As seniors get older their risk of developing peripheral neuropathy increases. Seniors who have diabetes or pre-diabetes often have neuropathy, but neuropathy can occur with other conditions too. Neuropathy is a nerve disorder where the nerves in the hands and feet are not working properly. They send pain signals and other signals when they shouldn’t which can make seniors very uncomfortable. Neuropathy can be an early symptom of conditions like diabetes or Parkinson’s. Seniors and their family members should be watching for any of these symptoms of neuropathy:

Numbness In Hands Or Feet

Seniors often have numbness in their hands or feet when they first start to develop neuropathy. That numbness can feel similar to what seniors feel if they are out in the cold where there is a creeping feeling of numbness going through their fingers and hands or their feet. There may also be pain when seniors put weight on their feet and the feet are numb. Seniors with in-home care should let their in-home care provider know if they experience numbness in their hands or feet so that the care provider can track this symptom.

Pins And Needles or “Falling Asleep” Feeling

That “pins and needles” feeling that occurs when there is poor circulation in the extremities can also be a sign of neuropathy. Seniors who are experiencing that feeling often should be examined by a doctor to make sure that they are not experiencing nerve damage that is causing that feeling. The feeling may be slight or it may be intense. Even if the feeling is slight seniors should get a medical exam if they are experiencing that feeling often.

Stumbling Or Trouble Using Hands And Feet

Seniors can stumble for many reasons, so seniors who are starting to stumble more or seem to have trouble using their hands and feet may not have neuropathy. There could be another cause. Even some medications can cause seniors to have poor motor control and be more likely to stumble as a side effect. But if a senior who has never previously experienced this kind of issue suddenly starts tripping on their feet, having trouble walking, or having trouble gripping items then it could be a sign of neuropathy and they should see a doctor. Only a doctor can determine if the stumbling is due to neuropathy or another cause.

Muscle Weakness

Muscle weakness is another symptom of neuropathy that can actually have many causes. But if the onset of the muscle weakness is quick, or if the muscle weakness occurs with other symptoms of neuropathy then your senior parent should see their doctor. Only the doctor can determine what the cause of the muscle weakness is. There is no real cure for neuropathy but it may be possible to lessen the symptoms, especially if the neuropathy is caused by a condition like diabetes. When diabetic seniors are able to get their blood sugar under control they may experience less neuropathy.

If you or an aging loved one is considering in-home care in Brooklyn Park, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.