Preventing Senior Hospitalizations Part 2

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Part 2 of our Preventing Senior Hospitalizations campaign!

Don't Ignore the Symptoms

Just because a senior is aging does not mean they should be having aches and pains.  Many times we overlook symptoms that need to be addressed.  We don't want to make a fuss, don't want to go to the doctor and/or hospital, and we just don't want to admit something might be wrong!

However sometimes those small aches and pains escalate and you have to address them.  The key is to find out the cause before it escalate's.  The most common issue we see in seniors, is UTI's - Urinary Tract Infections.  We usually get a call from the family requesting help because mom just isn't herself lately.  She is acting out, not acting like herself, maybe acting a little loopy.

According to

The population most likely to experience UTIs is the elderly. Elderly people are more vulnerable to UTIs for many reasons, not the least of which is their overall susceptibility to all infections due to the suppressed immune system that comes with age and certain age-related conditions According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Younger people tend to empty the bladder completely upon urination, which helps to keep bacteria from accumulating within the bladder. But elderly men and women experience a weakening of the muscles of the bladder, which leads to more urine being retained in the bladder, poor bladder emptying and incontinence, which can lead to UTIs.

A simple thing like a UTI in a senior can cause many more issues.  So ignoring those small signs may escalate into something that was preventable.  Listen to what your mom, dad, and grandparents are not saying.  Are they moving slower, holding a part of their body when they get up, or just acting not like themselves.  Watch, listen and ask questions.  In my experience, not making a big deal of something and taking it slow, usually gets seniors to open up and tell you what is really going on.

Once you determine, that something is not right, bring them to their doctor so they can get checked out to ensure it is "no big deal" and to make you feel better.  Make sure your loved one truly communicates what is going on so their doctor can see the big picture and address the problem.  Then remember the #1 reason we talked about last week - Follow Doctor's Orders.  If the doctor makes a suggestion, make sure your family member follows through.  With a UTI, it could be as simple as taking an antibiotic for a week.

Remember aging does not equal aches and pains.  Sure there will be some, but don't ignore them!  Take a moment to assess your senior family member.  Have they been in any pain lately?  Did they or you just ignore it?  Speak with them ASAP and ask some more in-depth questions.  You will both feel better in the end!

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