As we age, we are opened up to more and more illnesses that we probably never even dreamed of in our 20s and 30s. One of these illnesses is Parkinson’s disease, which affects our nervous system and leads to things like tremors and stiff muscles.
A diagnosis of Parkinson’s can be devastating. But if you prepare for it by learning all there is to know about the disease, this can be a great help, as you will not be blindsided, and you can take action to slow its progression.
The first step, though, is identifying the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. If you or your home care aide notice any of these signs in your aging loved one, schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as you can, to find out if Parkinson’s is to blame.
• Shaking and tremors – Tremors are the most commonly noticed symptom of Parkinson’s disease. If your loved one has been having an odd twitch or shaking in their fingers or hands that isn’t a result of overuse, this could be a sign that they are showing early evidence of Parkinson’s.
• Loss of sense of smell – When we have a cold, we often lose our sense of smell for a time. But if a loss of smell comes out of the blue, and doesn’t go away, this could be a symptom of Parkinson’s. This is especially notable if your aging loved one has trouble smelling dill pickles, licorice, and bananas.
• Stiffness – Stiff muscles are common in the elderly, but if they occur for no reason and don’t get better after a bit of stretching or walking around, this could be an indicator of Parkinson’s. Stiffness in the hips and shoulders with no previous trauma to those areas is especially worrisome.
• “Looking stiff” – Another indicator of Parkinson’s is the lack of automatic movements, like swinging your arms when you walk. If you or your home care provider notice that your loved one looks as if they are holding their arms stiffly at their sides when they walk, this could be a sign that they need to be checked out by a doctor.
• Vocal changes – Speaking in a softer, hoarser voice could also be a sign of Parkinson’s, as could slurred words. This has to do with the changing of the brain due to this illness, and should be looked into as soon as possible.
• Less blinking – Blinking is another automatic movement that requires no thinking on our part. In someone with Parkinson’s, though, blinking happens less often because the brain’s signals are getting mixed up somewhere along the line.
Parkinson’s is a terrible illness, but one of the “positive” things about it is that it is easier to identify than some other illnesses, as symptoms like tremors and muscle stiffness are easily noticed. When people think Parkinson’s, they think of those symptoms, so if you or your home care aide notice them, you are more likely to suspect that they are signs of this particular disease, and get your loved one to the doctor as soon as possible. Parkinson’s cannot be cured, but the sooner you act, the more you and your doctor can do to slow the progression and ensure a more comfortable life for the one you love.
If you or an aging loved one are interested in hiring home care services in Gilbert, AZ or the surrounding areas, please contact the professional team at Devoted Guardians Home Care. Call today at (800) 699-4781 or (480) 999-3012.
Aaron spent 5 years working for Intel Corporation in Chandler, Arizona right out of college until he ventured off on his own. Aaron has owned and operated successful small businesses for the past 10 years.
Aaron is currently the CEO and owner of Devoted Guardians a Non-Medical In Homecare Agency covering the entire Phoenix valley. Aaron has been CEO since 2012 and running businesses since 2005.