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What are Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s?

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

A senior with Parkinson ’s disease (PD) is likely to develop non-motor symptoms at some point during the progression of the condition. Some of these symptoms may be distressing, so awareness of the common non-motor manifestations of PD is essential for family and those who provide Parkinson’s home care in Lincoln.

Common Non-Motor Symptoms

Difficulty Swallowing – A senior with D may lose muscle coordination of their tongue and esophagus. Urge the patient to avoid foods that are dry or difficult to chew. Slowly eating smaller pieces and avoiding conversation during meals may help. A doctor may adjust medications or give a referral to a speech-language pathologist.

Dementia – Mild cognitive impairment can be an effect of medications. However, dementia in PD is often caused by Lewy Body Dementia, a degenerative brain disease. Staying mentally active and participating in activities like those in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, exercising, and following a healthy diet can help slow progression.

Orthostatic Hypotension (OH) – Once the nervous system no longer regulates the blood pressure properly, BP drops upon standing, causing dizziness, pain, or fainting. Increasing water and salt intake (to increase blood volume), use of compression stockings, and standing more slowly are helpful strategies.

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder – Muscle atonia, where the body relaxes during sleep preventing movement, is lost during the progression of PD and seniors may exhibit violent movements during sleep. Removing sharp or heavy objects from the bedside, installing a bed-rail, and placing pillows near the bed in case of falls help keep the individual safe from injury.

Pain – Pain due to muscle cramping, spasms, or stiffness may be helped by massage, a warm bath, stretching, and over-the-counter medications.

For more information on managing Parkinson’s symptoms, reach out to Home Care Assistance at (402) 261-5158. We offer flexible hourly care and specialize in Lincoln live-in care, ensuring your loved one has the help they need when they need it. Learn more by scheduling a free in-home consultation with a knowledgeable Care Manager.