Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Those who provide care for a senior loved one know when something seems a bit “off”. You become so familiar with the person’s mannerisms, routines, and daily life that even the slightest change can be glaringly obvious. And when something out of the ordinary becomes apparent to you – even if not yet noticeable to others – it’s important to pay attention, take notes, and bring them to the attention of the doctor.
One condition that often sneaks up on seniors is Parkinson’s disease. The symptoms can begin so innocuously that they may seem to be normal aspects of aging, or perhaps could simply be the result of fatigue or overcoming a recent illness: a slight shakiness in the hands, or a bit a slower gait than usual, for example.
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation outlines some of the common warning signs to be on the lookout for in your senior loved ones:
- Tremors: As many as 70% of those with Parkinson’s disease exhibit what are known as “resting tremors” – a shakiness on one side of the body (hand, foot, or face, for example) while that body part is in a relaxed state.
- Slowness: The term “bradykinesia” is defined as a slowing down of movements, particularly spontaneous or repetitive movements such as walking, talking, brushing teeth, eating, and dressing.
- Stiffness: Rigidity of muscles in Parkinson’s is distinct in that, as with resting tremors, the stiffness continues when in a relaxed state.
- Instability: Balance problems often arise for those with Parkinson’s, causing them to tend to sway backwards when standing up or changing direction.
- Freezing: Although similar to both the stiffness and slowness noted above, freezing in Parkinson’s more particularly describes a hesitation in taking a first step forward or when crossing through a doorway.
If your senior loved one has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it’s understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed and unsure where to turn. Home & Hearth Caregivers, serving DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will and the surrounding Illinois counties, is here to help!
Our in-home senior care services and home health caregivers help families just like yours by alleviating some of the stress associated with Parkinson’s disease, through in-home care services such as:
- Meal planning, preparation, and clean-up afterward
- Grocery shopping and running other errands
- Light housecleaning and laundry services
- Assistance with personal care like bathing, dressing and help going to the bathroom
- Motivation and encouragement to participate in exercise programs
- Friendly companionship and support with engaging activities
- Respite care and relief for family caregivers
- And much, much more
Our compassionate, caring staff can walk beside you and your loved one through each step, providing a trusted partner in care to give you the peace of mind you need. Call us at 800-349-0663 any time to get started or for a free in-home assessment of your loved one’s needs.