Parkinson’s disease develops when nerve cells degrade and the brain cannot properly control body movements. People generally don’t show symptoms of Parkinson’s disease until they’re 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 don’t 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, an in-home care agency 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 & 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, and chin. It’s 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.
One of the first things Parkinson’s disease changes is the vocal cords, 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 chins slightly, while others may need therapy to increase control over their facial muscles.
Providing care for aging parents with Parkinson’s disease and helping them with speech therapy can be overwhelming. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Huntsville Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
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’s 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 serious health conditions 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. Huntsville seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call (256) 716-9940 today.