Parkinson’s disease is a health condition that starts in the brain but causes symptoms throughout the entire body that can have a significant impact on a senior’s quality of life. While scientists are still working to find a cure, there are treatments that can slow the progression of the disease and preserve a senior’s abilities. Watching out for these signs of Parkinson’s makes it possible to identify cases early, which can help your aging loved one have a better prognosis.
1. Loss of Smell
Since the pandemic started, people have become more aware of how certain health conditions impact the sense of smell. Parkinson’s disease is also associated with a loss of smell, but this can also be caused by allergies, colds, and other conditions. Still, it’s worth mentioning this symptom to your loved one’s doctor, especially if it occurs in the absence of cold or flu symptoms.
2. Hand Tremors
This is one of the first symptoms people tend to notice. Some seniors may shake briefly after strenuous exercise or in response to low blood sugar. Seniors who consistently have tremors in their hands or other limbs may need to be tested for Parkinson’s.
Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with everyday activities, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable in-home care. Families trust Assisting Hands Home Care to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
3. Slow Movement
When you get the chance, take a moment to observe how your loved one walks. If you find yourself needing to wait for your parent often, it could be caused by the effects of Parkinson’s disease on his or her coordination. Keep in mind this symptom is sometimes accompanied by other issues that can hinder mobility, such as stiffness. Making sure your loved one has assistance at home when you aren’t available can prevent serious injuries.
Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Miami seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
4. Changes in Speech
Someone with Parkinson’s disease may also begin to speak in a monotone, and this can sometimes be accompanied by mask-like facial expressions. Your loved one may also talk louder or quieter than normal, or his or her speech could slur. If the speech changes are new, you’ll also want to check for signs of a stroke. Even in the absence of a stroke, seek immediate medical care to identify the cause of slurred speech.
5. Writing Difficulties
Seniors who suddenly start writing in tiny print may be experiencing cognitive changes from Parkinson’s disease that are expressed physically. Some seniors whose handwriting was previously neat suddenly begin writing illegibly due to the effects of tremors. If you aren’t sure how your loved one wrote before, try to find samples of items he or she has written in the past to use for comparison.
6. Emotional Symptoms
As you might imagine, living with tremors, a loss of smell, and mobility challenges might leave your loved one feeling frustrated. Emotional symptoms of Parkinson’s can also develop due to the effects of the condition on dopamine levels. While you can’t stop every angry outburst, having someone nearby to assist with distractions or completing tasks can help your loved one feel more emotionally stable.
Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a Miami home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (305) 574-9137 to learn more about our customized care plans.