What Are the Early Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?

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Early Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease in Portland, OR

The Parkinson’s Foundation claims 10 million people worldwide are living with this chronic condition, and most of them are seniors over the age of 65. There is currently no known cure for Parkinson’s disease, but those who are able to detect the early warning signs can delay some of the worst symptoms. Here is a quick look at some of the early Parkinson’s symptoms caregivers should keep an eye out for. 

Difficulty Sleeping

Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease develop an unusual condition known as REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). Seniors with RBD often kick, bite, and shout in their sleep. Luckily, drugs such as clonazepam and benzodiazepine can eliminate RBD about 90 percent of the time. Seniors who exhibit unusual behaviors when they are sleeping should receive further testing at a sleep institute.   

Seniors with Parkinson’s disease or other disorders often need constant care and assistance with daily tasks. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Portland Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Bladder Issues

Much of the digestive system is controlled by involuntary muscle movements, and Parkinson’s disease can affect those contractions. In the earliest stages of Parkinson’s, many seniors experience bowel issues such as constipation, gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and incontinence. Eating more fiber and drinking plenty of water throughout the day can minimize most of these issues. Some seniors may also need to alter their medications to promote healthy bowel movements. 


When a senior has difficulty showing emotions because of damaged nerves, it is referred to as masking. Older adults in the earliest stages of Parkinson’s often look like they are angry or annoyed, and their loved ones might begin to think they are depressed. Masking can’t be cured, so seniors need to focus on other forms of communication such as writing or speaking up when they are experiencing certain emotions. 

Stooped Posture

Bad posture is another common symptom among seniors with Parkinson’s, but it is almost always mistaken for other conditions. If your loved one seems to be relatively healthy and hasn’t had a back injury, schedule an appointment with his or her doctor to discuss bad posture. Fortunately, stooped posture can be cured through physical therapy that strengthens the back and stomach. 

Seniors who need help with exercise, physical therapy, and other daily tasks can benefit from professional in-home care. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated home care agency. Portland Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.


People often feel lightheaded when they get out of a chair too quickly or sit up suddenly, but these feelings should fade away almost immediately. However, seniors with Parkinson’s disease may experience persistent dizziness. There are many ways to treat chronic dizziness, including wearing compression stockings, drinking more water, and taking caffeine supplements. You might also need to invest in a new bed so your loved one can easily sit up from a lying position.

Changes to Handwriting

One of the most unusual early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease is sudden changes to an individual’s handwriting. As the disease progresses, your loved one’s fine motor skills may be affected. Fine motor skills can’t be restored, but your loved one can delay this symptom by using his or her hands as much as possible. Hobbies like knitting and whittling keep the wrists strong and the fingers loose.

Older adults with Parkinson’s disease can benefit from receiving professional in-home care. Find out how a Portland, ME, caregiver can help your senior loved one enjoy a higher quality of life by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. All of our professional respite and live-in caregivers are trained in comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care, and they can also assist seniors with basic daily tasks like exercise, cooking, bathing, and light housekeeping. Call us at (207) 835-4849 to learn about our high-quality in-home care plans.

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