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What Are the Early Warning Signs of Parkinson’s?

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on December 8, 2015

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that currently affects nearly one million people in the U.S. So far, scientists do not know what causes Parkinson’s disease and there is not a cure, but there are some excellent treatment options. However, providing effective Parkinson’s care in Roseville means being able to recognize the warning signs of the disease as they develop. If your loved one has any of the following symptoms, you should consult with his or her doctor. 

Tremors or Shaking 

Tremors or shaking in the hands, fingers, chin, lip, legs, feet, or arms may be a warning sign of Parkinson’s disease. Shaking and tremors may also be caused by injury or exercise or as a side effect of medication. To alleviate tremors, your loved one can work with a neurologist to time medication doses so tremors do not begin before the next dose. Your loved one can also eat a diet low in protein since high protein sometimes adversely affects medicines used to manage Parkinson’s. 

Stiff Muscles

Parkinson’s often causes muscles to tighten or become rigid and stiff, which can lead to pain and soreness. Often, the pain or soreness is severe enough to make walking or moving difficult. Stiffness in the wrists, knees, elbows, and hips are common with Parkinson’s. To alleviate the stiffness caused by Parkinson’s, your loved one can work with a physical therapist to develop a gentle exercise and stretching routine to do at home. These routines help muscles stay as flexible as possible and often help with the associated aches and pains as well.

Difficulty Walking and Maintaining Balance

Parkinson’s can also affect a person’s mobility, making it hard to walk without shuffling and difficult to turn corners, stop, and start. Additionally, poor balance associated with normal mobility like turning corners can be a warning sign of Parkinson’s. If you are providing Roseville senior care for your loved one, put down nonskid flooring or rugs and encourage your loved one to wear nonslip shoes. Keeping the legs ten inches or more apart when walking and mobility aids such as canes or walkers can help with your loved one’s balance.

Changes in Handwriting 

While some change in writing is part of normal aging, changes that occur quickly rather than over time may be cause for concern. Luckily, there are ways to alleviate handwriting symptoms. An occupational therapist can help your loved one write more easily and develop a routine to increase handwriting legibility. Typing on a computer or typewriter and saving handwriting for the times something really needs to be written down can reduce your loved one’s frustration and soreness.

Since each stage of Parkinson’s is associated with different symptoms, your loved one may need comprehensive care that can be easily adjusted to meet his or her individual needs. A professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help your loved one with mobility, exercise, and a wide variety of daily tasks. In addition to Parkinson’s care, we also offer Alzheimer’s, dementia, and post-stroke care in Roseville. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 916.226.3737 to schedule a free consultation.

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