If you are a family caregiver for a senior loved one, being aware of age-related conditions can help you spot symptoms early on. For diseases like Parkinson’s, early treatment is critical for slowing the progression of certain symptoms. Presented by Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care in Waterloo, here are five common signs of Parkinson’s disease in the elderly.
Shaking of the extremities is one of the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease. While some shaking is normal after performing strenuous activity or lifting heavy items, seniors with Parkinson’s will experience tremors while doing easy activities, like pouring coffee or lifting a utensil. As the tremors caused by Parkinson’s occur even when the senior is resting, keeping an eye on your loved one as he or she watches television or is relaxing can reveal tremors and shakes. For seniors who experience this symptom, a Parkinson’s caregiver in Waterloo can frequently provide the physical assistance needed to perform these fine motor tasks.
2. Sleep Disturbances
Difficulty sleeping soundly is a common experience for seniors with Parkinson’s. If your elderly loved one complains of trouble sleeping at night, ask if he or she finds his or herself jerking awake. As Parkinson’s can cause both night tremors and vivid nightmares, seniors with this condition will frequently experience waking suddenly in the middle of the night.
Limb stiffness in the elderly is common as a result of other age-related conditions like osteoarthritis. However, unlike arthritis and other conditions, the stiffness caused by Parkinson’s disease is not localized to the joints. Instead, seniors with Parkinson’s will frequently experience muscle stiffness in an entire arm or leg, which can lead to difficulty walking or getting in and out of chairs. If you notice that your loved one walks without swinging his or her arms, this could be a sign of muscle stiffness in that limb.
4. Poor Posture
Parkinson’s disease can also lead to poor posture among seniors. If you notice that your loved one rapidly begins having difficulty standing up straight and walking without stooping or leaning, he or she should visit a physician. As this type of poor posture could be the result of injury, arthritis, scoliosis, or other age-related conditions, find the source of the problem will help your loved one either way.
5. A Blank Expression
Trouble controlling the muscles in the face is a frequent symptom of Parkinson’s. If your senior loved one consistently looks angry, disinterested, or depressed, even when he or she is otherwise acting happy, he or she may be experiencing facial masking. As facial expressions play a large part in communication, your senior loved one may struggle with meeting and talking to new people who may not know how to interpret his or her blank expression.
If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he or she may require professional assistance to continue living in his or her home. At Home Care Assistance of Waterloo, our expertly trained caregivers can provide around-the-clock assistance for a variety of daily tasks, including personal grooming, cooking, cleaning, and navigating the home, to help ensure your loved one is always safe and comfortable. In addition to our live-in Parkinson’s care, our caregivers can also provide high-caliber Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Waterloo for seniors with cognitive challenges.
To learn more about our senior home care services, give a Care Manager a call at (519) 590-2792 and schedule your free in-home consultation.