They can literally drive them crazy
Did you know: In the elderly, mental changes or confusion often are the only signs of a urinary tract infection and possible spread to the blood should be considered?
Look, having witnessed this first hand on more than one occasion but most recently with really serious mental change occuring in my Mother I just felt it was an issue that needs more attention.
If you are a caretaker of an elderly parent, or any other elderly family member for that matter, and you see subtle signs of confusion about little things or maybe your loved one has a bit of trouble saying their words, mixing them up so they don't make much sense, this could be the first sign of a urinary tract infection and if untreated it could get very serious.
Pay attention to little things. I know my Mom has a pretty sharp mind, as a general rule, and I can usually see a urinary tract infection coming but in this last case she was already on antibiotics for it and we didn't realize they weren't really working. She got more and more mentally unbalanced until, finally, she had to go to the E.R. and get a strong dose of IV antibiotics. It was really pretty scary. She is recovering now and back to her old sweet self.
If your normally alert, elderly loved one starts talking kinda whacky and seems confused about little things, don't jump to the conclusion that it's just old age or they're getting alzheimer's or going senile, it could be that they have a urinary tract infection and just need antibiotics to clear it up. Take 'em to the doctor and get 'em checked out.
I get a lot of hits on elderly care. Isn't that interesting? I don't know why I found that surprising, it's a part and cycle of life and all of us caring for elderly parents could probably share some of our experiences with each other and save each other a lot of problems.
Mom just needs to put on a lot of weight now and get stronger. She and I could always use your prayers, 6 or 8 times a day, that's all we ask. ;)