Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be especially bothersome in the elderly. Our bodies change as we age, which may increase our risk of UTIs. If left untreated, these infections can cause discomfort and pain, as well as lead to more serious complications.
However, there are practical steps that can be taken to prevent UTIs in old age. Let’s look at five essential tips for avoiding UTIs and maintaining good urinary health.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated.
Maintaining a healthy urinary system requires adequate hydration. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, keeps bladder tissues hydrated and functioning properly. Furthermore, it dilutes the urine, lowering the concentration of bacteria in the bladder and thus aiding in the prevention of UTIs. According to research, some people can clear a mild UTI on their own by increasing their fluid intake. To promote urinary health and prevent infections, drink at least 50 ounces (about 1.5 litres) of fluid per day.
Remove Your Bladder Regularly
Urination is more than just a natural process; it is critical in preventing UTIs. Regular bladder emptying ensures that urine does not remain stagnant in the bladder for long periods of time. Because bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, promptly emptying the bladder removes the favourable conditions for bacterial growth. To maintain a healthy urinary tract and reduce the risk of infections, aim to urinate four to eight times per day.
Urinate Immediately Following Sexual Intercourse
Sexual activity can introduce bacteria into the urethra, raising the risk of UTIs, particularly in women. Urinate immediately after sexual activity to reduce this risk. After intercourse, voiding the bladder helps flush out bacteria that may have entered the urinary system, reducing the likelihood of infection. This simple step can make a big difference in preventing UTIs in sexually active older people.
Take a look at Cranberry Supplements.
Though scientific evidence is lacking, some believe that cranberry supplements may help prevent UTIs by inhibiting bacterial adhesion to urinary tract walls. If you want to try this method, consider taking concentrated over-the-counter cranberry supplements instead of cranberry juice to avoid excessive sugar consumption. While the evidence is not conclusive, some people report benefits from incorporating cranberry supplements into their daily routine.
Wash your hands from front to back.
Maintaining good hygiene is essential for avoiding UTIs. Always remember to wipe from front to back after using the toilet. This practise reduces the risk of infection by preventing bacteria from spreading from the anal region to the vagina and urethra. Proper hygiene, when combined with other preventive measures, provides an effective barrier against UTIs.
Preventing urinary tract infections in the elderly is critical for overall health and well-being. Staying hydrated, emptying the bladder regularly, urinating after sexual intercourse, considering cranberry supplements, and practising proper hygiene are five simple tips that older adults can use to significantly reduce their risk of UTIs.
However, if you suspect a UTI or experience any concerning symptoms such as fever, chills, dizziness, or back pain, you must seek medical attention immediately. Early detection and treatment can help prevent complications and ensure a healthy urinary system in later life. When it comes to urinary tract infections, remember that prevention is always better than cure.