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What is Pre-Parkinson’s?

Sometimes referred to as Stage I or Pre-Parkinson’s, the earliest stage of Parkinson’s disease is characterized by the onset of several discreet symptoms. These signs are often so minimal that caregivers and family members don’t see them. To help ensure you’re able to pick up on the symptoms of Parkinson’s in your aging loved one, the Bridgewater senior care experts at Home Care Assistance share 4 of the most common Pre-Parkinson’s symptoms.

1. Tremors
In the early stages of Parkinson’s, you may begin noticing that your loved one experiences slight trembling on one side of the body. Shaking of one of the hands is the most common type of tremor in the early stages of Parkinson’s. Keep an eye on your loved one’s hands as he or she cuts his or her food or lifts a cup of coffee and take note of any small tremors. Though some muscle shakes are caused by low blood sugar or strenuous exercise, regular tremors may be the result of Parkinson’s.

2. Mobility Issues
Occasional difficulty maintaining one’s balance and standing up straight are common Pre-Parkinson’s symptoms. As injury and other physical challenges can disguise balance and posture issues, caregivers frequently overlook this sign. While seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s often receive mobility assistance from Bridgewater Parkinson’s caregivers to help prevent falls, seniors in the early stages of the disease may find themselves knocking into furniture or walls as they navigate the home. To ensure you can pick up on this symptom in your loved one, start keeping note of falls, trouble navigating furniture, and stooped posture.

3. Unusual Facial Expressions
Many seniors with Parkinson’s begin having difficulty controlling their facial expressions in the early stages of the condition. If your elderly relative appears distressed or uneasy, even when he or she is otherwise content, your loved one may be experiencing diminished conscious muscle control in the face. Trouble controlling the muscles around the face may also lead to difficulty swallowing, so also keep an eye on your loved one when he or she is eating and drinking.

4. Constipation
Though irregular bowel movements are an early symptom of Parkinson’s, constipation is frequently dismissed as a normal part of aging. As Parkinson’s leads to reduced functioning of the automatic nervous system, the constipation that this condition causes is the result of slow intestinal tract. If your loved one experiences constipation, you can help ease his or her discomfort by having him or her drink a lot of water and eat a high-fiber diet.

When seniors are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, they may begin having difficulty maintaining his or her daily routine. At Home Care Assistance, we offer in-home services for seniors with a variety of physical challenges to help ensure that our clients receive the assistance they need to continue living safely and comfortably at home. If your loved one could use extra help with navigating the home, cooking, cleaning, or other daily tasks, he or she may benefit from in-home care. To learn more about Parkinson’s care, in addition to Alzheimer’s, dementia, or stroke care in Bridgewater, give a Care Manager a call at 908.450.9400 and schedule a free no-obligation consultation.