results. The doc finally did a blood panel and found that her sodium levels were dangerously low. After a 2 day stay in the hospital, she was back to her "normal prehospital Alzheimers self". She resumed eating, drinking, etc

  112. I’m so glad the show has the Alzheimer’s story line. I’ve always said it is one of the cruelest diseases out there. I was surprised when Peter Bergman stated my exact words. People who have never deal with anyone with dementia/Alzheimer’s have no idea what the that person and their families go through. You’re totally helpless to help them. So heart breaking to see that person go from alert, vibrate and healthy to someone confused, helpless, violent, & not even knowing you. Thank you to y’all for finally bringing this story to light.

  113. Just read your info about your brother. I have twin sisters age 68 that are both in denial that they have any problems…will not go to doctor nor will their spouses do anything but protect them from outside world. So sad ..feel like I have lost two sisters. Feel helpless. Thank you.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Alz.org main site  |  Research  |  Advocacy  |  Care and support  |  Message boards  |  Disclaimer  |  Donate  |  Contact us  |  Sign up for e-news
© 2011 Alzheimer's Association | Blog Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha