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Professionals at nursing homes sometimes miss UTIs

If you have an aging loved one in a nursing home, you want to ensure he or she receives the best possible care. Still, urinary tract infections are often easy to miss. As such, you may need to closely monitor your relative to be certain he or she receives treatment for a UTI. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, a UTI occurs when the bladder, kidneys, uterus, urethra or another part of the urinary system develops an infection. Usually, UTIs come from bacteria entering the urinary tract. While nursing home professionals properly diagnose many UTIs, they sometimes either misdiagnose these infections or miss them entirely. Here are three reasons diagnosing a UTI may be difficult. 

1. Symptoms may be misleading 

While some UTI symptoms are classic, such as abdominal discomfort, others may be misleading. For example, your aging loved one may experience confusion or disorientation during a UTI. Unfortunately, to the untrained professional, these symptoms may not appear to relate to an infection. In fact, a medical professional may think your loved one has dementia. 

2. Nurses may be too busy 

Infected urinary tracts happen for a few different reasons. Those who experience incontinence, though, are at a higher risk of developing an infection. As such, if nurses or other care providers are too busy to ensure proper hygiene, a UTI may be the consequence. 

3. Patients may have communication barriers 

As you likely know, not all nursing home patients have the ability to communicate effectively. If your aging loved one has difficulty speaking, hearing or otherwise communicating, diagnosing a UTI may be increasingly challenging. 

A UTI may cause your aging mother or father to experience pain and confusion. Because you may not be able to depend on nurses to diagnose a UTI, you may need to advocate for your loved one’s best wishes. By understanding UTIs and why professionals miss them, you can ensure your parent receives the care he or she needs to thrive in the nursing home.

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