Recognizing the Early Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

By , 9:00 am on
Identifying Early Symptoms of Parkinsons's Disease in Arkansas

Parkinson’s disease develops when nerve cells degrade and the brain cannot properly control body movements. People generally do not show symptoms of Parkinson’s disease until they are about 60 years old, and it can take a while for a doctor to notice and diagnose this condition. Noticing Parkinson’s disease as early as possible can help your senior loved one seek treatment, so you should be on the lookout for these early signs of the disease. 

Serious Facial Expressions

Also known as “masking,” serious facial expressions are common among seniors with Parkinson’s disease. Your loved one might appear serious, depressed, or upset most of the time. People with masking do not blink often, and any changes in their facial expressions tend to be subtle. Masking occurs because Parkinson’s disease damages the muscles that control facial movements.

Parkinson’s disease not only affects facial movements, but it can also limit the ability to perform daily tasks independently. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Hot Springs home care company you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Tremors and Shakes

Parkinson’s disease often starts as a slight shake or tremor in one hand. The tremor can be as subtle as an occasional twitch in a single finger, but it will likely get worse over time. Tremors most commonly occur in the hands, feet, legs, arms, lips, eyes, or chin. It is normal for the body to shake a little after exercise, but your loved one should visit the doctor if the shaking persists. There are some medications that can alleviate tremors, and seniors often find wearing weighted devices or using heavier utensils helps with the shaking.

Difficulty Speaking

One of the first things Parkinson’s disease changes is the vocal chords, and seniors may begin to speak softly. Parkinson’s can also make it difficult to move the lips, causing seniors to slur their words slightly. These symptoms can make it challenging for seniors to communicate with their friends and family members. Some seniors can enhance their speaking skills by taking deep breaths before speaking and raising their chin slightly, while others may need therapy to increase control over their facial muscles.

Caring for seniors with Parkinson’s disease and helping them with speech therapy can be overwhelming for family caregivers. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Hot Springs, AR, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Stiffness

Parkinson’s disease can make it difficult for seniors to move around. In the early stages of the disease, seniors might feel stiffness in their shoulders, hips, arms, or legs. Seniors may experience some pain, or they might only notice it is difficult to move around. Stiffness and pain can often be eased with a hot bath or warm compress. Regular cardio and weight lifting exercises can decrease overall stiffness gradually. Yoga can also be very useful for seniors with Parkinson’s because it lowers stress and increases range of motion.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Hot Springs seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. If your loved one has been diagnosed with a medical condition and needs in-home care, call Home Care Assistance at (501) 764-1312 today.