Sometimes when you’re caring for a loved one in the middle stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, life can feel like some kind of warped game show.
You’re waiting for decline. Expecting it. Your loved one bounces back and forth between okay and a complete mess.
It can cause you to question your judgement and live in fear of the next cliff.
Common ailments and illnesses that we bounce back from quickly can be serious hazards to our loved ones with dementia. They can mimic and exacerbate the symptoms we are always watching out for. One of these major culprits is the Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
UTIs can be an Alzheimer’s caregiver’s worst enemy. It can make you think that you’ve been thrust into the progression of a new stage in the disease.
It can make you question your good sense as the expert on your caree.
It can make you feel the urge to go out and buy a bunch of crap to stop UTIs in their tracks or make a potential UTI go away.
It can make you have a full-on panic attack wondering if your loved one has the right amount of support.
It can make you feel like you’re the only contestant on a dark, lonely stage. There are no prizes. No cruises to Alaska or a brand new car.
Only fear, guilt, and uncertainty.
All you can do is try your hardest to provide the very best care of your loved one.
UTIs can happen no matter how many different ways you try to prevent them and how much you pray they would stay away.
If you find yourself feeling spinning in circles due to a loved one’s changing behaviors, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve all been caught up in the Is it a UTI or… game.
The key to winning is to
- knowing your loved one and their habits and behaviors (you’re already winning there!)
- educating yourself on the symptoms of UTIs, as well as strategies for keeping them at bay, and
- taking quick action if you suspect your loved one with Alzheimer’s may have a UTI (or any other kind of health condition that may be affecting their behavior and energy level). If you let an infection grow out of control, you run the risk of inviting septicemia in. Going septic can be deadly.
I joke, but it is not a game people!
Learn about how you can prevent UTIs with my recent post: