Parkinson’s disease affects people aged 50 and above. It is a motor disorder and affects your movement and may later start to affect thinking and behavioral patterns, often turning into dementia at a later stage. The first signs of Parkinson’s are so indiscernible that neither you nor the people around you will notice them. It is important to heed the warning signs before the problem progresses too far. If you, or a loved one, feel that Parkinson’s is something you ought to be worried about, here are a few early signs you can watch out for, after which you should seek immediate medical consultation to get a proper diagnosis and then opt for elderly home care:
The first noticeable sign of Parkinson’s disease is tremors in the legs, arms, hands, and even lips or tongues. They may start out in small areas of the body, and a little bit of intentional movement of that area may cure them. Soon, however, if left untreated, they may spread to both sides of the body and eventually become so severe that they end up almost disabling you. The way to confirm whether or not a tremor is associated with Parkinson’s is to move around the body part that is affected. If movement worsens the tremor, it is most likely an essential tremor, a condition often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s. If the tremor gets better through intentional movement, it may actually be an early sign of Parkinson’s. Always go to a licensed medical professional just to be sure though.
Another early sign that should not be ignored is any changes in speech patterns, or weakness in the face and throat muscles. Your speech may become softer, slurred, slowed, and monotonous. Facial expressions become more vacant and unfocused, because the facial muscles are weaker and not under your control anymore. Any usual inflections and changes of tone may start to disappear, and you may be more hesitant when it comes to talking fluently. Swallowing also becomes tough, and many patients end up drooling, choking, and coughing unwittingly. If you begin to notice any of these changes in your speech pattern, or that of a loved one, it is advisable to see a speech pathologist who can help correctly identify the problem, and give you a treatment plan.
Over time, you may become more stooped and hunched over, and many of your movements may slow down. Your steps get smaller, normal activities start to take up more time than usual, and your balance is off more often than not. Many elderly patients associate these changes with the simple process of aging and do not realize that their bodies are sending out warning signals. It’s very important to take notice of these signals and seek immediate medical attention.
If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from a disease that cannot be managed alone, we are here to help out in any way we can.
The nurses at Partners in Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home senior care needs including how to stay healthy at home with RN managed affordable care. We are a private duty home care agency that provides elder home care serves in the Orlando area, call us at 407-788-9393.