Warning Signs of Parkinson’s Disease in the Early Stages

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Early treatment for Parkinson’s may slow down the progression of the disease and relieve symptoms, leading to a better quality of life and more independence. As a family caregiver, it’s necessary to monitor your senior loved one’s activities and regularly take him or her to medical appointments, allowing treatment to start as soon as possible. Understanding the early signs of Parkinson’s disease is one of the best ways to slow its progression, and as a caregiver, you should be on the lookout for these symptoms.

Tremors

Tremors are a typical early sign of the disease. When they occur, an affected part of the body will shake or twitch. The most common body parts to experience tremors are the chin, hands, and legs. 

In the early stages of Parkinson’s, this symptom is subtle but still noticeable. The tremors will generally occur on one side of the body during the beginning stages and spread to other areas as the disease progresses. When you notice tremors, don’t simply associate these signs with anxiety or aging issues. Instead, take your loved one to see a physician for testing and medical recommendations. 

Early diagnosis is critical because Parkinson’s disease may be particularly challenging in its final stages, and family caregivers may easily get overwhelmed. Caring for a senior loved one may be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers may turn to Columbus Home Care for the help they need. We provide high-quality in-home care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Issues with the Sense of Smell

Years before being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, many seniors have already lost their sense of smell. However, it’s often ignored and associated with aging and other health problems. While the disease is often thought of as a movement disorder, there are non-motor symptoms your loved one could experience. Parkinson’s affects dopamine-producing cells in the brain, impacting its ability to perform essential functions, including the ability to smell. 

Difficulty smelling odors could lead to poor hygiene, which is a warning sign. If your loved one isn’t able to smell foods or differentiate among various odors, these may be early symptoms.

Changes in Handwriting

Even though this is one of the top warning signs of Parkinson’s, it could be challenging to discover in today’s society due to texting, emailing, and other nontraditional communication options. However, encouraging your loved one to write by hand benefits his or her motor skills, boosts brain activity, and strengthens vision. Therefore, the more your loved one writes, the more he or she could stave off various age-related problems, but it may also allow you to monitor his or her writing. If you notice it’s too small, cramped, and shows other abnormalities, this could be a sign of Parkinson’s.

Seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s may live at home, but they will need assistance from family members or other caregivers to do so safely. For many seniors in Columbus, in-home care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they may trust and rely on. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we extensively screen all of our caregivers. Our strict requirements ensure seniors may remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

Balance Issues

The nerve cells are typically impacted early by the disease, which is why this could be one of the most significant signs to look out for. The impairment will make it challenging for your loved one to move around the home because of decreased balance and flexibility. When you notice balance issues, it’s necessary to take your loved one to the doctor to conduct a pull test. The amount of time it takes your loved one to regain balance during the test may help the physician determine if it’s Parkinson’s or another health problem. 

If your loved one has balance difficulties, he or she may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated elder care providers may reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we may make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your parent, give us a call at (614) 481-4141 today.