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Know the Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

August 08, 2014
 At Visiting Angels, we know sometimes illnesses go undiagnosed because people aren’t aware of the warning signs. While Parkinson’s disease has been in the news a lot lately, it doesn’t mean we are all aware of the warning signs. Knowing what to look for can help to ensure the health of your loved one.

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Parkinson’s disease is a “chronic and progressive movement disorder.” This means the symptoms of Parkinson’s will continue and get worse over time. While the causes are unknown and there currently is no cure for Parkinson’s, we do have a list of symptoms you should be aware of.

  • Shaking or tremors of the hands or feet
  • Slowing of movement, also called bradykinesia
  • Rigidity or stiffness of the limbs or trunk
  • Problems maintaining balance while standing, often called postural instability
  • Micrographia or small cramped handwriting
  • Freezing or hesitating before taking an initial step forward
  • Loss of facial expression

With approximately one million Americans suffering from Parkinson’s, it is important to be aware of these symptoms. If you are concerned your loved one may be showing signs of Parkinson’s, please call their doctor. The symptoms of Parkinson’s can start small, but worsen over time. What may seem like a minor problem can be the calling card for future concerns.

If you plan to visit your doctor, consider asking some of these questions:

  • Can you tell how advanced the Parkinson’s is?
  • Can you anticipate how quickly the symptoms will worsen?
  • Will the Parkinson’s affect my routine? If so, how?
  • Will I be able to continue living independently?
  • What medications or treatments for Parkinson’s do you suggest?
  • Are there side effects to these medications?
  • How will these medications/treatments affect or slow the progression of the disease?
  • Is there anything else I can do to slow the progression of the disease?

If you are concerned about your loved one’s ability to live alone with Parkinson’s disease, consider elderly companion care services from Visiting Angels. Our elder care providers can check in regularly with your loved one to ensure they are safe and healthy. Our elderly companion care services can include light housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, and medication reminders.

To ensure the health of your loved one, please consult with their physician regarding symptoms of Parkinson’s disease they may be displaying.

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