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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) & Dementia - Know the Symptoms


Urinary tract infection, known as UTI can cause sudden confusion or delirium in older adults with dementia or Alzheimer's. Often, people with dementia or Alzheimer's are prone to incontinence and/or poor or improper hygiene. Sudden and unexplained changes in behavior, such as increased confusion, agitation, or withdrawal can be due to a UTI.


When someone with dementia or Alzheimer's develops a UTI it can be more difficult to identify the signs because word-finding or inability to express discomfort is impaired.


Common UTI symptoms include:

  • Increased falls

  • Changes in behavior such as increased aggression, agitation or anger

  • Changes in appetite

  • Sleeps more than normal

  • Increased confusion, delirium or disorientation

  • Decline in functioning that happens quickly not due to another condition

  • Increased anxiety

  • Change in urine color, smell or difficulty urinating

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