Parkinson’s can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages because many of its symptoms are similar to those of general aging. It is important to know the signs associated with the disease so you can get your senior loved one diagnosed and provide the Green Valley Parkinson’s care he or she needs as early as possible.
1. Changes in Mobility
If your loved one feels stiff in the arms, legs, hips, or shoulders, and if the stiffness does not go away once he or she gets up, this could be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease. Be sure to watch the way your loved one’s arms move as he or she walks. If the arms don’t move or are stiff, he or may be experiencing early-stage Parkinson’s symptoms. Because there is no way to completely prevent Parkinson’s, your loved one can try to slow the progression of the disease. Following a diet high in fruits, vegetables, fiber, fish, and omega-3 fatty acids may offer some protection against the disease. Eating less meat and dairy may also help, in addition to getting regular exercise.
2. Loss of Smell
If you notice your loved one can no longer smell the aroma from the freshly baked apple pie you have prepared or the scent of flowers and air fresheners, this could be a warning sign he or she is in the early stages of Parkinson’s. Loss of smell generally develops prior to the loss of motor or cognitive skills.
3. Tremors and Shaking
Constant shaking and twitching of the limbs may be an early sign of the disease. If your loved one’s lips and chin are twitching and shaking, even when he or she is relaxing, this may be a sign of Parkinson’s disease. To help prevent or alleviate the tremors, your loved one should move the affected body part as often as possible. Alleviating stress also helps prevent tremors and shaking, as does getting adequate sleep and complete relaxation.
4. Difficulty Sleeping
If your loved one has been complaining about lack of sleep, this could be a sign of Parkinson’s. Your loved one may be experiencing sudden movements while sleeping, including kicking, punching, or even falling out of the bed. These movements may make it difficult for him or her to sleep, and they could be due to the development of Parkinson’s. Make sure your loved one is only using the bed to sleep, not using it to read and watch television. Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes, and expose your loved one to as much daylight and brain stimulation as possible so he or she can sleep better throughout the night.
Managing Parkinson’s disease can be a challenge, but you and your loved one don’t have to face it alone. At Home Care Assistance, our live-in and respite caregivers are trained to assist with mobility, provide transportation and emotional support, and help with tasks around the house like cooking, bathing, and grooming. To learn more about the home care Green Valley, AZ, seniors rely on, call 520-625-2050 today.