Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Featured Product: The Looky

Wait until you see our featured product this week! As you know, we are ever on the search for unique and useful products. This one knocked our socks off. The Looky is a small, electronic handheld magnifier that weighs only seven ounces and can fit in a pocket. You can use it as you would a typical magnifier by popping out the ergonomically designed handle, or you can fold the handle to glide it along the page without interruption.

The image is sharp. You have the choice of positive, negative or color contrasts as you prefer. What we really loved about the Looky is the special freeze function. With just a push of a (big) button you can freeze the text or image on the LCD screen. It’s like taking a photograph. We think it will help a lot when you’re trying to read a label in a store, or can’t quite see the detail on an item on the top shelf. We have a customer who weaves. She wants the Looky to “freeze” a portion of her work to be sure there are no mistakes.

This gem also comes with rechargeable AA batteries with the battery charger.

We just introduced the Looky and have already gotten rave reviews on it. Be sure to put this one on your list if you want to be out and about and need some extra help seeing the details!

Monday, December 17, 2007


We are in the home stretch now, heading fast into the opening of presents, singing and dancing, eating, and popping champagne. There is still a grinch or two at loose, especially at the mall and in traffic. For the most part, though, I like how most everyone you meet wishes you a happy something or other at this time of year. I like, too, watching people choose presents. I get a birds’ eye view of this distinctly human behavior owning a retail store.

Some come in on a mission. They know exactly what they want, go right to it, and take out their wallets. These folks usually have a list, and some of them have been making that list throughout the year. In fact, I recognized a few last week that had been in earlier in the year, commenting on something or other being a great idea for Christmas. Their resolve is palpable. No amount of tinsel or ribbon will draw them to anything else. “This is the perfect gift,” they say with satisfaction. I feel satisfied, too!

Others are definitely on the search for that unique gift, not yet found. They love a store like ours with all the nooks and crannies, unusual and practical things in every corner. I enjoy seeing someone linger over a thing, try it out, put it down, pick it up again, imagining, hoping to make the right choice. The other day I saw a young man in the vision area, comparing magnifiers and trying out the talking clocks. “I usually can’t find a thing for my Dad,” he told me. “But, this is great! It feels like Christmas to ME having this much choice for him, for a change.”

Giving is part of our makeup as humans. I remember being so moved by the aging parents of a dear friend years ago. When I visited for the holidays, the dad pulled me aside to tell me that he had just gone through all the cards he had given his wife over the years, and chose one in particular to give her again. “I just cannot get out on my own anymore,” he said. “So, I thought I would give her this one all over again. What do you think?” “I think you’re incredible!” And, even now, just remembering that conversation, I feel all warm and fuzzy. I think we are as compelled to give as we are to breathe.

And so we come to the close of another year, ending it on a generous note with each other. We thank you so much for your generosity and support of Capabilities this year. You have brought us much joy and satisfaction. We promise to continue bringing you great products, services and information in 2008.

Let us give you our gift for a 20% savings on one of your items by printing the coupon on our website (or mentioning it if you order online). If you’re local, you have the chance to win tickets to a performance of White Christmas at the Denver Center for Performing Arts on December 29 or introductory dance lessons at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Westminster. Just sign up for our online newsletter or email us your contact information and you’re eligible for the drawing on December 24th.

From all of us at Capabilities, may you enjoy the many celebrations of the season!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Enneagram

We introduced you to Inga in September when we told you about her foot reflexology sessions. She participated in our second anniversary events by offering free demos. We can attest to just how wonderful that experience was. It turns out Inga has many talents. She is also a certified trainer of the Enneagram of Personality Types, a modern tool with ancient roots, designed to help discover more about the self and others. Inga has written a blog this week to tell you more about the tool and about the five-week class she is offering at Capabilities beginning in January. Please check our Events schedule for details. You can call Inga at 303.423.7903 or email to ask questions or to sign up.

Hello Readers, my name is Inga and I would like to introduce you to your SELF. My workshops are geared toward that. And what is this crazy lady talking about, you may ask? I’m talking about YOU and this crazy mixed up world we live in.

Both as individuals and as a society, we tend to repeat the same unfulfilling patterns over and over again. Scan a history book – or review your own life history as objectively as you can – and you’ll see that this is true. If we just keep making the same mistakes, what’s the point of it all? Why can’t we change our lives so that we experience more joy, more love, and more fulfillment?

In this workshop we will be using the Enneagram System, a very old teaching used and taught both professionally and internationally. This teaching takes you on a journey of self, to find out who you are and how you got there, what issues mentally and emotionally that are connected to each Enneatype.

And because we will also explore the shadow side of ourselves, I will also be teaching you how to use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) that can be used in so many ways we couldn’t count them all…hey, I couldn’t just leave you hanging there! EFT is an amazing tool the works quickly and effectively…you’ll have to find this out.

These classes, five in all, will be giving you so much information that if you haven’t expanded your self-realization by the time we are finished, then I haven’t done my job.
We will have FUN, we will be CHALLENGED and SURPRISED and we will GROW as human beings on this planet we call HOME.

This is an ideal experience for professionals, parents, caregivers, students, or just plain you.
It is my goal and passion to teach and pass this information onto as many people as I can, it changed my life! I would like to live in a happier and more caring world – wouldn’t you?
P.S. There will be a very nice prize for the first person to guess my Enneatype and explain why by the 3rd class... (friends and family excluded!)

Check out the workshop schedule for more information. You can call me at 303.423.7903 or email for more details.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Trying To Breathe

Do you know anyone with COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? It’s caused primarily by smoking, although breathing in pollutants and other toxins in concentrated form can also cause the disease. People with COPD also usually have either chronic bronchitis or emphysema, or both. The disease occurs over time. At the onset, there might be coughing and some mucus. Over time, these symptoms worsen and the individual also experiences shortness of breath. Many must use portable oxygen to manage day-to-day living.

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. And, recently instances of women diagnosed with this disease exceeded the number of men diagnosed. There is generally no cure for COPD. There is focus on pharmacological solutions, including oxygen, to provide relief to the individual.

We see a number of folks with COPD who are looking for mobility and comfort. As the disease progresses, any physical exertion becomes very difficult. Fitting the individual for a scooter, for example, provides a means for him/her to get out and about, to continue engaging in activities outside the home. We have a few customers who have needed a power vehicle for inside the home as well. Just moving from the living room to the kitchen can become virtually impossible for those with advanced cases of COPD.

We find, too, that lift chairs and other lift mechanisms (e.g., stairlifts, tub lifts) provide needed assistance when chronic obstructive pulmonary disease worsens. Sometimes the exertion of standing from a sitting position can be enough to exhaust a person for hours. A reclining lift chair offers assistance by raising the individual to a near standing position.

The key, of course, is to work hard to avoid COPD in the first place. This is one of those illnesses in our culture that can be prevented, at least in many instances. If you smoke, try to get all the help you can to stop. If you live in an environment with second hand smoke, do what it takes to live somewhere else, or influence those in that environment to change their habits. If you are not sure whether your job is exposing you to unhealthy levels of pollutants or toxins, speak with the human resources department or someone outside the company who can help you identify more clearly what your risks are.

If you already have COPD, or suspect you have an early stage of a breathing disorder, see your doctor immediately. You may be able to make some changes to stop the progression of the disease. If you already have an advanced case of COPD, find the tools to help you stay involved and connected to life. Here’s where we can help at Capabilities. Contact us for more information on products or if you are looking for a space to hold a support group. Sometimes gathering with others in the same boat helps you figure out new ways to cope.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Santa Is Coming To Town

In fact, Santa has already stopped off at Capabilities. We have lots to choose from as you play Santa for those in your life. You might have noticed our Wish List feature. Here’s a way to tip off your loved ones about what you’d like to have from our huge selection of products for independence, mobility and comfort. We also have a gift registry if you’d prefer to email us, or drop by the store if you are in town and sign up.

It has been so great working with folks this holiday season as they search out that perfect something. Many who are newcomers to Capabilities are delighted to find such a diverse choice of products to choose from. They were expecting some of the traditional tools and aids to help those who are facing a challenge. What they did not expect to find are the games, books, lotions, teas, and unusual gift ideas, like the Book Peeramid, Buddha Board, Scrambles puzzles, Chillow, Hotflash! and so many other ideas. We just love helping people solve challenges, even if it’s the challenge of holiday shopping, which is something we all know about!

It’s a great time to visit our store or shop online. You can use the coupon in our newsletter or on our home page for a discount on most items.

Happy Holidays to you and yours! Thank you for shopping at Capabilities and supporting us in so many ways.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rocky Mountain Stroke Association Announces New Programs

As many of you know, we are big fans of Rocky Mountain Stroke Association. In addition to the already robust offering of programs they have in their line up, the new year holds even more. At the RMSA north metro Denver base in the community room at Capabilities you will find weekly Aphasia Support Groups led by Julie Harrington in addition to the weekly PT groups led by Michele Harrison. At 9 a.m. every Wednesday there will be individual speech assessment opportunities. Of great interest is the introduction of a music therapy program that will be held twice a month. The kickoff of this program is tentatively set for mid February. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you have questions or would like to chat with someone at RMSA, please call 303-730-8800.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Life Goes On

We are so happy to introduce you to Sherry Meiners. We met Sherry just a few months after we opened Capabilities. She became a big supporter fast. In fact, for a brief time Sherry worked for us. As you will learn from her blog, Sherry has Parkinson Disease. So, while Sherry worked hard and well for us and was a hit with our customers, she had to leave to take care of herself physically. We are delighted that the R&R have worked wonders for her. She looks great and continues to come into the store regularly and bring her wonderful energy and zest for life. Her blog reveals a lot about Sherry. Be sure to send us your thoughts about it. She also is pulling together a support group for Parkinson’s so please contact her a reply if you are interested. Her phone number is: 303-432-8981.

We will all be faced with challenges in our life. They may be physical, mental, financial or significant losses of family or friends. The one thing we can be sure of is that LIFE GOES ON with or without us.

My challenge came in the form of Parkinson’s Disease (PD). I was 52 and in the prime of my life. I was in great physical shape; had a rewarding job; a wonderful married life; a recently married daughter and a new son-in-law. LIFE WAS GOOD!

My greatest fear was confirmed on May 5, 1998. The moment I heard the doctor say “you have Parkinson’s Disease” everything started to spin in my head and all I could comprehend was life was never going to be “HAPPY” again.

The doctor did not paint a pretty picture about my future nor did she give me any sort of comfort or reassurance. Maybe she thought she was doing me a favor by giving me all the bad news right up front. Unfortunately several years earlier I had worked in the same building where the Parkinson’s Association was located. I remember thinking when I saw people coming there for meetings how brave they were and what an awful affliction!

Well here it is almost ten years later and LIFE GOES ON. I apologize if it sounds like I am making light of “life’s significant challenges”. I’m not, but there are a few things that I have learned over these 10 years. I would like to share my RULES OF SURVIVAL!

  • Allow yourself time to grieve over the loss of life as you have known it. All of a sudden a label has been placed on your head and the grief you feel is very real. This is an on going transition in your life. Every time you experience changes in your condition the same feeling of loss shows its ugly head. You take a deep breath and then LIFE GOES ON.
  • Become your own ADVOCATE! Learn everything you can about your illness. Make sure your information is from knowledgeable sources. People have good intentions when they share information but it may not be appropriate for your particular needs.
  • Select a family member or good friend that will also be your advocate. They will be of great comfort and help when you go to your doctor, and should you ever need to be hospitalized. When you are dealing with all the new information, new medications and emotional feelings it is difficult to remember everything that you were told.
  • Take charge of your life. Get to know your body. Your doctor only knows what you tell him/her. It is absolutely critical that you be an active participant in your medical care. Your doctor is a filter between you and the care he will recommend. Take time to write down your physical changes; questions about your treatment and care. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about personal changes like sexual, relationships, anger etc. (I must add that a lot of physicians are not comfortable talking about the emotional issues. It is very helpful to find a good therapist. This person can help you deal with these issues. I wish I had done it sooner).
  • Allow yourself to take care of you! Most of us go through life “taking care of everything but ourselves”. We don’t eat right or get enough sleep. We think the laundry must be done immediately; the grocery shopping is urgent, etc. The most difficult thing to learn about this time in your life is what your “limitations” are and how to accept a new “standard” in your life. This was a huge loss for me. I had never given any thought about not being able to do16 things in one day and still be able to entertain friends the same evening. Be prepared this was a tough one for me, but LIFE GOES ON!
  • Don’t put off doing the things you always said you would do later when you have the time or money. Of course there may be factors in your life that may make this more difficult. But I strongly encourage you “DO IT NOW”. Make plans for things to look forward to.
  • Stay interested in life and people. Take up new activities - painting, pottery or volunteering where you are able.
  • Take advantage of all the resources available. Many organization offer support groups, free medical equipment use, transportation, etc.
  • Work very hard at not letting your illness define who you are. It’s surprising but most other people still see you as the same person you were before. Maybe this is out of their own fear, but to them you are still YOU. Give it your best shot at being you with a few extra “bumps and bleeps”.
  • Whatever your Spiritual belief hold on to it. Find something that touches your soul and gives you peace and hope for the future.
We are all kindred spirits in this life. The last ten years have been good for me. I have two beautiful grandchildren; I took up painting and writing poetry; and did some pottery (not my best thing but fun). My wonderful husband and I took a year off and traveled the USA in a motorhome - what a blast! There have also been losses - my dear mother died; a dear cousin my age died of cancer. I heard about some high school mates that also made their transition. Just remember “Some days are diamonds and some days are stones”. Live in the “present moment”; laugh as much as possible; take care of yourself; appreciate and show gratitude to all those who love you.

LIFE GOES ON with or without you. What is your choice?

If you would be interested in being a member of a Parkinson’s Support Group
in the Westminster / Arvada area please contact me.

Sherry Meiners