Spotting Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

Elder Care in Des Plaines IL: Spotting Signs of Parkinson’s Disease
Elder Care in Des Plaines IL: Spotting Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, there are approximately one million people in the United States with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Every year, 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease. PD affects the nervous system and causes problems with movement. It is a progressive disease for which there is no cure. It can be a difficult disease to diagnose, but knowing the symptoms to watch for may help older adults to get the care they need sooner.

Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

Often the earliest signs of PD are so mild that no one notices them. When symptoms do start to appear, they may show up on just one side of the body. As the disease progresses, symptoms are likely to remain worse on the side where they started. Some symptoms of PD are:

  • Bradykinesia: Bradykinesia is when movement becomes slow. You might notice that your aging relative begins to take a longer time than normal to complete simple tasks. They may also take shorter steps than they used to. They might also drag their feet while walking.
  • Tremor: A tremor can be described as a shaking motion that typically starts in a limb. Most often it starts in the hands or fingers. Some people develop a “pill rolling” motion where their finger and thumb rub together repeatedly. Tremors in the hand usually occur when the hand is at rest.
  • Muscle Rigidity: Muscles in any part of the body might become stiff, making it harder to move and taking away some range of motion.
  • Different Handwriting: Sometimes people with PD start to write differently than they used to. Often writing becomes smaller.
  • Changes in Speech: An older adult with PD may speak softly or with little or no inflection. They might also talk to fast or slur words.
  • Postural Changes: People with PD may develop a stooped posture. They may also have impaired balance.

If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms in your older adult family member, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. It is especially important to report these kinds of symptoms to a doctor if the older adult has had family members with PD since it can raise the risk of developing the disease.

A diagnosis of PD can be difficult to deal with, but an elder care provider can help. Elder care providers can help a senior with PD to move safely about the house. They can also assist the PD patient to eat when tremors become too severe. Elder care providers can also remind the older adult to take their medications. And, if family caregivers are not available on the day of a medical appointment, elder care can provide transportation to and from the doctor’s office.


If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Des Plaines, IL, please call the caring staff at A-Abiding Care today. Serving North and Northwest Chicago and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Call 847-698-1400.

Keeping a Loved One with Parkinson’s Safe: 5 Areas to Watch

Parkinson's CareWhen someone has Parkinson’s disease, there usually comes a time when in-home care becomes necessary. As movement becomes more difficult, everyday activities may seem impossible without the help of a caregiver.

Providing help for seniors with Parkinson’s disease can be a daily challenge, and most of the responsibilities fall not on a physician, but on the family members providing the care, often with the assistance of a caretaker trained in home care, like those at A-Abiding Care.

There are many issues to watch out for when caring for a senior with Parkinson’s disease, but there are five aspects of day-to-day life issues that are especially important:

  1. Nutrition: A well-balanced diet may help reduce cell loss in a person with Parkinson’s. Consuming antioxidants, like those found in blueberries, broccoli, spinach, green tea, beans, and certain nuts, may also help fight oxidative stress.
  2. Chewing/Swallowing: People with Parkinson’s often have difficulty chewing and swallowing food and drink. Anyone caring for a person with Parkinson’s should learn the Heimlich maneuver, in case the person begins to choke.
  3. Fall Prevention: Parkinson’s can affect walking and balance, so it is important to reduce the risk of falling by modifying the home environment where necessary. This may include installing customized toilet seats and grab bars where appropriate, and removing obstructions throughout the home such as doorsills and throw rugs.
  4. Anxiety and Depression: Combating depression and anxiety is a large part of the Parkinson’s battle. Watch your loved one closely for signs, and have him or her assessed by a physician or nurse practitioner as soon as possible.
  5. Medications: Medications for Parkinson’s can have multiple side effects and can affect a person in different ways. Some medications may cause hallucinations or nightmares, for example. Be sure your loved one’s physician tells you about all the expected side effects of medications so you know what to expect. You can also speak to the dispensing pharmacist, who should have all the medicines on record, to ensure that none will interact badly with any other.

At A-Abiding Care, we understand the needs of those with Parkinson’s and are here to help. Our home care for seniors can help take away some of the concerns about your loved one’s safety. Our specialized and assistance services can assist your loved one at home, in the hospital, or in an assisted living, nursing or retirement home in the Parkridge, Illinois area.

Call us at 847-698-1400, or email us to learn more.

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