Parkinson’s disease affects the nervous system, causing difficulty with movement. It’s a progressive disorder, which means new symptoms appear and existing symptoms worsen as time goes on. Different people experience different symptoms, so the disease can sometimes be hard to diagnose. Knowing some of the common symptoms may help you to identify when there is a need to see a doctor.
One of the most common and perhaps most identifiable symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is tremor. Tremor is an uncontrollable shaking movement. It can affect the senior’s hands, chin, or fingers. Tremor can also present as a pill-rolling motion in which the older adult rubs their thumb and finger together repeatedly. Tremor typically occurs when the affected area is at rest.
#2: Changes in Handwriting
A symptom that many family members notice in older adults is a change in their handwriting. Parkinson’s disease can cause handwriting to become smaller and more cramped. This symptom is called micrographia.
#3: Moving More Slowly
Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease develop a symptom called bradykinesia. This is the term doctor’s use to refer to a slowing of movement. It may take the older adult longer to do tasks than it once did. They may also take smaller steps, making them walk more slowly than before. Bradykinesia can also make it difficult to get up from a chair or cause the older adult to drag their feet when walking.
#4: Changes in Speech
People with Parkinson’s disease sometimes speak very quietly or have a voice that sounds hoarse. Their voice may be so quiet that you frequently find yourself asking them to repeat what they said. People with Parkinson’s disease don’t usually know they are speaking too softly, so they may interpret your requests for them to say things again as you losing your hearing.
#5: Stooped Posture
You might see that your older family member isn’t standing as straight as they used to. They may appear to be hunched over or as though they are leaning. The change in posture can affect balance, so the senior may begin stumbling or falling more.
If your aging relative is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, elder care can assist with their care from the early stages through to the end stages. In fact, it is often better to involve elder care early on since it gives the senior a chance to get to know their providers and build up trust before care needs become more intensive. Elder care providers can assist with all non-medical care, including dressing, bathing, toileting, and eating.
For Elder Care Services in Memphis TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!