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  • Winter Garden, FL 34787

Parkinson’s Disease and Your Elderly Loved One

January 25th, 2016

dependent-441408_640People who have witnessed their parents or other loved ones age know that it truly isn’t for the faint of heart. Some folks seem to age more gracefully than others, but regardless of how they look on the outside, changes are happening every second in every one’s body. Knowing the signs of aging, including the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, are important to those who provide home care in Orlando.

The human body is a fascinating organism. Its ability to heal itself and fight off various viral and bacterial infections is awesome, yet it cannot stop the aging process. The chemistry of our brain is ever changing and as we age, cells die off at a more rapid pace than they did in our youth.
As neurons become affected by cell loss and a decrease in dopamine, their ability to control body movement is affected. There is no definitive way to diagnose Parkinson’s, but a neurologist will run a series of nerve conduction tests, order blood work, and perhaps an MRI, as a way of ruling out other potential causes of symptoms. A confirmation of Parkinson’s disease is usually made after a course of carbidopa-levodopa has been administered and improvement has been made.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s may include all or some of the following: slow movement, stiff muscles, shaking or tremors in the arms, hands or legs, and balance problems when standing or walking. Caution needs to be exercised when trying to determine if observed symptoms are a result of the onset of Parkinson’s disease or are attributable to the natural aging process. Vertigo, arthritis, osteoporosis, and other age-related issues can often be the explanation for some of the same symptoms. In the same respect, there are other neurological and muscular diseases that can cause trembling (tremors) and shaking, which is the most common symptom across the board in patients with Parkinson’s disease. As a result, it is really important to keep accurate track of symptoms with respect to the time of day, duration, activity level, and any other clue that you believe may assist the physician in arriving at an accurate diagnosis.

If you are caring for an elderly loved one at home, or might be deciding whether or not to engage professional home care in Orlando, it is important to familiarize yourself with what to look for when the onset of symptoms occurs. Call BrightStar Care at 407-877-0720; we can help.