Early signs of Parkinson’s are easy to miss. However, early diagnosis can benefit a senior’s long-term health because families can learn more about the condition and start treatment as soon as possible. It’s important to inform a doctor if you see these signs of Parkinson’s in your aging loved one.
1. Small Handwriting
Parkinson’s causes changes in the brain that interfere with a senior’s fine motor movements. One of the ways this manifests is through handwriting. You may notice the words your loved one writes are closer than normal and the letters are smaller. Since most people’s handwriting doesn’t change much over time, this symptom should be reported to the doctor.
Uncontrollable shaking and twitches are other common signs of Parkinson’s. In the beginning, only your loved one might notice this symptom. Over time, others will also detect the tremors as they become more noticeable. Professional caregivers can help seniors with tasks that become more challenging due to the tremors, such as meal preparation that requires cutting with a knife or holding cookware steady.
Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Green Valley live-in care experts at Embrace In-Home Care are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place.
3. Sleep Disruptions
Many seniors have insomnia, but Parkinson’s symptoms cause additional sleep disruptions. Thrashing around, rolling out of bed, and other sudden movements may be a sign of Parkinson’s. The movements can wake your loved one and pose the risk of injury. Help your loved one sleep by maintaining a daily bedtime routine. A bed with rails and cushioning can protect your loved one from getting hurt if he or she experiences uncontrollable movements during sleep.
4. Increased Muscular Rigidity
As the body grows older, it’s normal to experience a little stiffness in the morning. However, Parkinson’s can cause muscle stiffness that lasts all day. Eventually, seniors with Parkinson’s tend to develop a shuffling walk, since they can no longer bend easily. Once this happens, your loved one may need assistance from a caregiver who can help him or her step over curbs and walk comfortably on outings.
If your loved one’s stiffness is severe, he or she can benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated in-home care providers can reach out to Embrace In-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.
5. Unusual Facial Expressions
Masking is a term used to describe the odd facial expressions seniors with Parkinson’s tend to display. Sometimes your loved one may have a blank stare, while at other times, he or she will have a serious expression even when the conversation is fun. Familiarize yourself with your loved one’s emotional state. Knowing your loved one’s facial expression may not match how he or she feels can help you communicate more effectively with him or her.
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 Embrace In-Home Care, a leading provider of senior care Green Valley, AZ, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (520) 625-2050 to schedule a free in-home consultation.