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6 Potential Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease
At Cozy Retire, it’s our pride to provide a number of different guests with varying health conditions all the services and assistance they may need. Our assisted living and senior living community programs include resources for numerous different health issues, and one of these that’s notable during this month is Parkinson’s Disease.
April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, a great time to consider this condition and the many people it impacts — plus how we can learn more about it and work toward better outcomes for those with it. One major part of dealing with Parkinson’s Disease involves identifying it to begin with — what are some of the signs you might notice in a loved one or friend that could be early indicators of Parkinson’s onset? Here are several to be aware of, especially if you have older friends or loved ones in your life.
Tremors or Hand/Writing Issues
In many people, some of the first noticeable changes with Parkinson’s will be physical. A tremor in one or both hands is a common sign, and you may also notice that writing becomes more difficult or illegible. The handwriting may become small as well.
Issues With Movement
In other cases, people with early Parkinson’s may notice issues with their movement. This could manifest as a change in gait or balance, for instance. Movement may become slower overall, and you may notice changes in facial expressions as well.
Changes in Speech
Problems with speech are another common sign of Parkinson’s Disease. The rate of speech may change, or the person may slur words or have trouble getting words out. There may also be changes in volume — either speaking more quietly or loudly than usual.
Loss of Smell
In other cases, the first sign of Parkinson’s may be more subtle. For instance, people with early Parkinson’s may notice that they have a change or loss of sense of smell. This is actually a pretty common symptom, so it’s worth being aware of even if you don’t see any other early changes.
Fatigue and Sleep Issues
While fatigue and sleep issues can be due to a number of things, if they’re noticed alongside other potential Parkinson’s symptoms, they may be worth mentioning to a doctor. Sleep issues in particular are common in those with early Parkinson’s, so it’s something to keep an eye out for.
Stooping or Hunching
It’s less often an early sign and more often a slightly later one, but you may also notice that someone with Parkinson’s starts to stoop or hunch more when they walk. This is due to changes in posture and balance that often come with the disease.
These are just a few of the early signs of Parkinson’s Disease — remember, not everyone will experience all of them, and some may have different symptoms entirely. If you notice these in a loved one, bring it up to them and potentially discuss it with a medical professional.