Early Warning Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

By Annette Bratcher, 5:48 pm on

Although shaking and tremors are the most commonly recognized signs of Parkinson’s disease, there are other identifiable warning signs that may be recognizable in the early stages of the disease. As a leading provider of Denton County senior home care, we know that early intervention with advanced conditions like Parkinson’s can help to preserve and prolong quality of life and wanted to share a few of the most common, yet overlooked warning signs of Parkinson’s.

  • Handwriting Changes – In the early stages of Parkinson’s, you may notice that the letters that your aging loved one writes are smaller and closer together than they used to be. You may also notice changes in the shape of the letters, with each letter generally becoming more rounded.
  • Changes in Voice and Smell – While the natural aging process is responsible for mild declines in both of these senses, extreme changes in voice and smell can indicate a more serious problem. If you notice that your aging loved one is suddenly speaking at a lower volume or is having trouble identifying strong smells, Parkinson’s may be the cause.
  • Constipation and Muscle Tension – Some people who have Parkinson’s notice that the muscles in the hip, knee, elbow and wrist tighten uncontrollably. This tightness can lead to pain that makes moving difficult. Constipation is also a sign of Parkinson’s that may go unnoticed until it is paired with muscles tension, tremors and other symptoms.

Why is Early Detection Important?

Although a cure for Parkinson’s disease hasn’t been discovered yet, being diagnosed early is likely to improve quality of life. If you notice any of the above signs in an aging parent or loved one, schedule an appointment with his or her primary care physician. If the physician feels that Parkinson’s may be the cause for such symptoms, they may refer your loved one to a neurologist.

Creating a Long-Term Care Plan

If your aging parent or loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s he or she can continue to live a full life when the proper management plan is in place. Speak with your loved one’s doctor about medications, therapy, surgical options and lifestyle modifications that can help manage symptoms and preserve independence.  You may also want to consider help from a professional part-time caregiver in Denton County who can assist in the early stages of the disease with household chores and personal care. As the disease progresses, you should also plan for more permanent care, such as live-in care to ensure safety and monitoring on an around the clock basis.

To learn more about available Parkinson’s care in Denton County, reach out to Home Care Assistance today. Our experienced and compassionate Parkinson’s caregivers are available 24/7 and are expertly trained in how to meet the specific needs of seniors and older adults with Parkinson’s. Call 972-468-6010 today and schedule a complimentary no-obligation consultation.