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5 Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s That Seniors Experience

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Though the primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are easy to see, there are a handful of non-motor symptoms that may affect seniors. If your senior loved one has Parkinson’s, he or she may be experiencing some or all of these hidden symptoms. To help ensure you are able to recognize and seek treatment for your loved one’s non-motor symptoms, Fort Myers Home Care Assistance discusses five of the less obvious symptoms of the disease. 

1. Fatigue or Trouble Sleeping

Because sleeping can become difficult for seniors with Parkinson’s as a result of nightmares, sleep apnea, and frequent waking to urinate, they may also experience daytime sleepiness and fatigue. If your loved one frequently falls asleep while watching television, dozes during car rides, or is generally tired throughout the day, he or she may be experiencing trouble sleeping.

2. Apathy

Because of chemical changes in the brain, seniors with Parkinson’s will sometimes experience feelings of apathy. If your loved one begins seeming distant, cold, or disinterested, this change in attitude may be the result of cognitive changes caused by Parkinson’s. Medications that target other Parkinson’s symptoms may also aggravate these feelings of apathy.

3. Cognitive Challenges

Parkinson’s disease causes cognitive impairment in about fifty percent of cases, leading to memory problems, confusion, and slower processing. As seniors with Parkinson’s frequently have slowed speech, delayed processing time and responses can easily be overlooked. Many seniors in advanced stages of Parkinson’s will also experience some symptoms of dementia or other memory conditions.

4. Excessive Salivation

Difficulty with saliva control is a very common symptom of Parkinson’s disease. As the muscles in the throat deteriorate, seniors may find it difficult to swallow properly, leading to saliva buildup in the mouth. If your loved one experiences trouble with saliva control and swallowing, he or she may also be at risk of food becoming stuck in the throat. To keep your loved one safe while eating, have a family member or Fort Myers Parkinson’s caregiver prepare easy-to-swallow foods for your loved one.

5. Urinary Problems

Urinary problems are a common occurrence for seniors with Parkinson’s. If your loved one reports frequently awakening during the night to urinate, a sudden and very strong urge to urinate, frequent trips to the bathroom during the day, or incontinence, he or she should visit a physician.

If your loved one has Parkinson’s disease, a professional caregiver can help ease the challenges of certain symptoms by providing emotional support, mobility assistance, and help with daily tasks, including cooking, cleaning, and transportation. Give Home Care Assistance a call at 239.449.4701 to learn more about how our high-caliber care services, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Fort Myers, can benefit your loved one. Our experienced Care Managers are available 24/7 to answer your questions and to schedule free in-home consultations.