Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

Early Warning Signs of Parkinson's Disease

There are many unknowns when it comes to Parkinson’s disease, sometimes abbreviated as just PD, including the cause and a cure. For the sixty thousand Americans diagnosed each year, one thing is certain – the symptoms will only worsen over time. Fortunately, if diagnosed early enough, many of the symptoms listed below can be managed with medication, therapy, and other treatment options, helping to improve the patient’s quality of life.

Early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease include the following:

1. Tremors

Nearly 70% of people in the early stages of the disease will experience slight tremors (shaking) in the hand or foot on one side of the body. These tremors occur when the body is at rest or when the person is physically or emotionally stressed. For example, many individuals will notice the thumb rubbing against the forefinger, or the hands trembling when held loosely at the side. While tremors are one of the most common signs of Parkinson’s disease, not all individuals will experience this. As the disease progresses, these tremors may affect other parts of the body and symptoms may worsen.

2. Loss of Smell

A reduced sense of smell is a common, yet often overlooked symptom of Parkinson’s that may develop up to 10 years before a diagnosis. According to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, 96% of newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients have lost some ability to smell. If you or a loved one has trouble smelling certain scents, consult your doctor to see if Parkinson’s may be a concern.

3. Cramped Handwriting

A sudden change in handwriting may be an early indicator of Parkinson’s disease. Many individuals will experience Bradykinesia, a term used to describe a slowness of movement and reflexes in the body. This causes difficulty with repetitive actions, especially handwriting. As the disease progresses, a person’s handwriting may appear smaller with words crowded together. The more a person writes, the worse this may appear.

4. Trouble Sleeping

Sleep disturbances are common with Parkinson’s patients. Many have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, often experiencing nightmares, muscle spasms, aches, and other sensations. Due to a lack of sleep, patients may also find themselves tired and restless throughout the day.

5. Speaking Softly

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, nearly 90% of people with Parkinson’s experience changes in their speech. Many tend to speak in a monotone, and many find it difficult to articulate sounds or syllables. As the disease progresses, you may find that other vocal changes may occur.

Other symptoms of Parkinson’s may include:
– Constipation
– Masked face
– Dizziness or fainting
– Postural instability
– Difficulty moving and walking

Benefits of Home Care for Seniors with Parkinson’s Disease

Finding out that your aging parent is suffering from Parkinson’s disease is a truly life-changing moment for your parent and for you as their family caregiver.

You suddenly find yourself at the beginning of what will likely be an extremely challenging care journey characterized by a wide variety of symptoms and limitations that can change quickly and without warning.

You know that much of what you thought about your future and the future of your aging parent, or what you planned for the care that you were going to give them is no longer applicable and that you will need to change your approach to handle what they go through as they move through this disease.

As you are dealing with this news and preparing yourself for the challenges that lay ahead for your parent and for you, one of the best decisions that you can make for them is to start home care services. Having an elderly home care services provider in the home with your parent from as early as possible in the disease can make a tremendous difference in your parent’s quality of life, health, and well-being throughout the progression.

Some benefits of starting home care services for a senior in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease include:

1. Getting them accustomed to the care: Particularly if your elderly loved one has always been fairly independent and active, the need for care and the realization that they are suffering from a condition that threatens their health, well-being, and function can be upsetting. Starting the home care early is a way to help your parent get used to the idea of care as well as the care provider as an individual. Getting accustomed to this care now can help them to cooperate more and feel more at ease for when they require additional care later.

2. Protect their mental and emotional health: Knowing that they are suffering from Parkinson’s disease can be emotionally stressful and challenging for your parent. The highly personalized services of a care provider can help your parent to have a better outlook on their future and to find ways to continue to find fulfillment as they move forward in their life. This can help them to prevent loss of motivation, depression, and other potentially serious issues.

3. Proactive rather than reactive care: There is no way of knowing for sure what types of symptoms your aging parent will experience or how quickly they will progress through their disease. While their doctor can help them to understand their condition and how they might move through the five stages, your parent’s experience with PD will be personal to them. This means that they might have a specific set of symptoms and then develop others unexpectedly.

Having a home care services provider with them ensures that they can provide proactive care, helping your parent manage their needs and stay safe throughout the experience rather than trying to respond after they develop. This can help them to stay safer and healthier, and keep their quality of life high as they age.

Contact Sonas for Home Care Services in Florida

A diagnosis of Parkinson’s may be devastating for families, especially those with no prior experience with the disease. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you’re not alone. Sonas Home Health Care can refer a knowledgeable and loving caregiver to provide assistance to you and your family, from a few hours per day to ongoing longterm care. Give us a call to speak with a representative, or visit us online to Request a Free In-Home Assessment.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring home care services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Sonas Home Health Care today. (888) 592-5855

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