How To Treat UTIs As a Caregiver

Nate Birt

Written by Nate Birt on Mon Jan 23 2023.

How To Treat UTIs As a Caregiver

As a caregiver, you might need to know how to treat UTIs, also known as urinary tract infections. By taking several steps and using the right products, you can minimize the pain and discomfort associated with UTIs and help your loved one heal.

UTIs happen when bacteria enter the urinary tract. These infections can occur in the bladder, kidneys, ureters (tubes from kidneys to bladder), and urethra (the tube through which urine leaves the body). These infections can happen in those with a more challenging time keeping clean after bathroom trips due to age or mobility and those with diabetes or incontinence. 

This article will help you navigate treating UTIs step by step to get your loved one on a path to recovery. 

What You’ll Need

A variety of products can help your loved one get better from a UTI. Your loved one might benefit from:

  • UTI Prevention & Medication: If you’re unsure whether a loved one has a UTI, you can diagnose them with test strips. You can also use these products to treat pain and encourage urinary tract health.

  • Wipes, Washcloths, & Moist Towelettes: Help your loved one clean up after going to the bathroom, which can help keep bacteria from entering the urethra and causing an infection or reinfection.

  • Cleansers: Cleansers sanitize the skin, keep bad bacteria away, and provide a fresh odor, so your loved one stays clean.

  • Barrier Creams: Keep your loved one’s skin clean and free from infection by using cream to make a barrier between the skin and waste. Contact between dirty skin and the urethra can result in a UTI. 

Steps to Treat a UTI

Step 1: Evaluate your loved one’s needs

Knowing the signs of a UTI is essential to help your loved one if they need it. Symptoms of an infection in the urinary tract can include pain while urinating, blood in the urine, cramping, and even pain in the lower back. 

If you notice these things or your loved one reports them, seek treatment quickly. This can help your loved one manage and reduce the symptoms of a UTI. Schedule an appointment with the nearest urgent care to get your loved one the support they need.

For those with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, these telltale signs might not always be present. In these cases, you might suspect a UTI for other reasons. For example, your loved one might sleep more than usual, become depressed, or seem confused. These are good reasons to determine whether your loved one has a UTI.

Step 2: Visit the doctor for a diagnosis and antibiotics

Because UTIs are common, doctors and nurses have plenty of experience treating them. Often, they will prescribe an antibiotic to help your loved one get rid of any infection and begin the healing process.

Your loved one’s doctor may ask questions to understand the nature of the infection and run tests to confirm the diagnosis. Answer honestly and with as much information as you can provide. UTI is nothing to be embarrassed about. You can be confident to treat this condition regularly and help your loved person feel better.

Step 3: Get products to help their recovery

In addition to an antibiotic, your doctor might recommend a pain reliever or other UTI prevention products. Ask the doctor if there are other steps you can take to help your loved one stay as comfortable as possible.

Because people with UTIs sometimes experience incontinence or other issues, there might be incontinence & toileting products that can help during this healing period and also help avoid future infections.

Step 4: Encourage them to stay hydrated and dry

Bacteria are responsible for most UTIs, so it’s important to keep urinating to remove bad bacteria from your system. Provide them with a water bottle or glass of water to encourage them to stay hydrated. There’s no scientific evidence to prove that cranberry juice can treat UTIs. But it provides more flavor than plain water to help your loved one stay hydrated. 

Separate from drinking water, invite your loved one to wear less tight-fitting clothing. Looser clothing, especially around the waist and legs, can encourage airflow, which prevents the moisture that can encourage bacteria to grow and infect the body.

Step 5: Adopt good habits to prevent a future UTI

After going to the bathroom, a few smart habits can help your loved one avoid future UTIs. This starts thoroughly cleaning after using the toilet. If waste stays on the body, even in small amounts, it can harbor bacteria that can make their way into the body. So encourage your loved one to clean themselves, using wipes or cleansers, after each bathroom trip.

Also, remind your loved one to visit the bathroom whenever they feel the urge, even if it feels like they’re going too often. Elimination is the best way to get rid of harmful bacteria to avoid them getting into areas that may lead to infection. 

If your loved one wears incontinence pads or other protective clothing to absorb urine, help them change it regularly to prevent bad bacteria from sticking around. 

It’s also important to gently encourage them to go to the bathroom after intercourse or other intimate activities. This step can help reduce the risk of bacteria entering the urethra and causing a UTI.

Hear it from a caregiver

“I am a caregiver for my mom, and we both like the absorbency of this product. My mom likes the fact that they are easy to put on and are easily removable. So far, this is the best product that I have come across for my mom.”

Need more information?

There are many resources available to help you successfully learn how to treat a UTI. You can check out the links below for more information or call one of our caregiving specialists today at (800) 696-CARE. We look forward to helping you at any time, day or night!

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Nate Birt
Nate Birt

Nate Birt is a healthcare writer with a journalism degree from University of Missouri. He lives with his wife and their four children on a small farm in Missouri.