While UTIs are a year-round concern, ahead of what is expected to be another busy winter in the NHS, people aged 65 and older and carers are being reminded of the steps they can take to reduce their risk of getting a harmful infection.
Some of the symptoms of UTI include needing to pee more frequently or urgently than usual, pain or a burning sensation when peeing, new pain in the lower tummy, kidney pain or pain in the lower back, blood in the pee, and for older people can include changes in behaviour such as acting agitated or confused.
UTIs are also one of the leading causes of life-threatening bloodstream infections. If left unmanaged they can lead to severe infection, sepsis, a long stay in hospital and in the most serious cases death.
To prevent a UTI, take regular drinks, like water or squash keep, to keep hydrated. Aim to drink six to eight cups or glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower-fat milk and sugar- free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count.
Regularly drinking may mean more trips to the toilet. If you are having difficulties getting to the toilet or worried about incontinence discuss this with your doctor or a nurse who will be able to help you. Don’t reduce the amount you drink.
If you have or you think someone you know has a UTI, act promptly and visit your pharmacist, GP, NHS111 or NHS walk-in centre.