The following strategies can help decrease the chance that a person with dementia will develop a UTI:
Adequate hydration. Encouraging adequate fluids can help reduce the chance of UTIs.
Don’t wait to urinate –Holding your urine too long can increase the risk of a UTI. I recommend having mom on a toiletingschedule – 30 minutes after meals, after she has fluid intake take her to the bathroom.
Encourage clothing that can breathe – Clothing that is too tight or underwear made from nylon as opposed to cotton can trap moisture and increase the risk.
Proper hygiene practices – Your mom may need some extra assistance with cleaning themselves and wiping properly after urinating or having a bowel movement. If you are concerned with moms hygiene here are a few tips:
If you are using wet wipes try to warm them up for a few seconds in the microwave, always ensuring that they are not too hot – this can be as a nice warm feeling for mom.
covering mirrors if the person doesn’t recognize themselves in the mirror
approaching her with a great deal of reassurance and patience, remember this is a intimate time for mom, make her feel as comfortable as possible.
making sure that the bathroom is warm enough and inviting, try incorporating a space heater to make the bathroom warmer.
providing adequate lighting in the bathroom, especially during evening hours
playing soft music in the background to create a calming and relaxing atmosphere
choosing the best time of the day for bathing – try to match her bathing routine before the onset of the dementia ….bathing at the time of day when she is most relaxed and choosing a type of bathing – bath, shower, sponge bath – with which mom is familiar.
Break down the tasks into simple steps, gently explaining each step – use simple, respectful language
Encourage her to do as much as possible by herself.
If you feel you may need help with showering/bathing it may be best to look into hiring a home health aid how many times a week mom showers to provide assistance.