Parkinson’s: Symptoms

My father had Parkinson’s Disease. While it did not seem to inhibit much of his daily life, it was certainly a daily reminder. He moved slowly. He was unable to drive a car. He was a fall risk, and much too heavy for my mother to assist. He suffered from incontinence.

Have one of your elderly parents been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease? The diagnosis can be scary. Fortunately, Parkinson’s itself is not fatal. With early detection and proper care, seniors can continue to experience many years of fulfillment.

Parkinson’s Disease is a brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination. Symptoms usually begin gradually and worsen over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking. While speech and movements are affected, often the patients retain full mental capacity and can participate in their own care plan.

There is no medical cure for Parkinson’s. Only available medications which may slow the disease progression.

Parkinson’s Disease has four main symptoms:
• Tremor (trembling) in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
• Stiffness of the limbs and trunk
• Slowness of movement
• Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls

Ancillary to the main symptoms, you may see the following in your elderly parents:
• Difficulty swallowing, chewing, and speaking
• Sleep disruption
• Changed handwriting
• Urinary issues
• Skin problems
• Depression
• Softer speech

The progression of Parkinson’s can be slow, and the initial signs may be very subtle. There is no test for the disease, so attention to detail is important to help your physician make a diagnosis.

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website:

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