Parkinson’s disease can take an emotional and physical toll on all parties involved. The disease develops when certain nerve cells – or neurons – in the brain gradually break down or die, leading to various symptoms.
Therefore, it’s essential to understand the causes and symptoms of Parkinson’s in order to quickly recognize if and when it starts to develop in you or a loved one.
Read on to learn what these causes and symptoms are, as well as how homecare can help.
While the actual cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, researchers believe that several factors play a role in contributing to the disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, specific gene mutations have been identified by researchers that can cause Parkinson’s disease, while certain gene variations potentially increase the risk of the disease.
Environmental triggers, such as exposure to environmental factors or specific toxins, may also increase the chance of developing Parkinsons’s.
Other risk factors that may contribute to an individual developing Parkinson’s disease are:
- Age – Parkinson’s rarely appears in young adults and generally begins in middle or late life. The risk increases with age, with people typically developing the disease around age 60 or older.
- Heredity – The chance of developing Parkinson’s increases when you have a close relative with the disease, but the chance is still relatively small. However, if there are multiple relatives with the disease, the risk factor increases.
- Sex – Men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than women.
The signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be different for everyone. According to the Mayo Clinic, “early signs may be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.”
There are various symptoms to look out for, but below are some early signs of the disease according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Seeing one of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean that the disease is developing, but if you see more than one, you should consult a doctor.
- Tremor – One of the most common signs, involuntary shaking while at rest begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers.
- Trouble Moving – Your body feels stiff, limiting your range of motion. You may walk slower, drag your feet, or not swing your arms while walking.
- Writing Changes – Smaller handwriting, more difficulty writing, and a change in the appearance of handwriting can all be signs of Parkinson’s.
- Change In Posture – Stooping or leaning over while standing rather than standing straight up.
- Speech Changes – You speak softer or quicker than usual, or you sound more monotone or hoarse.
How Homecare Can Help
Homecare is a great option for helping take care of yourself or a loved one with Parkinson’s disease. With the extra strain that it puts on an individual, additional help can allow you to continue living in your home and leading an independent life.
Having a healthy diet is very important for individuals with Parkinson’s because it will help strengthen muscles and bones. Meal preparation by a knowledgeable caregiver will ensure that all of your meals are nutritious and help strengthen your body.
With difficulty moving being a symptom of Parkinson’s, a caregiver in the house can help you move around and avoid falling. Other activities of daily living like bathing or eating may also be difficult to do without assistance. Exercise is vital to help individuals maintain their strength and balance, but these activities shouldn’t be performed without supervision.
Interested in learning how Bluebird Homecare can help you or a loved one continue leading a healthy, independent life with Parkinson’s disease? Contact us today!