12 Ways The Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair Changed My Life



Written By: Anna Giannakouros

Anna on her Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair with her Children

 

Being a Disabled Mom

I am a mother of three. My kids are my everything and I am so blessed to have them in my life. 

Keeping up with kids can be challenging even for the healthiest of parents and having Multiple Sclerosis (MS) I found myself struggling to keep up with them. MS can manifest itself in many forms and my most challenging symptoms are leg disability and chronic fatigue.

I never envisioned that one day in my 40s I would need help to get around. It was upsetting to have to rely on other people for help, especially my kids. I strive to be a good role model for my children and I didn’t want them to see me as a victim.

As my situation and disability progressed, I felt something had to be done to help with the situation.

My power wheelchair has allowed me to be a better mom.

I purchased the Golden Envy Power Wheelchair last year and I never imagined that I would be so happy to own a mobility device. But my power chair has given me a lot of my independence and life back.

Before buying it, because of fatigue, I would have to take constant breaks in the day for almost every task I performed and in the evenings I would retire to bed very early.

I felt as though I was living on the sidelines as a spectator watching my kids grow and enjoy life and I wanted to be more involved, but I didn’t have the physical ability to do it. As a result, I often felt frustrated, exhausted, and depleted.

Acquiring the chair and having that available support throughout the day facilitates my life.

Now, I’m too busy living life to be held back by the fact that I’m disabled or tired and my days are full and I feel enabled and happy. 

Anna Giannakouros on her Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair with her children 

 

The Envy power wheelchair makes my life easier in the following ways:

  • It effortlessly gets me from one place to another with simple joystick control.
  • It’s compact and has great maneuverability, which makes it very easy and fun to drive. My kids will concur!
  • It does all the legwork for me, which leaves me with a lot more energy to enjoy the things I love throughout the day. 
  • It allows me to run my household and accomplish chores like cooking and cleaning.
  • It’s fast and allows me to react swiftly to simple things that I couldn’t accomplish in time like answering the phone or doorbell; things non-disabled people can take for granted. 
  • It allows me to perform more indoor and outdoor activities with the kids.
  • It allows me to effortlessly go outside to get some fresh air or walk my dog.
  • It helps keep me in a good mood by not having to deal with the challenge, agitation, and frustration I sometimes experience in moving around without aid.
  • It disassembles easily into three sections for easy transport, which allows me to conveniently bring it to other homes or places I’m visiting. Being able to gracefully move around and feel comfortable when visiting has been life-changing as oftentimes I would spend the whole time sitting uncomfortably in a chair while visiting.
  • It gives me independence and confidence.
  • It gives me security and keeps me safe from falling.
  • It supports me in my daily life

Life sometimes throws us curve balls and it can be difficult to accept certain realities. While some things are not in our control, what is in our control is how we can choose to react to these challenges and make the best of them. 

If you are or know someone who is disabled or suffers from chronic illness and/or fatigue and has limited energy consider purchasing a Golden power wheelchair.

It’s a wonderful gift of support, independence, and quality of life. 

 

 

 

 

 


How To Find The Right Diet For You



Written By: Anna Giannakouros

Anna Giannakouros Cooking using her Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair

 

5 Ways To Have More Energy & Better Brain Function, Plus Recipes!

Having Multiple Sclerosis and living with this health issue, I’ve become very much in tune with my body in relation to food and alcohol, because I often feel the effects of what I consume right away in relation to my MS symptoms, as well as other symptoms. There are so many opinions out there about what’s the best eating regime. These opinions can be backed with a lot of conviction and analysis and it can get confusing trying to figure it all out and know what is best for you.

I’m sure we’ve all heard opinions like these before:

  •       Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
  •       Eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks
  •       Don’t snack in-between meals
  •       Carbs or fat are good/bad
  •       Red meat is good/bad
  •       Vegetarianism or vegan is good/bad
  •       Gluten or dairy is good/bad
  •       Soy or peanuts are good/bad
  •       Eggs are good/bad
  •       Corn is good/bad
  •       Nightshades are good/bad
  •       Food intolerances are real/a myth
  •       Eat everything in moderation
  •       Counting nutritional information is good/bad
  •       Etc…

It can all get a bit overwhelming. As for me, I don’t believe that there is an ideal “one fits all” eating regime. We all have different bodies, cultures, and lifestyles, and we all stay motivated in different ways. What works for one person wonderfully may not work for someone else at all. Also, depending on your health and body type, you may or may not have the luxury of indulging in certain foods without facing consequences. That’s why it’s important to experiment and find what works specifically for you. You know your body better than anyone.

 

1. Elimination Diet Anna Giannakouros Cooking with Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair

 

Focusing on how you physically feel is a good place to start when trying to determine what eating regime best suits you. Pay attention to how you feel when you are at your best and make a note of what foods you ate around that period of time and what eating pattern you followed.

Examples of good indicators of this are:

  •       Good gut function and digestion
  •       Controlled body weight
  •       More energy
  •       More alert and better brain power
  •       Good sleep
  •       Stable mood
  •       Good mental health

Similarly, pay attention to what foods you ate or an eating pattern you followed when you weren’t feeling well. That can be more difficult to do if you are consuming a wide range of different foods but for starters you can look for indicators like this in your body and then attempt to make a correlation with the food pattern or regime you were on.

  •       Weight gain or loss
  •       Low Energy
  •       Bloating
  •       Cramping
  •       Heartburn
  •       Digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea
  •       Gas
  •       Joint pain
  •       Acne and other skin problems
  •       Mood swings
  •       Agitation
  •       Bad sleep

If you suspect a particular food or type of food doesn’t agree with you, try eliminating it from your diet for a month and see if you notice an alleviation of symptoms. You may even notice a difference after a couple of days. Examples of good food categories to start with are sugar, processed foods, grains, gluten, dairy, and different types of meat.

At a later point, re-introduce the food and investigate if negative symptoms arise. Depending on what you find you may want to look into making more elimination changes or get more informed about what the best way is to re-introduce these foods into your system without them having a negative impact on you any longer.

My Eating Regime

Anna Giannakouros Cooking with support from Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair

In my case, having an autoimmune disease, the consequences are grave when I eat foods that I do not tolerate well. Here are some examples of the increase in negative symptoms I experience when I go off my eating regime and eat foods that I don’t tolerate.

  •       Migraines
  •       Fatigue
  •       Gait issues
  •       Nerve pain
  •       Constipation
  •       Agitation
  •       Mood swings
  •       Puffy eyes
  •       Swelling
  •       Bloating
  •       Rashes
  •       Hives

 

 

2. Paleo

 

Over the years, I have found a mix of what works for me to keep me feeling my best and my MS symptoms manageable. I follow a Paleolithic diet which is grain, dairy and gluten free because those categories of food increase inflammation in my body.  A Paleolithic diet is based on historic hunter/gatherer whole foods like meat, fish and seafood, vegetables, berries, and nuts.

 

3. Keto

 

I also follow a ketosis diet. A ketosis diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that causes your body to burn fat for energy purposes as opposed to carbohydrates. This process puts your body into a metabolic state of ketosis. When this happens, your body turns fat into ketones in the liver which provides energy to the brain and provides other health benefits like cell regeneration, nervous system support and even a slow down in the aging process.

You can measure if you are in ketosis by using breath tests, urine testing strips or blood monitor devices. In my experience, the most reliable way to measure is using a blood monitor device. I use a “Keto Mojo” device that I highly recommend.

Having MS, I suffer from chronic fatigue and it is a daily challenge. Without even testing my ketone levels I know when I am in ketosis because I feel an increase in energy and see an improvement of gait and brain alertness. It makes a huge difference in managing my MS symptoms.

There are different types of ketosis regimes and combinations of macros one can follow. Macros are daily carbohydrate, protein and fat allocations. I typically maintain an allocation of 15% carbohydrates, 18% protein, 67% fat and follow a Clean Keto Regime, which means I maintain my paleo food restrictions (ex. dairy, gluten and grain free) and concentrate on eating nutrient based foods and healthy fats.

Following Clean Keto, I supply my body with minerals and vitamins to help combat my MS and enjoy health benefits in general like good energy, digestion, mood, brain function and skin and weight.

 

4. Intermittent Fasting

 

I also practice intermittent fasting, which helps ensure I remain in ketosis on a daily basis. I feel an Anna Giannakouros Healthy Eatingincrease in energy during my fasts, as well as better brain function.

There are different fasting schedules that can be followed. After experimenting with different fasting times I’ve determined what works best for me is eating between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day and fasting for the remaining time. This is called the 16:8 method; fasting every day for 16 hours and enjoying an 8-hour eating window.

 

5. Mediterranean Diet

 

Being raised in Greek origin, the foods that I tend to gravitate towards have a Mediterranean influence: I enjoy eating a lot of plant-based nutrient-dense foods like dandelion greens and plenty of vegetables. I consume a lot of olive oil for fat and enjoy healthy protein sources like fish and seafood.

 

Recipes

I find that eating healthy and whole foods requires a lot of homemade cooking. Luckily, I do enjoy cooking, but it can get challenging dealing with a chronic illness and keeping up with meal planning and other things. Investing in my Envy Power Wheelchair has really allowed me to conserve energy and do more of the things I love, which includes cooking.

Here are a few of my favorite easy and quick recipes that are delicious, as well as Paleo and Keto friendly. I hope you enjoy them:

 

Cajun Shrimp

Cajun Shrimp

In this recipe I use 600 grams of large, frozen, cooked, cleaned and deveined Wild Argentinian Shrimp,but you can also use different types of shrimp and if raw simply sauté for 2-4 minutes (until pink) instead of 1-2 minutes as noted in the recipe.

Defrost the shrimp. Heat about 2 heaping TBSP of ghee (clarified butter) in a pan over medium/high heat. Add shrimp to pan and generously sprinkle (about 1 tbsp each) with garlic powder and Cajun Spice Mix (see below for spice mix recipe). Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Plate and top with fresh basil or other fresh herbs on hand.

Octopus Salad

Octopus Salad

In this recipe, I use 600 grams of frozen, cooked and cleaned Octopus Legs. 

Defrost the octopus according to package instructions. Rinse in water. Cut into bite size pieces and add to a bowl. Chop 1 medium red onion and add to the bowl. Add about 1 TBSP each of capers, fresh lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar. Generously drizzle with olive oil (about 3 TBSP) and season with sea salt and pepper according to taste. Top with fresh tarragon leaves or other fresh herbs on hand.

Berry Rhubarb Tart

Berry Rhubarb Tart

This is a delicious and guilt-free dessert.

For the filling: wash and chop 2 cups of rhubarb. Sauté the rhubarb in a pan, on high heat, with a tbsp of ghee, for about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup each of washed blueberries and raspberries. Sauté for 4-6 minutes until the berries have broken down and the mixture has blended together. Close heat and mix in a TBSP of arrowroot powder (for thickness) and 3 packs of Stevia or another natural sweetener of your choice.

For the crust: manually mix 1/2 cup melted ghee and 1 beaten egg to 2 cups almond flour and form a dough ball. Spread out the dough ball, with your hands, across the bottom of a standard pie baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Allow crust to cool. Pour and fill rhubarb/berry mixture into the pie and serve.

Cajun Spice Mix

Cajun Spice Mix

Spices are so healthy. They have anti-inflammation properties, immune-boosting properties, brain health properties, antibacterial properties and a lot more. I try to incorporate a lot of spices in all my meals. This is one of my go-to spice mixes: Cajun Spice Mix: great on meat, fish, rubs, vegetables, sweet potatoes, etc…

3 TBSP paprika; 1.5 TBSP sea salt; 1.5 TBSP garlic powder; 1 TBSP onion powder; 1 TBSP oregano; 2 tsp black pepper; 1 tsp thyme; 1 tsp cayenne pepper; 1 tsp chili powder. Add to a jar and shake all together.

 

Follow Anna on Instagram @Immakeepstandin for more health and fitness tips and inspiration.


Golden Lift Recliners: The Perfect Maternity & Nursing Chair



Written By: Jackie Caraballo

Pregnant Mother and Child In a Golden Power Lift Chair Recliner

Golden Power Lift Recliner Benefits During Pregnancy & Recovery

Golden power lift recliners have so many wellness benefits beyond the lifting mechanism, which helps gently lift in and out of the chair. Golden lift recliners also provide amazing comfort and full-body rejuvenation with patented positioning technology, which may contribute to faster recovery and rehabilitation from a Cesarean section and other surgeries. Having recovered from three months of bed rest during my twin pregnancy and a C-section, I really could have used a Golden lift recliner to help me finally get into a comfortable position, get in and out of a chair, and then after I had my twins, to aid in recovery. 

Golden Power Lift Chair Recliner Helping Pregnant Woman Out of Chair

Until a year ago, I had never even heard of a lift chair. If you’re not in the home medical equipment industry, not many people have. Now, I have seen how these recliners truly change peoples’ lives. They not only help the elderly, but those suffering from cancer or recovering from surgery. They even provide ergonomic support and comfort for all, which is essential for pregnant women, especially with high-risk pregnancy, and afterward recovering from childbirth. 

 

 

 

A Relieving Sleep Chair For Acid Reflux

Plus, if you’ve had children, then you most likely know how difficult getting infants to sleep can be. Between two babies, both with acid reflux and colic, my husband and I often took turns sleeping with a baby on our chest all night in an uncomfortable recliner. I was in my 20s and had no idea how much our discount-store recliner would affect our lives. If I had only known, I would have added a Golden lift recliner to our registry. So now I want to spread the word to other parents-to-be: make sure to let your friends and family know that a Golden lift chair makes a fantastic joint baby shower gift, and will provide ergonomic support as a nursing chair while breastfeeding, and comfort and relief for years to come. 

Golden Power Lift Chair Recliner is Perfect Maternity Chair

 

Health Benefits of a Golden Power Lift Chair

The health benefits are numerous.

Pregnant Woman Sleeping in a Golden Zero Gravity ReclinerThe patented Twilight technology reclines the back to an ideal 30-degree angle, which no other recliner can do. This angle is recommended by physicians for post-surgical procedures (such as a C-section), alleviating pressure on the lungs and proven to minimize acid reflux (finally get relief moms-to-be!), sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and congestive heart failure. This exclusive positioning also distributes weight and relieves pressure points even beyond zero gravity recliners. 

 

Although our Twilight Wellness Recliners are the best option, we completely understand that budgets can be tight, especially when a baby is on the way. Another fantastic option is our MaxiComfort line of lift recliners available in a variety of sizes and colors. My personal favorite is the Daydreamer chairI just love how the power pillow really cushions my head and the adjustable power lumbar supports my back. Another great option is our more traditional lift recliners in the DeLuna series, which still provide ergonomic placement of the lower body for muscle relaxation and infinite positioning. The Elara lift recliner also features an adjustable headrest for even more comfort and support. 

Golden DayDreamer Power Lift Chair ReclinerGolden Elara Power Lift Chair Recliner

Every Golden lift chair meets the highest quality standards of product testing and most are made in America with domestic and imported materials. Golden is also a family-run manufacturing company based out of Old Forge, Pa. So, not only will you be getting an exquisite, custom-made recliner that’s hand-sewn and built, you will also be supporting an American business. 

We wish you and your baby the best of health, happiness, and sleep-filled nights!

To find a retail store near you, visit our Golden Store Locator.

 


10 Tips To Conserve Energy During the Holidays



Written By: Anna Giannakouros

Anna Giannakouros During Christmas 2020

 

How To Manage Holiday Shopping & Visits During The Pandemic

As the holidays approach, I’m filled with excitement and anticipation for a wonderful holiday season ahead spent with friends and family. Especially after what a year 2020 has been, I think we all deserve it!

Even though some of us are still in a partial lockdown because of Covid-19, I plan on celebrating Christmas with lots of shopping, gifts, drive-bys, and seeing my friends and relatives in a limited way.

While the holiday season is fun, it can also be exhausting, especially for people with a disability or a chronic illness and being a “Spoonie”, as I am. A Spoonie is someone who suffers from a chronic illness and has a limited amount of energy to complete tasks or function in a given day. Often, the illness is not apparent to other people and the person looks healthy and able-bodied as I did especially before I started using mobility aids. In reality, the energy struggle is sometimes enormous just to make it through a given day and there’s only so much that can be accomplished.

The term “Spoonie” was created by Christine Miserandino, a patient advocate and Lupus sufferer. She explained the term by laying out several spoons on a table where each spoon represented a person’s energy reserve for activities performed in a day. Examples could be bathing, getting dressed, making your bed, cooking, eating, washing the dishes, shopping, exercising, going to a doctor appointment, meeting a friend for lunch, going out for supper, staying up late, etc… all typical activities that a regular healthy person accomplishes without much thought and often many times in a day.

However, people with a chronic illness or disability only have a handful of spoons that they can use in a day; maybe even only 1 or 2 spoons on some days. If one pushes themselves too far and goes over their limit, the consequences can be grave and in my case, could lead to a flare-up (exacerbation of MS symptoms) that can last for days or even weeks.

So, every day is a balance between rest and spoons, and we have to choose wisely what limited tasks (or spoons) we will perform (use up) on that given day. As the holidays approach, I’m thinking of all the extra spoons I will need, and it can get overwhelming. These extra spoons can be things like holiday gift shopping, wrapping gifts, drive-bys, cooking, baking, visits, staying up late, meeting people, etc. All of these activities will take their toll unless managed properly.

Here are some tips that I follow to conserve energy during the holidays:

Shopping Online

Anna Giannakouros wrapping Christmas gifts

There’s nothing worse than waiting for the last minute to buy your holiday gifts and then scrambling to wrap them while you should be getting ready to go somewhere. I avoid being in that situation by getting my purchases done early so that I have enough time to organize, wrap, and label them gradually without any stress.

For clothing, accessories, and home decor, online shopping is the way to goit takes a lot less energy than physical shopping and is quicker and more convenient. It’s easier to compare prices and search for a variety of products and it can be done from the comfort of your own home, avoiding sales pressure and crowds. That’s a huge benefit now with the pandemic going on.

Another way to keep things simple and efficient, is if you find a great gift, buy multiples of it for different people.

Simplify Gift Wrapping

As much as I used to enjoy elaborately wrapping Christmas gifts, I simply don’t have the energy for it anymore. Many times, just opening and putting away the boxes received feels like a workout! So what I do is purchase gift bags and tissue paper, drop the gift in a bag, add some tissue paper, tie the bag handles with ribbon, add a label, and I’m done in under a few minutes. I space out wrapping the gifts over different days, so it’s not too tiring preparing them all in one day.

Another gift-wrapping option is to have the retailer do it for you. Some sites offer gift wrapping and delivery options which are so helpful and convenient, especially now, during the pandemic, where visits are limited.

Another easy, but thoughtful holiday gift is simply gifting money. What I did for this year is purchase cute mini Christmas boxes equipped with a ribbon that I plan on filling with Hershey Kisses and some cash. So simple and nicely presentedwho wouldn’t want that as a gift?

Or, if you have a loved one with a disability, consider going in on a more functional, but necessary joint gift with friends and/or family, such as a power lift recliner, mobility scooter, or power wheelchair. It will truly make a difference in their life every day, and they will think of you every time they use it. You can find a local home medical supplier near you at goldentech.com/dealer-locator

Drive-by Visits

One thing that I learned during the pandemic and while being in lockdown is that you can still find ways to connect with your loved ones even if it isn’t a long event or in close proximity to them. A great way to connect is to simply drive by their homes (meet in the driveway) for a greeting and/or to exchange gifts.

Of course, this isn’t the most ideal setting for a holiday exchange, but it is a lot less tiring and shorter than the usual holiday festivities that we are accustomed to and for a Spoonie, it does efficiently and effectively do the job of connecting with loved ones in a less tiring scenario.

What I will do is schedule some drive-bys throughout December to visit people in different areas of the city and this way, the meetings will not all be condensed during the last days of the year when things get to be more hectic.

Pace Yourself

Anna Giannakouros on her Golden LiteRider Envy Power ChairTake breaks in the day and rest between different activities.

Breaks can be as simple as putting your feet up, resting your eyes, breathing exercises, short naps or meditating, and they do wonders for recharging your battery, improving your stamina, and regaining your strength during the day.

They help improve physical & cognitive functions and help reduce stress & anxiety levels. 

I try to take a 10-minute break every hour of the day and this allows me to have productive days; or I would be out of spoons by Noon.

Conserve your energy by using mobility aids. Purchasing my power chair has been life changing and has helped me enormously in managing my disability and chronic fatigue.

I regularly exercise and walk as much as I can to keep my body fit and active and I rely on my power chair to manage my fatigue and improve my quality of life. Without it, I would only be able to do a fraction of the things I get done now and I would be tired and agitated more often.

Organize your spoons wisely.

If you know you have plans in the evening, take it easy in the day and rest accordingly so that you have enough energy to last you until the evening. For example, don’t do something strenuous like a tiring workout or house cleaning on a day where you have plans in the evening. Understand that you have physical limitations and respect them; there’s no shame in that.

Compromise

The holidays are full of traditions and preparations like decorating, baking, and cooking from scratch and these are great activities, but can be very tiring. Dealing with a chronic illness or even just getting older in general means that our body simply cannot do as much anymore and that’s ok.

I’ve learned to adapt without giving up on traditions and I accomplish that by comprising a bit.

For example, choosing my local Greek bakery for traditional dishes and treats over hours in the kitchen, or going with the Pillsbury doughboy in lieu of my traditional shortbread cookies.

I’m happy, the family is happy, and at the end it’s all good.

The same goes for receiving guests, it’s ok to ask for help with food preparations and clean up and it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing scenario.

Manage your Social Calendar and Set Boundaries

The holidays can get hectic with a lot of back-to-back events. Sometimes, we find it difficult to say No to these events because of family and/or social pressure and responsibilities.

That’s understandable to some degree but keep in mind that no one quite understands what it means to have a chronic illness or disability unless they actually have one and no one will deal with the consequence of you physically or emotionally overexerting yourself more than you.

So, know your body and limits and plan your social calendar accordingly. Don’t overextend yourself or feel guilty if you cancel something at the last minute because you aren’t up to it. Don’t agree to something out of fear of coming across impolite or not meeting obligations.

Sometimes we must learn to put ourselves first and say no to circumstances we don’t feel up to being in. I for one, try not to accept social commitments that require me to stay out late on consecutive nights because I need a day in between to recover. So I plan my social calendar with a day break in between.

Surround yourself with people who are sensitive to your situation and are accommodating and understanding.

Protect your energy; the holidays bring all types of people together and sometimes these people aren’t necessarily vibration matches to each other. Pay attention to your mood when you are in the company of certain people. Energy is contagious and if people or events leave you emotionally irritated and you feel your eyes beginning to roll backward (LOL) consider removing yourself from that situation. 

Sometimes this can simply be physically moving away from a group of people or shifting a conversation to another topic.

Eat Well, Stay Hydrated, and Exercise

You know your body better than anyone else and what foods help you to feel better or worse.

Sometimes eating certain foods like heavy foods or sugar and consuming alcohol takes a lot of energy for your body to digest and If you are already suffering from fatigue issues, being in a food coma doesn’t help matters, that’s for sure! So yes, indulging is normal over the holidays, but do so in moderation and you will feel better in the long run and your body will thank you for it.

Many of us go off our regular schedule and eating and sleeping routine during the holidays and forget to drink water because of that. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as there are so many benefits to drinking water and the best one for spoonies is that it helps with fatigue. Being properly hydrated reduces migraines and headaches, helps regulate your mood, aids in digestion, flushes out toxins, improves brain function, and boosts the immune system.

Light, low impact exercise is very good to help with chronic fatigue as it boosts endorphins in our body which make us feel more energized. Reserve some spoons for exercise every day and the benefits will carry you through. Don’t push hard or fast but find a comfortable set of exercises that you can do daily. Stretches and strengthening exercises are good examples.

Remember What’s Important

In the end, the holidays are not about the decorations and preparations, the shopping and the gifts or the ribbons and bows. In the words of Dr. Seuss from the “Grinch who stole Christmas” he says “Maybe Christmas (he thought) doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”

It can get easy to get overwhelmed with the secondary stuff and forget that the holidays are really about peace, love, joy, acceptance, and the spirit of giving and gratitude. So, when I begin to feel tired or overwhelmed or even agitated with people, I remind myself that even though the festivities are fun, the true meaning of the holiday season is to feel peace and joy in my heart.

I remind myself that those feelings are always accessible if I just take the time to relax, close my eyes, and feel them. I remind myself that the holidays are about spending time and showing affection to the people in our lives that we love and appreciate.

And you don’t need all the bells and whistles to do that.

 

 


A Golden Mobility Scooter Helped My Mom With Lung Cancer



Written By: Sarah Lydon

Sarah Lydon's Mother in a Golden Buzzaround XL Scooter

Creating Memories After A Cancer Diagnosis

Every November, during Lung Cancer Awareness month, I am reminded of a disease that has affected so many people, including my family. Lung Cancer is something I knew existed, but never understood completely. That is until my mom was diagnosed with Stage 3B lung cancer on February 14th, 2016, only to pass away eight short months later. When someone close to you is diagnosed with a terminal illness, you find yourself trying to create as many memories with them as possible before time runs out. And that is exactly what my mom and I did. One of my most cherished memories is the last trip we took together to Charleston, South Carolina. 

Traveling With Cancer Takes Special Planning

When I found out I would be traveling to Charleston for a work conference, I knew this would be the perfect trip for me and my mom to take together. We immediately started researching and planning all the things we would do while we were there. What we didn’t take into account in our planning was how much of a toll my mom’s cancer had taken on her body and her lungs. It was a humid summer day and we were walking to meet the carriage to start a tour of historic Charleston. We walked half a block before my mom started to have trouble breathing and we had to stop. The humid day was making it extremely difficult for her to catch her breath, so we were not able to make it to the pick-up point for the tour and had to go back to the hotel. I saw the disappointment and exhaustion in my mom’s eyes and knew I had to figure out a way for her to enjoy her time in Charleston.

A Golden Scooter Provided The Mobility My Mom Needed

While I do not work directly with the mobility division at Golden, I learned a lot about their mobility products just by being part of the Marketing team. I knew that if we could rent a travel scooter from a local Golden retailer, my mom would not skip a beat during this trip. I made a call to C.J. Copley, the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing and he, along with Jason Davis, the Vice President of Sales and Darrell Bradshaw, the Southeastern Vice President, immediately went to work trying to find someone who could help. Herbert’s Mobility was kind enough to let us borrow a Golden Buzzaround XL Scooter for the entire trip. I will never be able to express in words how much their kindness meant to both of us. 

A Mobility Aid Can Help Your Loved One Enjoy Life Again

As for the Buzzaround XL scooter, here’s what we were able to do because it: We were able to have one last shopping trip together. We were able to go to dinner and talk through our differences, a conversation that brought us both so much peace. We were able to browse through the Charleston City Market, picking up cookbooks and other keepsakes that would remind us of our trip. My mom was able to relax and enjoy herself. We were able to create memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.  

So if you or someone you love can relate to this story, it’s not too late to create cherished memories, even if you need a little help to do it.

Sarahs Mom in a Golden Buzzaround XL Mobility Scooter


9 Tips To Prepare For the 2nd Wave of The COVID-19 Pandemic



Written By: Anna Giannakouros

Quarantine Is Hard, Especially When You Have A Disability

MS Warrior, Blogger & Instagram Influencer Anna GiannakourosWhat a year it’s been so far! It started with negative headlines in the news and it feels like the bad news just keeps on coming as the theme of 2020.

In March, I had a bad fall on the ice and ended up dislocating and fracturing one of my fingers. A few days later our city went into a complete lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic and we were all forced into quarantine. All non-essential businesses were temporarily closed, we were all advised not to leave our neighborhoods, and visiting other homes was prohibited. Face masks and social distancing became obligatory and disinfectants and hand sanitizers became the new essential.

Those early days of the quarantine were hard, to say the least. Having Multiple Sclerosis, which has caused mobility issues with my legs, I rely heavily on my hands. With my hand in a cast due to the fall, I was left in a lot of pain and with only one good working limb.  For those first three weeks, I needed help to perform the most basic tasks like bathing and getting dressed. Exercise, cooking, and driving were out of the question.  It was very frustrating.

In addition to that, my entire family of five was home with the stay-home order and I felt suffocated. Anxiety and stress levels were high because of the uncertainty of the situation and the new restrictive way of life. I can honestly say it was one of the hardest periods we have gone through as a family and all of us started to show signs of depression and anxiety.

However, we gradually adapted to the situation and have come out stronger. I even decided to purchase a mobility aide to help conserve my energy and get outdoors. Read on for great tips on how to prepare and cope with the COVID road ahead. 

Be Prepared To Stay Home Again with These Tips

Fast-forward seven months, our city is now facing the second wave of COVID-19. The government has tightened the social distancing measures they had loosened over the summer. Restaurants and gyms have been temporarily closed again, and visiting other people and social gatherings are no longer permitted. The news and social media are covering different points of view and it feels like there is more divide, controversy, and frustration than ever before.

This time though, I am in a much better psychological and physical shape to deal with what is going on.

Here are some of the techniques I use to keep myself positive and to cope with stress, anxiety, and physical limitations of the current situation.  Outside of the pandemic and quarantine, these are also applicable to those of us living with a chronic illness or disability and often stuck at home or experiencing other types of limitations and depressing circumstances.

Find Your Inspiration

Listen to people that leave you feeling motivated and inspired and from whom you can learn something.  This could be anyone or anything that generates positive feelings in you. It could be a personal mentor, a religious figure, a celebrity, an athlete, a podcaster, a business entrepreneur, etc… whatever works for you.

I start every single morning watching YouTube videos or listening to audiobooks of people that inspire and energize me. It sets the tone for the day and I listen as I get ready, as well as I go about my daily tasks.

Music is also a big part of my life and is often playing in the background.  Listening to the right song can change your mood and has a positive physiological effect on your body. It stimulates different parts of your brain and releases different feel-good chemicals and hormones in your body.

Examples of videos in my YouTube library are from religious speakers like Joel Osteen, motivational speakers like Louise Hay, and compilation speeches from famous athletes and actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone. My most recent favorite audiobooks are “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins, “Dying to Be Me” by Anita Moorjani, “Think like a Monk” by Jay Shetty, and “Super Attractor” by Gabrielle Bernstein. Examples of my current go-to upbeat songs range from “Don’t Stop Me Now” from Queen, “It’s a Beautiful Day” from U2, “Fascinated” from Company B, or “Walking on Sunshine” from Katrina and the Waves.

Find what inspires you.

Get Outside

Anna Giannakouros Outdoors with her Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair

There’s nothing worse than that feeling of being bored, stuck in the house, and not feeling motivated to move. A walk outside does wonders to clear your mind and boost the feel-good chemicals in your body. But what do you do if you’re disabled and can’t easily walk outside? Well, what I do is take my Golden Envy power wheelchair out for a ride, which has the same effect.  If I’m up to it I’ll even do a few sets of squats while I ride to get my blood pumping and muscles moving.

You don’t even have to walk or ride anywhere, just being outside sitting in the fresh air and sun does wonders for your mind and body.  The increase in oxygen helps your brain function better and gives you more energy and the sunlight gives you vitamin D and boosts your immune system.

Going for a drive is also a great way to clear your mind and get out of the house for a little bit. I’ve adapted my car so driving is fun and a breeze now and this allows me to take daily drives to clear my mind. Often I pick up a perfect coffee and enjoy it with a good book at a pleasant parking spot with a nice view.

These are simple pleasures we can always enjoy.

Follow A Routine

Following a routine keeps me feeling confident, in control, and on top of my day. I wake up relatively early every day and I prioritize what needs to be done.

I’ll usually prioritize five tasks a day. Having Multiple Sclerosis means I suffer from chronic fatigue and have limited energy and capacity to accomplish a high amount of physical or even mental tasks in a day. So, knowing my limits, I plan accordingly.

We all have our limits and having a routine with prioritized tasks allows you to focus on what’s important and not feel overwhelmed with other things. It also avoids Decision Fatigue which sometimes sets in later in the day when you reach a point of mental decision-making capacity where you just can’t think anymore.

Figure out what the best routine is for you.

Eat Well & Exercise

Anna Giannakouros exercising with her step machineEspecially now, it’s more important than ever that we eat healthy, exercise, and stay focused on feeling good. The mental and physical effects of a good diet and exercise regime on the body are only positive.

Exercising and eating well allows you to look and feel better and it gives you more energy, a clearer mind, and better sleep. It boosts your immune system.

When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which are chemicals in the body that help deal with stress, pain relief, and boost happiness.

For me, eating well, hydrating, and exercising are the most important determining factors of how I feel and hence they are my priority every single day. It became more challenging to work out regularly when the gyms closed, but I have worked around it by staying motivated and consistent, which is something we all can do.

I exercise daily, adapting exercises to my ability. I work out at home using a bench, my body weight, resistance bands, TRX bands, stretches, weights, treadmill, and a low impact step machine. I also perform online workouts adapting to my ability level. On days when my energy level is low, I concentrate on stretches and/or working out from my power chair or scooter. There’s always some movement that can be done to get those endorphins going and blood pumping in your body.

To stay motivated and inspired, I follow social media influencers in areas of health, fitness, and nutrition. I also work out with other people Anna Giannakouros Lifting Weights with Her Golden LiteRider Envy Power Chairin my small family/social bubble and this makes it fun while holding each other accountable.

To stay on track with my nutrition goals, I use a Keto mobile application to log my food. I’ve also followed a meal plan designed by a fitness professional (@bigdaddyfitness on Instagram).

Use quarantine as an opportunity to set personal health and fitness goals and to measure your progress. You don’t need a lot of equipment to do that and there’s a lot of information and tools you can access online to get started.

Discover A Hobby

There are many benefits to hobbies and we often are too busy to allow ourselves time in the day for them.  They encourage you to stop and take a break in your day.  To disconnect from everything for a little while and relax.  This helps reduce stress and clear your mind. They also allow you to exercise your creative side and explore different talents. Quarantine is as good a time as ever to enjoy or discover new hobbies.

In the past couple of years as I dealt with mobility issues, I had to come up with different ways to pass the time that didn’t involve too much movement. So my hobbies don’t involve a lot of body movement, and that’s ok. I enjoy jigsaw puzzles, painting, reading, writing, and watching movies and TV series. My latest Netflix binges that I recommend are “Cobra Kai”, “Emily in Paris”, and “The Haunting of Bly Manor”.  I also recently enjoyed some classic movies on Netflix like “Gone with the Wind” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Connect With People

The most challenging part of quarantine is the loss of human contact and connection, especially for people living alone. We must try and compensate for the lack of physical connection by working on the mental connection. Find a way to stay in touch with the people you love and whose company you enjoy using social distancing, technology (zoom, skype, etc), or the phone.

What I have been doing from March to help cope with this is a lot of drive-bys. I visit my friends and family by driving by their homes and we have a chance to connect outside while I remain in the car. I’ve met my friends in parking lots and we each enjoy a coffee from our cars with the windows rolled down so that we can communicate. I sometimes meet up with friends and family and we walk outside together and/or with our dogs. Texting, group chats, and social media outlets are other ways I stay in daily communication and connection with other people.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s also very important that you surround yourself and engage with people who make you feel good. Avoid people who are negative and may bring you down.  A good way to gauge this is to ask yourself how you feel after engaging with a particular person. If you don’t feel the same or better afterward, avoid those people.

Surround yourself and engage with positive like-minded people.

Change Your Mindset

Anna Giannakouros Using An Exercise Band with her Golden LiteRider Envy Power Chair

We all get into depressing thought patterns sometimes and often it’s for very valid reasons, whether physical or psychological.  Clinical depression aside, it’s important to remind ourselves that these are just thoughts and that there’s always something we can do to change our mindset or the situation.

I’ve learned to recognize feelings of depression, fatigue, boredom, or agitation as they begin to arise in my body and I take action to rectify them before I get to a point where I get overwhelmed by them.  I follow the tips I’ve mentioned above. Sometimes it’s as easy as taking a little break or stepping out of the house to clear my mind. Other times it’s related to hunger or dehydration and after I replenish I feel much better. Other times it’s related to lack of movement and after some exercise, I feel better. Sometimes, a negative thought gets stuck in my head on repeat; and once I recognize that, I refocus my mind to let it go and focus on positive thoughts and that helps me feel better

When you feel yourself in a negative place understand that you can be in control of it and make a conscious effort to get yourself out of it.  Take action. Reach out to another person. Reach for a better feeling or thought.  It works.

Focus on What Can Control

It’s been a crazy year, sometimes surreal and scary. We all wonder how long this pandemic will last and when life will get back to normal again? These things are still unknown.

Focus on what is under your control and what you can do to help your situation and let go of worrying about the things you cannot control. Use your energy to better yourself during these challenging times and to come out stronger on the other side.

Get Professional Help If Needed

Please make sure to take care of yourself. Be on the lookout for signs of depression. If these tips no longer seem to be working for you, contact a professional to get the help you need during these difficult times. 

If you need help finding treatment, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. It is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. You can also visit the online treatment locators.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Golden Technologies’ Veterans Virtual 5K Fundraiser



Golden Veterans Virtual 5K Fundraiser For Semper Fi & America's Fund

 

Golden Technologies is excited to announce our first-ever Veterans Virtual 5K! You can help support our veterans, too, by donating and/or joining Golden’s Race Team to benefit the Semper Fi & America’s Fund. Bike, walk, run, scoot, or wheelchair your way to help our deserving veterans in need! Choose to complete the race anytime, any way, any distance you like through November 8th, 2020 and you’ll receive a medal from the Semper Fi & America’s Fund. Register for the Veterans Virtual 5K on our Team Page: https://runsignup.com/goldentech. You will need to click on “Become a Fundraiser” to join the Golden Technologies Team. 

Make sure to post your photos and selfies to #GoldenVetDay5K, Facebook message them to @GoldenTechnologies or email them to marketing@goldentech.com.       

The Semper Fi & America’s Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is one of America’s highest-rated charities, dedicated to providing urgently needed resources and support for combat wounded, critically ill, and catastrophically injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The charity was created in 2003, by a group of dedicated military spouses at Camp Pendleton who began organizing ‘welcome home’ activities for the first wave of wounded Service members returning from Iraq. To date, they’ve assisted over 25,000 Service members and are one of only two veteran Nonprofits with an A+ rating from CharityWatch

Let’s give back to our vets by fundraising for this worthy cause! Please donate or register for the Veterans Virtual 5K today.


MS Warrior: Living My Best Life Possible



Written By Anna Giannakouros

Anna In Her Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair

Never, in a million years, would I have expected to be disabled at the age of 45. Even after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 11 years ago, I never imagined it would come to this. My frame of mind was that I was a healthy, strong fighter determined to beat the odds and do whatever it took to beat this. Through diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, medication, top of the line newest treatments (some experimental), and sheer will alone, I would be victorious. And for many years, I was, or at least I thought I was.

Living with MS Disability

Five years ago my life shifted and the disease gained momentum. Despite my best efforts, it knocked me down like a tsunami. I keep getting back up each time, but so far the waves have been relentless and they just keep coming. It feels like just when I recover from the last blow and adapt to a new normal, another one comes out of nowhere and knocks me over again and I’m like: really?! Haven’t I had enough? How far will this go?

Life humbles you. You learn that there are things that are not always in your control. That life isn’t always fair. That nothing is really guaranteed.

I’ve also learned, though, that you may not always be in control of what happens to you, but you can always control your reaction to what is happening. Living with MS disability is hard physically and emotionally and in some ways it feels like every day is a battle. But I won’t let this battle define me or get the best of me. There are other things I can focus on and so many blessings in my life I can celebrate. Every single day I make a choice that I will live my best life possible in this body that I have been gifted, despite its limitations. I see every day as a gift and an opportunity to be happy. I’ve made the decision that no matter what life throws my way, I will adapt and overcome it. I’ll never stop making goals for myself and persevering even though it feels harder to accomplish things than it was before. Being disabled has opened my eyes to what is truly important in life and allows me to better appreciate the things that really matter.

Give Yourself Grace with a Mobility Aid

It takes courage to accept that you need a mobility aid and to do it with grace Anna with a Cane Next to her Golden LiteRider Envy Power Chairand style. In some ways, especially with a progressive disease, it feels like a step in the wrong direction. But it isn’t. It’s adapting to a circumstance so that you can remain successful and able in your life. There is no shame in accepting help when you need it and mobility aids are amazing inventions. They are gifts of independence. They are a means to an end.

My first mobility aid purchases were canes; then walking sticks; then a rollator/transport chair; a crutch; walkers; scooters; and most recently a Golden LiteRider Envy power chair. I chose aids that look cool and fit my personality. I name them and decorate them with stickers and other accessories staying true to my personality which is cool and fun. These devices empower me and facilitate my life and I’m very fortunate to have access to them.

Discover Your Inner Strength

It’s easy to give up and throw in the towel when you feel something is too difficult to endure. Real strength comes when you know the tsunami is coming and you still face it head on knowing you are probably really going to take a hit. I feel like with each step in this journey I’ve become a much stronger and resilient person and I now realize that being victorious and beating this doesn’t necessarily mean my walking with ease again. It means my living an amazing life no matter what the circumstance is. It means my learning to swim in the waves.

 


Why Your Business Should Advertise on Facebook



Written By: Jackie Caraballo

Facebook Ads for Your Business Page

 

 

How Useful Is Facebook Advertising?

Are you consistently creating social media posts, but not getting many likes, comments or shares? That’s because Facebook has made it very difficult for its users to view Business page posts unless they purchase advertising. And if you’re not advertising your business on Facebook, you are missing out on a huge amount of traffic to your page and/or website and potential revenue. According to Facebook Business, now over 2.7 billion people use Facebook each month. That’s over a quarter of the world’s entire population. And they’re using Facebook almost every single day. 

Forbes reported that although television revenue from ads increased by 7.1% in January 2018, digital ad revenue was more than double that, at 16.8%. Even more surprising is that there was still a marked increase in digital ad revenue, with the most spending on Facebook, despite the platform’s problems with fake news and changing its news feed algorithm to favor posts from users’ friends and family over businesses. The statistics are too high to ignore. Facebook has become so ingrained in users’ lives, that it’s difficult for them to stop using the platform. Unfortunately for businesses, organic post engagement has dropped significantly since 2017. A business might organically only reach 2% of its targeted audience. However, paying for a targeted Facebook ad will overcome this obstacle. At Golden Technologies, we’ve been able to dramatically increase our Facebook post reach with a significant ROI. 

 

The Best Way To Create Facebook Ads

Now that you know the stats, here’s how you get started. A Facebook ad will not use the same techniques as pay per click (PPC) advertising, but instead, calls for more classic creative marketing methods. Think about when you are checking your own personal Facebook feed. If you’re just relaxing, checking to see what your friends are up to, do you take more than two seconds to realize the post is an ad, and then just scroll right past it in your feed? I know that’s what I do, unless an ad is so engaging that it makes me stop scrolling and watch the video or read the compelling story. Now think about whether you’re a professional in marketing or advertising with years of experience and training, who can create an ad that will not only get a second glance, but make the viewer actually buy your product. If that’s not you, then you should consider either using the content that Golden Technologies’ marketing team creates for you or hiring a professional digital marketing agency to help you craft a creative, engaging Facebook ad. 

 

Videos Make the Best Content

The best type of ad is a Facebook video ad. It’s the most compelling way to increase user engagement. But whether it’s a video, photo, or story, you have to make sure your ad is visually stimulating, thought-provoking, and, frankly, helpful, to get the user’s attention. This will then drive viewers to your website, which is, of course, full of riveting content, resulting in the purchasing of your product or service, and, (gasp!) even sharing your ad or website with others. 

 

Facebook Will Retarget Your Website Visitors

Facebook, and social media in general, have an edge when it comes to marketing. Have you ever Googled something, and then went on Facebook and sure enough, there was an ad for exactly that same search term? BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU! Just kidding. What you’ve actually experienced is called retargeting. And Facebook is the king of retargeting. How it works is, when you visit a website, but do not purchase from or contact that site, a cookie that is set in your browser and Facebook will then automatically pop an ad from that same business in your feed to try to re-engage with you. As creepy as it may seem (sometimes I swear I just talked about something and a Facebook ad pops up—you’re not listening to our conversations, right Mark Zuckerberg??), this type of advertising is a big deal for businesses. The Search Engine Journal reports that, “a mere 2% of people actually convert to becoming a sale the first time they land on your webpage.” However, bringing them back a second time around, after they’ve had more time to think about your business or product, users are more likely to then convert on your site. But wait, it gets better: through Facebook’s use of retargeting, an ad on Facebook will ultimately drive more traffic to your Facebook page or website. More traffic will, in turn, boost your search engine rankings, and bring in even more traffic, and if you have good content, then you will get more conversions, AKA sales.

 

Facebook Ads Are Affordable

Another reason Facebook ads are so great, is that they really aren’t very expensive. You can spend as little as $1 a day for your ad. Small businesses have the opportunity to target their audience just as much as larger businesses. Plus, you can measure your results in real time and instantly see if your advertising strategy is working or if you need to make changes. You can also save money by cutting out other ad campaigns, such as on television, where customers are frequently fast-forwarding through commercials when they DVR a show, anyway. I’m pretty sure during the Super Bowl is the only time most people actually want to watch commercials. 

 

Social Media Ads Can Go Viral

A viral ad may not always be the goal, but it is an amazing perk that no other advertising outlet can offer. It’s basically worldwide advertising at a fraction of the cost, and unlike the lottery, you have the ability to determine if you win. The good news is that this digital equivalent to the holy grail is attainable. All you have to do is think outside the box and create an ad so good, that it is shared organically across social media and viewed by millions. Easy, right? Well, that’s also where Golden can help. We’re constantly searching for heart-warming and special stories about how our products help our customers. If you know of an amazing story, please share it with us and we will create a video or blog post featuring Golden products for you. 

 

Advertise on Multiple Social Media Platforms

Businesses can’t afford not to go digital. A company today must have an engaging, optimized website that’s mobile-friendly, and have a strong social media presence. By the way, we’re not recommending that you advertise only on Facebook. Golden recommends advertising across social media with Instagram as the next best choice for ad placement. Don’t miss out on the largest social communities in the world. Most of your competitors already are advertising on Facebook and Instagram, or they will be in the very new future. Most importantly, it’s crucial that your social media page or website has great content to backup your engaging ad. Otherwise, your visitor will most likely leave your site without converting. 

 

Need Help Creating Your First Facebook Ad?

Stay tuned for a FREE Golden Webinar for retailers on August 20th, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EST* with step-by-step directions on how to create a Facebook post using Golden content and then how to “Boost” your posts to reach a larger audience in your local area! If you’re a Golden Retailer, join our Golden Dealer Insider Facebook Group for all the latest inside information!

 

*Please note that the time has changed from 3:00 p.m. EST to 2:00 p.m. EST.

 


Jack’s Chairs



 

How the Right Lift Recliner Brought Joy & Music Back to Jack Briseno’s Life

As he fought an arduous battle against stage 4 cancer, Jack Briseno of Naperville, Illinois, held tightly onto several things that gave him strength in his fight. His family, friends, and music played an important role during his time battling the disease, but another quite unexpected source of comfort made the journey a much more peaceful and smooth one: Jack became the proud owner of five different Golden Technologies lift chairs. Both he and his wife, Kathy, credit them with giving quality to the last years of his life.

It was from one of those chairs—one that stayed at a local restaurant and bar where he emceed a music night—that Jack often shared one of his life mottos.

“At the end of the evening he would tell everyone, ‘These are the good old days.’ That was his line,” Kathy Briseno said.

Rich Moore, owner of Shanahan’s Food and Spirits in Woodbridge, said that Jack would often feel too bad to perform from the stage. But he’d always end the evening on a high note.

“When it was time for him to say a few words, I would hand the mic back to him, and he would close up the show with his favorite line, ‘These are the good old days,’” Moore said. “But it was hard to see him smile and close his eyes when he wasn’t feeling good.”

 

Alex Anderson with Golden lift recliners at Oswalds Pharmacy
Alex Anderson with Golden lift recliners at Oswalds Pharmacy.

 

Search For Comfort

Jack Briseno’s cancer diagnosis progressed quickly to a point where he couldn’t sit or sleep comfortably, and his wife knew something had to be done about the situation.

“As the years went on, it got progressively worse, went into his bones, and it was very difficult for him to sit comfortably. Jack couldn’t get in and out of our bed anymore,” Briseno said.

She visited a furniture store and purchased a lift chair, but they quickly discovered it wasn’t the answer. “We were excited because we thought it was something that Jack was going to be comfortable in, but once we got it home, we realized it didn’t fit him. His feet didn’t touch the ground,” she said. “We really just didn’t know how this was going to work for him.”

The answer came in the form of the 143-year-old Oswald’s Pharmacy in downtown Naperville, where Alex Anderson first showed the Brisenos its collection of Golden power lift recliners.

When she saw these chairs and saw what they could do, she was pretty disappointed with her previous purchase,” said Anderson, who is a sixth-generation owner at Oswald’s.

Briseno said she was immediately impressed with the selections and the options at the store. She was equally impressed with the knowledgeable staff.

“I realized that there were people who knew something about a product and weren’t just selling a chair. It was the fit that was the most important thing, and we spent hours there with Alex letting Jack try out chairs, explaining the products.

“When Jack sat on this chair, he really did cry,” she said. And that was the first chair purchase.

 

 

Jack’s Lift Chair Collection

Jack's Cabin Golden Lift ReclinerThat wasn’t the last Golden lift recliner the family purchased—not even close. The Brisenos purchased their second lift recliner for a vacation cabin in Whitewater, Wisconsin.

“Jack wasn’t able to go there, and it was one of his favorite places to go,” Briseno said. “It wasn’t comfortable to be on a couch, and he couldn’t sleep in a bed there. So, I got the idea to find out if we could buy a chair and send it up to Wisconsin.”

A few months later, she went back to Oswald’s to add to her purchase. She had decided that they needed a lift recliner on every level so that Jack could sleep in an upstairs bedroom if he wished. Also, especially important, was a chair in the basement, where Jack loved to have parties with music.

“She had chairs on every floor, which we just thought was really cool and the first time we’ve ever seen that for a customer,” Anderson said.

Having a Golden lift recliner in every area of the home was a truly freeing experience, according to Briseno. The ability to recline, rest, and sleep in any location gave her husband freedom and peace of mind.

“The chair gave him some freedom. He would say things like it saved his life,” she said. “He couldn’t believe how comfortable he felt, that he’d be able to sleep, and how his back didn’t hurt when he was in the chair.”

 

 

Kathy Briseno in the Golden Lift Recliner in her home
Kathy Briseno in the Golden Lift Recliner in her home

 

For the Love of Music & Friendship

When he was in good health, Jack often spent up to five evenings each week at Shanahan’s.

Photograph of Kathy and Jack Briseno
Photograph of Kathy and Jack Briseno.

He would listen to the band playing, and he would regularly become the Master of Ceremonies for the night’s entertainment. As his health deteriorated, however, visits to his favorite bar became less common.

“Truthfully, a lot of times people came because Jack was emcee. It would just be an amazing night of music—standing room only.” Briseno recalled. “But then he wasn’t even making it more than five minutes a week, or at all. He had a pillow, a blanket, and there were times we’d bring a canvas director’s chair. But nothing was comfortable, and I was like, ‘We have to do something’.”

Oswald’s James Hiltenbrand said it was the one and only time his store installed a lift chair in a bar—but that it perfectly exemplified how Golden products enhance every aspect of a customer’s life.

Family friend and fellow music lover, Donna Rice, reiterated that the move of the chair to Shanahan’s made a huge difference to the Brisenos. It also allowed the friends to have more time together.

“Because Kathy brought a chair here and because Rich made room for this chair for Jack, [he] could be here on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and he could endure the pain, and he could stay in his seat,” Rice said. “He would be able to enjoy the music, and selfishly, we would be able to enjoy him. As far as that chair goes, it paid for itself 100 times over because Jack was able to be with us.”

 

Jack Briseno in his Golden lift recliner at Shanahan's Food and Spirits

 

The Lift Chair Legacy Continues

Jack’s legacy lives on in the memories the chair at Shanahan’s evokes for his friends and other regular customers.

“If you look at that chair, you’re like, it’s Jack in a chair form because all those memories start flooding back about him,” Rice said. “About how kind he was, how thoughtful he was, how he was the type of person that made you laugh, and think about not sweating the small stuff and to enjoy the moment. That was Jack. He lives on.”

And the importance of lift recliners in Jack’s cancer battle lives on in the way it has affected others around him.

His wife recently had surgery for thyroid cancer, and when she talked to doctors about how to handle getting out of bed after having her thyroid removed, she immediately realized that a Golden chair would help her in her recovery.

Vietnam Veteran in Golden Lift Recliner
Kathy Briseno donated one of Jack’s lift chairs to Vietnam Veteran, Wayne Millian, who is on dialysis.

“I came home and I looked at the chair, and I’m like, I know where I’m sleeping. Probably for two, three weeks, I stayed in the lift chair,” she said. “It lifted me up, I didn’t have to put any strain on myself, and I knew what Jack meant. Being able to press a button and have it just lift me up, so there was no strain or anything, and I understood what Jack meant in regards to how important it was to have something like this for us.”

Briseno said that Golden lift chairs have also helped their daughter during an uncomfortable pregnancy, and have also benefitted a volunteer veterans’ group Jack believed in.

The benefits that the Golden lift recliners provided to Jack Briseno—and for those around him—were truly immeasurable. His wife said that all of the chairs in Jack’s life made his last days truly good.

“I wish Jack could be in this chair now. Who’s ever heard of anyone having five chairs?” she said. “I mean, they’re not [inexpensive]. I knew it would make his life better, and so I wanted that for him. What mattered was that he was comfortable.”

 

Jack's Friends and Wife with Lift Chair At Shanahan's Food & Spirits