For those who are caregiving for an aging loved one, it’s important to be knowledgeable about what the future might hold. This is especially true when it comes to the development of ailments such as Parkinson’s disease. If you have questions contact a regarding caregiving.
Being knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s can help foster lifestyle changes and create an early treatment plan!
For home health aides and caregivers alike, here are some early signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
One of the most commonly recognized signs of Parkinson’s is the tremor. This manifests as a subtle shaking within the hand, finger, and even parts of the face.
If your loved one has stopped exhibiting facial expressions, this could be masking, and it’s a sign of Parkinson’s. Due to the disease, your loved one may find moving their facial muscles difficult or painful. This often is described as an unchanging, serious face or blank stare.
Small handwriting, or micrographia, is another symptom of Parkinson’s. This is exactly as it sounds. Small handwriting is exhibited when you or your loved one’s handwriting has become especially small, cramped, or clumped together.
Rigidity is a symptom that manifests as an overall stiffness in the body. It often shows itself within the torso or limbs, and can be described as a tense feeling of tightness. It’s important to be especially vigilant, as rigidity is a symptom of Parkinson’s that is often mis-attributed to other health problems
Another sign of Parkinson’s is a soft-spoken voice, or hypophonia. If people are continually mishearing or asking you to speak up, this could be a sign of Parkinson’s. This is because the disease affects the parts of the brain that control motor function. This damage can manifest in a low, monotone voice.
Moving especially slowly, also known as bradykinesia, is a telling signifier of Parkinson’s. This can be an inability to begin moving, a slowing of reflexes, or a noticeable stillness. If you notice your loved one has become especially slow in their day-to-day life, it might be a sign that something is impairing their motor function.
Parkinson’s can manifest itself in a stooped or hunched over posture. This tends to walk hand in hand with the aforementioned symptom of muscle rigidity. The muscles might feel too tense to practice upright posture. Be aware if your loved one has significantly rounded shoulders, or seems to be leaning forward with their head and upper body.