Thursday, April 1, 2010


Symptoms: confusion, delirium, nightmares, memory loss, agitation.

Diagnosis: urinary tract infection.

Really? This sounds like an April Fool's joke.

The doctors and nurses acted nonchalant about mom's symptoms, "We see this response to urinary tract infections all the time in the elderly."

"The link between dementia and urinary tract infections was made nearly 20 years ago, while general awareness is improving, it should be better."
Actually, the correct term is 'delirium,' which arises quickly and is temporary, as opposed to 'dementia,' which has a slow onset and is permanent.

Any sudden change in elderly behavior -- agitation, memory loss, inability to perform usual tasks -- should be a red flag that an infection can exist. The good news is that once the infection clears up, so do the symptoms.

Mom has been on antibiotics now for a week and is making a great comeback.

If this problem is so prevalent, why had none of us heard of it? Consider this the beginning of an awareness campaign. Spread the word.

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