Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are the most common bacterial infections that affect millions of people all over the world. Although one may contract a urinary tract infection at any age, incidences of the infection tend to rise in old age. It is also a fact that a UTI infection in seniors produces different and more severe symptoms, like agitation, sudden behavioural changes, and mental confusion.
The immune system of an older adult is very different from that of a young person. A urinary tract infection in seniors places stress on their body, which can result in mental confusion.
Why Older Adults Are at Risk for UTIs
As people age, they tend to start having issues with emptying their bladder completely. As urine sits in the bladder for longer, it allows bacteria to develop. Bladder muscles tend to weaken with age, which is one of the biggest reasons why older adults are unable to empty their bladder completely. In men, benign prostatic hyperplasia or an enlarged prostate gland can block the flow of urine. On the other hand, lower amounts of oestrogen in older women can lead to an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the vagina. Other risk factors for UTIs, including bladder infection in seniors, include catheter usage, kidney stones, diabetes, and a suppressed immune system.
Home Treatment for Urine Infection
The most common solution for urinary infections is prescribing antibiotics. While antibiotics work fine for mild UTIs, which often clear up within a few days, they may not always be the best choice, as they can have major side effects for seniors.
So, when it comes to severe or chronic UTIs in older adults, following some home remedies for urine infection treatment can prove to be very advantageous.
Best Home Remedies for UTI Treatment
There are a number of tried and tested home remedies for urine infection that not only treat UTIs but also help reduce chances of recurrence:
1. Drink Enough Liquids
Regular urination is the best way to flush out the bacteria and the foremost home remedy for frequent urination is to drink plenty of fluids. Depending on how much one can consume, drinking about 2-4 litres of water can help heal the infection. As the body produces more urine, the bacteria get flushed out quicker.
2. Urinate Frequently
It is very important for UTI treatment at home that you urinate frequently. As stated in the previous home remedy for urinary tract infection treatment, the more urine you pass, the faster will your body be able to flush out the bacteria. It is also very important to ensure that you do not hold in your urine, as that may help the bacteria multiply and worsen the condition. So, one should empty out their bladder as soon as the urge arises.
3. Adjust Your Diet
One of the tried and tested home remedies for urine infection in women and men is to follow a suitable diet. Foods like tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries, cranberries, and spinach can help treat UTI. On the other hand, it is smart to avoid foods that can worsen the situation, like carbonated drinks, alcohol, coffee, and tea.
4. Ensuring Personal Hygiene
This is not just a home remedy for UTI infection treatment but a mantra for life. Ensuring good personal hygiene is very important for treating a UTI. The genitals should always be kept clean and dry otherwise they become the perfect breeding ground for several types of bacteria. Always wiping from front to back, washing the rectum regularly, etc. are an important part of UTI treatment at home. Older women can also ask their healthcare practitioner about low-dose vaginal cream which can help postmenopausal women rejuvenate their vaginal skin, which in turn would help maintain the balance between good and bad bacteria.
5. Avoid Bladder Irritants
There are several common foods and beverages that can irritate the bladder and worsen the urinary tract infection. A very important part of following home remedies for urine infection treatment is to avoid bladder irritants like acidic food, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, etc.
6. Take Probiotics
Probiotics are the most effective natural remedies for urine infection treatment. The good bacteria that are found in yoghurts and several fermented foods are known to provide the body with a line of defence against infection-causing bacteria. For home treatment of the urine infection, eating probiotic-rich foods can go a long way.
7. Add Natural Supplements to the Diet
There are several natural supplements that can be added to the diet as a home remedy for UTI infection treatment.
Some of the best supplements that can help with UTI treatment at home include:
• Bearberry Leaf: This supplement is also known as uva-ursi. According to a study, combining bearberry leaf with dandelion leaf and root can help decrease the occurrence of UTIs.
• D-Mannose: This supplement is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries. Drinking cranberry juice is one of the most popular natural remedies for UTI treatment and preventing recurrences.
• Cranberry Extract: Similar to cranberry juice, the extract stops bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, making cranberries the best solution for urinary infection treatment.
• Garlic Extract: Known to be one of the popular home remedies for bladder infection, garlic is known to have antimicrobial properties. Garlic extract can help block the growth of bacteria to prevent the occurrence of UTIs.
8. Wear Comfortable and Loose Clothes
Another important part of home treatment of urine infection is to ensure wearing loose-fitting and comfortable clothes. When one avoids wearing tight-fitting clothes and clothes made with material like nylon, their skin is able to breathe easily. If incontinence is not an issue, the elderly person should be encouraged to wear cotton underwear that can help keep their genitals clean and dry as well. The underwear should also be changed at least once a day. On the other hand, if the elderly person uses continence briefs or diapers, soiled ones should be changed promptly and regularly.
9. Increase the Vitamin C Intake
Not only is Vitamin C known for boosting one’s immunity, but it is also one of the best home remedies for urinary infection treatment. Proper amounts of Vitamin C ingested in the diet work to increase the acidity of the urine. This in turn helps limit the growth of bacteria in the bladder.
10. Sip Some Green Tea
Often used as a home remedy for frequent urination, Green tea can also be used as a home remedy for urinary tract infection treatment. The tea has a compound called catechin, which is known to have antimicrobial properties. The compound can effectively kill the E-coli bacteria in the urinary tract and bladder that cause UTIs.
You will be able to find many Indian home remedies for urinary tract infection, but when it comes to older adults, one may need some support and assistance. Not all seniors are able to take care of themselves, and with conditions like forgetfulness, dementia, immobility, etc., following these home remedies for urine infection treatment may become quite difficult.
Without proper home remedies for urinary infection treatment, if UTIs are ignored, they can cause severe complications like acute or chronic kidney failures, sepsis, or cause damage to vital organs. Hiring home care services for senior citizens can help you ensure that your loved elderly person receives the care and attention they need. The caregiver can also ensure that the best natural remedies for UTI treatment at home are followed timely, so the elderly person can get well soon.
Offering a range of elder care services to help ensure the health and well-being of senior citizens, Emoha offers access to verified nurses and certified caregivers to help enhance the happiness and lifestyle of elders. At Emoha, it is always #EldersFirst.