Affecting about one percent of the population in the 55 to 65-year age group, Parkinson’s disease is a condition where the brain stops making a chemical called dopamine that’s responsible for movement. Since early symptoms can be confused with other conditions 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, presented by Douglas County Home Care Assistance.
Tremors or Shaking
Initial shaking or trembling tends to be barely noticeable. These involuntary muscle contractions could occur in the fingers, on the hand or on the face (especially the chin or lips). Symptoms could extend to a shaking of the legs when sitting down, especially when there’s no obvious reason, such as after a long walk or following exercise.
Difficulty Moving or Walking
Stiffness that goes away after resuming regular movement is normal. However, stiffness in arms and legs that lingers could be a sign of Parkinson’s disease. Additional symptoms may include arms that don’t swing naturally while walking or stiffness in hips and shoulders.
Other Possible Signs of Parkinson’s Disease
- A noticeable change in handwriting style (usually from larger to smaller lettering)
- A change in voice (usually a transition to softer or lower tones)
- Not being able to clearly 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
Experiencing a single symptom 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 for confirmation. As with many other conditions, medication and early detection also increases the odds of responding well to treatment.
If you have an aging parent or loved one who has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it’s important to begin planning for long-term care needs. For instance, additional assistance from a professional caregiver can be essential for managing symptoms in the early stages, while 24 hour care in Douglas County may be required in the later stages as activities of daily living become difficult and dangerous to perform.
To learn more about in-home care, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We specialize Parkinson’s home care in Douglas County and have a team of highly trained and compassionate caregivers who can deliver care on a flexible hourly or live-in basis. Call 720-441-3522 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation – we can answer questions or simply have a conversation. We’re here to help 24/7.