iStock_000026872374_Large-300x200Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in the elderly are more common – and more dangerous – than you might think. In fact, they’re the most common infections in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, according to the Ann Arbor VA Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center. And they’re particularly dangerous because they can lead to bacteria in the bloodstream and may result in hospitalization. It’s estimated that 50% of all nursing home and assisted living residents suffer from bacteria in their urine without showing symptoms.

The Annals of Long-Term Care shares more concerning facts:

  • Nursing home and assisted living residents using catheters are particularly susceptible to UTIs. One study showed that 90% of residents using a catheter had bacteria in the urine and 50% will suffer from UTIs each year.
  • UTIs are often resistant to antibiotics; yet over-prescription of antibiotics remains a significant problem in nursing homes.

And, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that two-thirds of all residents will be given at least one course of antibiotics this year, and that 25 to 75 percent of those prescriptions will be inappropriate. But as a result of the heavy use of antibiotics, 27,000 nursing home residents will suffer from a drug-resistant infection.

Clearly, healing from a UTI in an institutional environment is a challenge, with a heightened potential for additional complications. Consider instead the benefits of healing from a UTI in a Residences by Regency family home:

  • Proximity of Care
    Because the caregiver is never more than a few feet away in a Residence by Regency, we are able to respond to needs more immediately than facilities. This means that clients who are incontinent won’t have to wait lengthy periods of time to be helped to the toilet or to have their adult diaper changed, resulting in less opportunity for UTI development.
  • Care Delivery
    Due to the 8 hours of direct care per day, we’re able to anticipate needs before they arise and respond to them quickly when they do. Further, because our caregivers aren’t rushed, we have found that they can take the time to provide thorough and appropriate personal care in a dignified and respectful way.
  • Caregiver Consistency
    Rather than a rotating schedule of 15 or more caregivers, a Residence by Regency is staffed by a team of a few committed, consistent caregivers. We have found that this allows us to identify and address UTIs extremely early. asked Oftentimes our caregivers will notice that something is “just a little off” with one of our clients and is able to refer to nursing before the UTI is able to impact the client’s health and quality of life.

If you’ve been considering nursing home or assisted living care for your elderly loved one in the Atlanta area, why not explore alternative senior care options like those offered through Residences by Regency? With long term senior care provided in a residential care home with no more than four residents, Residences by Regency provides a warm, family environment with 24-hour senior care. Call us at 404-205-8368 to learn more.