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Warning Signs of Parkinson’s Disease & How to Recognize Them

By , 9:00 am on

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that gradually causes serious issues with movement, and it occurs because the nervous system stops functioning correctly. However, some medications can slow its progression or help seniors manage the symptoms. Since it is so important to begin Parkinson’s treatment promptly, family caregivers need to be aware of the warning signs of the disease. The following health issues are often mistaken for normal signs of aging, but they may be a symptom of the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Digestive Issues

Due to impaired nerve function, seniors with Parkinson’s may not feel the urge to go to the bathroom, and they often have difficulty with bowel movements. If your loved one complains of these issues, make sure he or she is getting enough fiber and water. Once these common causes of constipation are addressed, see if your loved one’s bathroom schedule changes. It may be time to speak to a doctor if your loved one still feels unable to go to the bathroom after a few weeks of getting enough fiber. 

Parkinson’s disease is a serious health concern that can impact your senior loved one’s overall quality of life. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an Edmonton home care company 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.

Difficulty Speaking

Parkinson’s affects the nerves in the vocal cords, causing people to talk quieter or slur their speech. If your loved one starts speaking at a considerably lower volume than before, consider getting his or her hearing tested. If his or her hearing is intact, the decrease in volume may be a sign of Parkinson’s. Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease benefit from speech therapy. 

Handwriting Changes

Your loved one’s body may alter his or her handwriting to compensate for the minor issues caused by Parkinson’s. Seniors with Parkinson’s disease tend to write in smaller letters and crowd the words together on the page. Compare your loved one’s current handwriting to earlier samples to see if it has noticeably changed. 

Parkinson’s disease can make it difficult to seniors to manage daily tasks on their own. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Edmonton respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Small Tremors

For many seniors, Parkinson’s disease starts as small, intermittent shakiness of the fingers, chin, or feet. Shakiness can also be caused by stress, muscle injuries, intense exercise, or medication, so make sure your loved one is not being affected by these factors. As the disease progresses, tremors may make it difficult for your loved one to function normally, but there are medications that can control tremors.

Changes in Walking or Posture

Because Parkinson’s disease affects the muscles that control major body movements, your loved one might begin to stand with a hunched back or find it difficult to swing his or her arms when walking. The stiffness associated with Parkinson’s disease can make seniors feel like their feet are stuck to the floor, so your loved one may shuffle while walking. If you notice these symptoms, visit the doctor to rule out arthritis, osteoporosis, or other potential causes of limited mobility. Seniors with these difficulties often find it is easier to walk when they try to take long steps.

Living with a serious health condition 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. Edmonton seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. If your senior loved one needs help managing the symptoms of a serious medical condition, call Home Care Assistance at (780) 490-7337 today.