Common Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Seniors Should Know

Parkinson’s disease mainly affects people over 60. The chances of seniors developing Parkinson’s increases as they get older. Nearly 5% of the one million people who have Parkinson’s disease at any given time are over 80. Parkinson’s is a degenerative neurological disorder that primarily affects the central nervous system. There is no cure, but early diagnosis and immediate treatment can help slow down the progression of symptoms. That’s why it’s so important for seniors and their families to recognize the symptoms of Parkinson’s and that their elder care aides are aware of the status of their condition.

The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in seniors are:

Elder Care Melrose MA - Common Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Seniors Should Know
Elder Care Melrose MA – Common Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Seniors Should Know

Tremors

One of the most common initial signs of Parkinson’s is resting tremors. Seniors with the condition often experience involuntary shaking in their hands, fingers, or other parts of the body, which typically subsides during purposeful movement.

Bradykinesia

Slowness of movement is another common symptom. Seniors with Parkinson’s may find it challenging to initiate and complete everyday tasks, such as walking, getting out of a chair, or dressing. Seniors with elder care should ask their elder care provider to keep track of any slowness or difficulty moving that they notice so that it can be checked out by a doctor.

Muscle Rigidity

Stiffness and muscle rigidity are often prevalent in individuals with Parkinson’s. This can lead to discomfort and difficulty in performing fine motor tasks.

Postural Instability

Many seniors with Parkinson’s experience difficulty maintaining balance and posture, which increases the risk of falls. This symptom can have serious implications for their safety and independence.

Freezing Episodes

Seniors may occasionally experience “freezing” episodes, where their feet seem glued to the ground during walking, making it difficult to take steps.

Changes in Gait

The way seniors walk may change as Parkinson’s progresses. This often results in shorter, shuffling steps, which can affect their mobility.

Speech and Swallowing Difficulties

Speech may become slurred and less intelligible, and swallowing problems, or dysphagia can arise, leading to an increased risk of choking.

Mask-like Facial Expression

Seniors with Parkinson’s often develop a reduced range of facial expressions, which can affect their ability to convey emotions.

Depression and Anxiety

Non-motor symptoms, such as mood disorders, are common in seniors with Parkinson’s. They may experience depression, anxiety, and even cognitive changes.

Sleep Disturbances

Insomnia and other sleep disturbances can be particularly challenging for seniors with Parkinson’s, affecting their overall well-being.

Reduced Sense of Smell

Olfactory dysfunction is often an early sign of Parkinson’s in seniors. They may experience a diminished sense of smell, known as hyposmia.

Constipation

Digestive issues, including constipation, are frequently reported by seniors with Parkinson’s.

Urinary Problems

Parkinson’s can lead to urinary urgency, frequency, or incontinence in some seniors.

Fatigue

Seniors with Parkinson’s often experience extreme fatigue and a sense of exhaustion, which can affect their daily activities.

Many of these symptoms can also be symptoms of other conditions. So, any senior who is experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor and be tested for Parkinson’s disease as well as other common conditions that impact seniors.

Sources: https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/what-to-know-about-parkinsons-symptoms-in-adults
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6179875/
https://parkinsonsdisease.net/elderly-population

If you or an aging loved one is considering Elder Care Services in Melrose MA or the surrounding areas please contact the caring staff at Visiting Nurse & Community Care today. (781) 643-6090