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Senior Care - Could Your Aging Loved One Have Parkinson's?

by Amy, March 30, 2017

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Perhaps you suspect something is wrong with your aging mom or dad, or even your spouse - but you can't quite put your finger on it. While some younger people become victims of Parkinson's disease, it usually occurs in those who are older. It can be very difficult to diagnose, however there are some symptoms you may notice that could mean it's time to schedule an appointment with a doctor. Our Bay Area in-home caregivers are sharing some important information below.

Shaking or tremor is one of the most notable symptoms of Parkinson's disease, although this can be caused by some medications or following substantial physical exertion. Whether a hand, leg, thumb, or even the lip or chin, trembling or twitching may be an early indication of the disease.

Problems walking or moving. A lot of those who are middle-aged or seniors experience stiffness from arthritis or even an injury, however constant stiffness that remains even when you move around can be something else. Stiffness in the hips or shoulder, or even other people noticing that a person looks stiff or that his/her arms don't swing when walking could indicate Parkinson's disease.

Other early warning signs of Parkinson's disease include:

  • Constipation
  • Sleeping issues
  • Loss of smell
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Smaller handwriting
  • Standing crooked or hunched over

Of course there are ordinary reasons for nearly all of these symptoms, and it doesn't necessarily mean someone has the disease. For instance constipation can be caused by a lack of fiber or water in the diet; many medications cause constipation. However, having to strain every day or having bowel movement problems on a daily basis isn't normal.

People's handwriting often changes as we age, usually because of poor vision or hands/fingers that are stiff from arthritis. A very sudden change in handwriting that results in smaller words that are crowded together could signal Parkinson's disease.

A blank stare, unblinking eyes, or expression that looks mad or serious could be masking, another symptom of the disease. This serious or mad look seems to be present much of the time, even when the person is in a good mood or happy.

The important thing to note is that most people who actually have Parkinson's disease will have a few of these symptoms, rather than one single symptom. However, if you have any concern at all it's important to schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Are you the primary family caregiver for an aging parent who needs help? Whether your loved one lives in Menlo Park, San Jose, or in the surrounding Bay Area, our home caregivers are dedicated to exceptional senior care you can feel good about. We care for your family as if they were our own!