Did you know that every year about 50,000 to 60,000 people in the U.S. are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, according to the National Parkinson’s Foundation? Usually the disease affects people who are over the age of 60, although Parkinson’s disease can strike young people, as it did to actor Michael J. Fox.
While there’s no cure for Parkinson’s disease, early recognition can help ease symptoms and improve overall quality of life for longer. In order to properly diagnose Parkinson’s disease, a battery of tests is required in order to rule out other conditions that often mimic Parkinson’s symptoms.
Here are the warning signs of Parkinson’s disease:
Mild tremors. This is often the symptom that pushes people to seek medical help.
Difficulty getting out of a chair. Getting out of a deep chair or off a sofa becomes increasingly harder.
Speaking too softly. This may not be very obvious at first.
Handwriting difficulties. The person’s handwriting is slower and looks cramped or small.
Losing track of a word or thought. Unlike regular memory lapses, this becomes increasingly common.
Feeling tired, irritable or depressed. This can be for no apparent reason.
Friends or family members may be the first to notice changes in someone who has Parkinson’s. They may notice that your loved one:
- Lacks expression and animation (known as “masked face”).
- Doesn’t move an arm or leg normally.
- Seems stiff, unsteady or unusually slow.
At Hillendale Home Care, we know firsthand the challenges associated with caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease. If your loved one is in the early stages of the disease, you may only need our skilled caregivers to run errands or do light housekeeping. As the symptoms progress, we can expand our services to include meal preparation, personal care, or respite care.
To find out more about how we can help your loved one with Parkinson’s, contact us by phone at 925-933-8181 or online for a free in-home assessment.