What Are the Early Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?

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Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects approximately 500,000 people in the United States. Approximately 95 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease are over the age of 60. Though there’s no cure for the disease, early diagnosis can help with symptom management. Parkinson’s disease is often misdiagnosed in the early stages, as the symptoms can mimic other conditions such as arthritis. Look for these warning signs of Parkinson’s and talk with a doctor if you suspect your senior loved one may have the condition.

Shaking and Tremors

If your loved one has Parkinson’s disease, the cells responsible for producing dopamine will gradually die. Without dopamine, the brain has difficulty controlling movement, which is most pronounced in shaking and tremors in the hands. You may notice your loved one has a difficult time with fine motor movements due to shaking. In the beginning stage of the condition, the tremors will most likely be noticeable only to your loved one and may be on only one side of the body. As the condition progresses, the shaking and tremors may become more pronounced and occur in both arms and hands.

Stiffness

Seniors with Parkinson’s disease experience stiff, rigid muscles, which can make movement difficult. This stiffness is typically slight in the beginning stages. By the late stages of the disease, your loved one may have a difficult time moving to get out of bed, get dressed, or take care of personal needs. 

Seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can live at home, but they will need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. For many seniors in Allen, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

Balance Issues

Everyone loses their balance once in a while, but if your loved one experiences it often, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. You may notice your loved one stand up unsteadily, hold onto the wall while walking, or fall more frequently. 

If your loved one has balance difficulties, he or she may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated Allen home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Poor Posture

The balance problems that occur due to Parkinson’s disease may affect posture. If your loved one has a difficult time standing or walking due to balance issues, he or she may compensate by thrusting the neck and head forward. As a result, your loved one may appear to have poor posture.

Sleep Deprivation

Parkinson’s disease could cause your loved one to jerk suddenly, flail, or move constantly while sleeping, which could make it difficult to get the rest he or she needs. You may notice your loved one seems more tired than usual or takes a nap in the afternoon.

Handwriting Changes

If your loved one enjoys writing letters and cards to family and friends, pay close attention to any you receive from him or her. Shaking and tremors can make it difficult to hold a pencil and to write for extended periods. Your loved one’s handwriting may appear smaller or illegible due to these neurological changes.

Early diagnosis is critical because Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging in its final stages, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Allen Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (972) 548-0392 today.

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