What comes to mind when you think of the first signs of Parkinson’s disease? Tremors? Rigid muscles? While these are certainly common symptoms associated with Parkinson’s there are a number of lesser-known signs and symptoms that family caregiver should be aware of. Knowing about these less-familiar symptoms is important in achieving a timely and accurate diagnosis. If your loved one displays any of the following, alert his or her physician for further investigation:
- Cognitive decline: Loss of memory, concentration and focus, and problems with completing tasks can occur in those with Parkinson’s, ranging from mild impairment to a more serious type of dementia known as PDD (Parkinson’s disease dementia).
- Sleep disruptions: The inability to fall or stay asleep at night can result in excessive fatigue during the day, a cycle that can be difficult to reverse.
- Speech impairments: Speech may become slurred, and the person’s voice volume may decrease, making communication challenging. Speech therapy can help, as can, surprisingly, singing.
- Blood pressure concerns: Known as orthostatic hypotension, individuals with Parkinson’s can experience dizziness and lightheadedness as a result of lowered blood pressure during position changes, such as when standing up or sitting down.
- Loss of smell: Often the first noticeable change in someone developing Parkinson’s, it’s also one of the most commonly unrecognized links to the disease.
- Anxiety and depression: While anxiety and depression can be a reaction to a Parkinson’s diagnosis, these conditions can also manifest as symptoms of the disease.
- Dystonia: Painful, prolonged muscle contractions that cause abnormal movements and postures, such as a foot turning inward, can be a symptom of Parkinson’s
Providing care for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease can be challenging, but partnering with a professional in-home care team like Responsive Home Care ensures seamless, high quality care at all times, and allows family members to take much needed time away to care for themselves. In addition to respite care, our compassionate care team can assist with a variety of tasks to help those diagnosed with Parkinson’s maintain dignity and independence, such as:
- Personal care needs including bathing, dressing and using the bathroom
- Light housekeeping to keep the home tidy and free from fall risks
- Laundry service to provide fresh linens
- Medication reminders to ensure proper adherence
- Accompanied transportation to physician and physical therapy appointments
- Running errands to pick up prescriptions
- Planning and preparing nourishing meals
- Friendly and engaging conversation to keep spirits lifted
- Encouragement to participate in doctor-recommended exercises
- Engaging activities such as card and board games, reading, discussing historic and current events
- And much more
As the most experienced and best home care company in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and the surrounding communities, families have trusted Responsive Home Care since 1994. To learn more about how we can help a senior you love navigate a Parkinson’s diagnosis, contact us at (954) 486-6440. For a full list of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.