Recognizing Early Signs of Parkinson’s

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Affecting about one percent of people between the ages of 55 and 65, Parkinson’s disease is a condition where the brain stops making a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Since early symptoms can be confused with other conditions that are common among older adults, it’s important for seniors and their loved ones to pay attention to possible signs of the disease. Here are a few of the most easy-to-detect warning signs of Parkinson’s.

 

Tremors or Shaking 

Initial shaking or trembling tends to be barely noticeable. These involuntary muscle contractions could occur in the fingers, the hands, or the face (especially the chin or lips). Symptoms could extend to legs shaking when sitting down, especially when there’s no obvious reason, such as after a long walk or exercise routine. 

If your loved one is experiencing tremors, he or she may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated homecare providers can reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care. 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.

 

Difficulty Moving or Walking 

Stiffness that goes away after resuming regular movement is normal. However, lingering stiffness in the arms and legs could be a sign of Parkinson’s disease. Additional symptoms may include arms not swinging naturally while walking and stiffness in the hips and shoulders. 

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 Miami, FL, 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 Assisting Hands Home Care, we extensively screen all of our 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. 

 

Other Possible Signs of Parkinson’s Disease 

  • A noticeable change in handwriting style (usually from larger to smaller letters)
  • A change in voice (usually a transition to softer or lower tones)
  • Not being able to smell certain foods (especially bananas and dill pickles)
  • A “serious-looking” face, even when not in a bad mood (called masking)
  • Sudden movements during sleep
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Constipation

Experiencing one of the symptoms listed here shouldn’t be cause for alarm. However, if multiple symptoms are observed, it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution and consult a doctor. As with many other conditions, early detection increases the odds of responding well to treatment. 

If you have an aging parent who has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it’s important to begin planning for his or her long-term care needs. For instance, additional assistance from a professional caregiver can be essential for addressing symptoms in the early stages, while 24-hour care may be required in the later stages as activities of daily living become difficult and dangerous to perform. 

Early diagnosis is critical because Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging in its final stages, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of at-home care Miami Beach, FL, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Rely on the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (305) 574-9137 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.

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