To keep track of Richard’s most important activities and accomplishments of the day, we use a weekly sticker chart. Dr. Pam, Richard’s psychic healer, had this idea, and we have expanded upon it. It’s a great way for me to keep tabs on how each day and night are going, and it also helps caregivers coming onto their shift.

Richard and I review the week’s sticker charts together, looking for categories that went well and categories for improvement. It gives Richard a sense of accomplishment. He pays attention. Sometimes we look for trends over the last weeks.

Every category is important. Water intake is huge. Constipation is always an issue for people with Parkinson’s. So are having good posture, using a voice loud enough to be heard, going outside for physical exercise, doing puzzles for brain exercise, and taking naps.

Richard was an excellent musician, and he has a piano and two guitars. We encourage him to play every day.

Caregiver Joey is a musician too, and on good days they have great jam sessions together. There are extra stickers for that. Richard named their band Land Work One. We liked that name. Here is their band photo.

At first, we used cupcake stickers for poops. It entertained the caregivers and me. After a successful poop, the caregivers would yell out “Cupcake!” with the exuberance of a sports announcer exclaiming, “Goooooaaaaal!” at a World Cup match. There were lots of cupcake jokes, and Joey’s were the best—or worst, depending on your interpretation. To this day, I don’t eat cupcakes.

Then we moved to dinosaur stickers. Large dinosaurs, large poops. This was even more informative and entertaining.

After Richard passed, caregiver Abbra’s daughter made me this present with the extra stickers I gave her. As you can imagine, I love it! I call it Richard’s Poop Pot.

There are days when I wish I was giving myself stickers too, with different categories. Maybe I’ll do that.


You will find my book Parkinson’s: A Love Story with Dementia for Dessert on Amazon. Your feedback and reviews are most welcome.

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