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The Hottest Demographic in Building – the 50+ Market

Soon to take over the world…….


I have the great pleasure of working as a Sales & Marketing Manager for Tub King, our showroom located in Jacksonville, FL, and through this role have met amazing and inspiring seniors. In many cases I’m also communicating with adult children of seniors who are concerned with their parent’s comfort and safety while bathing. Being an empathetic creature I oftentimes internalize their frustration of having to venture down the road of demolition and the remodel of their homes with little to no idea of how to do it, when to do it, nor what to buy.
Based on my own personal experience with this growing segment of the population, and being a person who requires data before making a decision, I went on an internet research expedition. The statistics I’m about to share with you are eye opening if you are in a business which provides products or services to the senior population.

  • Today one in three Americans is now 50 or older and in 2030 individuals aged over 65 will climb to about 72.1 million, or one in five Americans. (Source: Admininistration on Aging). 
  • What will that look like in 2050? The senior population will soar to 88.5 million — or 20 percent of the population. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010

How do these facts impact home and community building contractors currently? A survey conducted by AARP of 1,616 adults ages 45 and older found that fewer than half of the respondents have an entrance without steps, a half-bath on the main level of their home, doorways that are wider than standard door, nor handles that are levers instead of knobs.

AARP shares, “The great majority of older adults have a strong desire to live in their own homes and communities. However, unsupportive community design, unaffordable and inaccessible housing, and a lack of access to needed services can thwart this desire.” Unless there are vital changes in how houses and communities are constructed and what services are offered, many older adults will find it increasingly difficult to live in their communities and may be compelled to consider institutional care.

“Nearly 90% of people over age 65 indicate they want to stay in their home as long as possible, and four of five in that age bracket believe their current home is where they will always live,” says AARP, which stressed the importance of accessible building standards to allow people to remain in their homes instead of having to spend money on relocating or retrofitting. “It might be a good idea to design houses and communities that are accessible to all people, including older Americans and those with disabilities, and some states encourage developers of affordable housing to install features that make it easier for older adults to age in place”, says AARP. Examples of this include: wider accessible entrance doors; entry-level hallways that are wide enough for mobility devices; ramped or beveled door thresholds; and accessible bathrooms focused on safety.

I implore contractors, builders, remodelers, architects, and designers nationwide to think forward and be proactive when it comes to what is ‘future forward’ when selecting bathtubs for seniors. Consider, not only what the client wants now, but what they will appreciate having incorporated into their home for use in the future. Sure, go ahead and put an exquisite Tub King cast iron clawfoot tub in their master bathroom but also think ahead to the time they or their ‘aging in place’ parent may need the comfort and independence provided by a Tub King walk-in bathtub installed in one of the guest bathrooms.


Kudos to the National Association of Home Builders who have instituted a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) program to address these needs in the building industry. The CAPS designation offers your potential clients what they need most: reassurance that you’ll help them make the choices that will help them stay in their homes safely and securely. I am actually considering becoming certified myself!

If you are considering implementing this strategy in to your new home building or renovation project, please contact our Sales & Marketing Manager, Edie, at (800) 409-3375 for contractor pricing on walk-in bathtubs for elderly and disabled persons.

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Make Your Bathroom Safe

Courtesy of www.redbeacon.com

by Alan Knight


The bathroom, usually the smallest room in your home, is statistically the most dangerous. A 2008 study conducted by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, found that about 235,000 people over the age of 15 visited emergency rooms due to injuries that occurred in the bathroom. These injuries are not only limited to slips and falls. There’s risk of electrocution if an electrical appliance falls into water as well as the risk of poison since many chemical products are often housed in the bathroom. Don’t forget those nasty cuts from the sharp items that abound in the bathroom like razors, or even hand held mirrors that can shatter when dropped. This is beginning to sound like a hazard zone but it really doesn’t have to be. Your bathroom can and should be a safe space for people of all ages.

Children, adults and especially seniors are vulnerable and can be at risk if thoughtful precautions are not taken. You can start with the easy improvements that require little to no expense and move up to more extensive changes or upgrades if necessary. This is your family’s safety and that is always a number one priority. Let’s start with the small stuff.

POISON CONTROL

Can you believe the second leading cause of home injury death is poisoning? It leads to about 5,000 fatalities a year.

Courtesy of  www.slideshare.net

 Most people (I hope) want to make sure their bathrooms are as germ- and bacteria-free as possible. It’s not an easy task because frankly, humans harbor all kinds of bacteria and germs and we leave are mark everywhere. You possibly use bleach or possibly ammonia and other strong cleaners with chemicals to ensure you rid your bathroom of the pesky germs and odors. Did you know that if bleach or ammonia are mixed together they make a potentially deadly gas? Either one of them alone can cause burns or respiratory problems to people who are generally sensitive to chemicals.  Don’t forget about drain cleaners. Many can burn skin if touched and it is essential to be very careful when using them.


If you have these items in your bathroom or anywhere else in your home (like the kitchen), it is essential to have them clearly marked. Educate your young ones on the perils of touching these chemicals. Ideally, if you have very young children, store them in a place where they can’t reach or even better, under lock and key.

DON’T BE SHOCKED!

I mean that literally. You keep your blow dryers and curling irons in the bathroom. You may have an electric toothbrush on your countertop. Any of these items can cause electrocution if they fall into a tub or a sink filled with water. Beware of damaged or frayed cords as they can be another hazard especially if they are lying on a wet countertop.

Courtesy of  www.mayfieldplumbingblog.com

The safety precautions are common sense though not everyone follows them. Make sure all electrical appliances are unplugged and away from any water when not in use. Don’t use these appliances near water, please. It is too easy to cause an unnecessary accident and is easily avoidable.


BE SHARP WITH YOUR RAZORS

As you know, young children love to explore. They are in awe of all of their surroundings and are fascinated by the littlest trinkets and gadgets. Some of those gadgets should not be within their reach and the razor is one of them. Simply put them in a cabinet that is out of reach and don’t leave them in the shower or tub. Keep your children cut-free.

PROTECT AGAINST THE NUMBER ONE CULPRIT- FALLS

Falls are the leading cause of home injury deaths with about 6,000 fatalities per year. Seniors are especially vulnerable. About one in three seniors who suffer a fall, will incur injuries that lead to hospitalization. There are many ways to protect against these accidents and some are fairly simple remedies.

1.      Rugs can be a hazard but they don’t have to be. Throw rugs in the bathroom enhance the décor and add a little color and luxury. They can also cause you to trip or fall when they slip. Your bathroom can still be plush and safe if you purchase non-skid rugs. Double sided industrial tape placed beneath the rug will keep it safely secured to the floor.

Courtesy ofwww.azx7.com

2.      Light it up. Good lighting is essential in every bathroom. But night lights are the key to adding another safety element to that space. How many times have you woken up to use the bathroom and ended up bumping into the wall while you are half asleep? Install night lights to guide you safely into the bathroom and prevent unnecessary accidents.


3.      Grab on to those grab bars. These bars may be one the most useful preventative items you can purchase for your bathroom. Install them near the toilet area to allow ease of transfer. Getting up and down onto the toilet can be especially difficult for seniors. You should not expect that toilet paper holders, towel racks or wall-mounted sinks can reasonably support one’s weight. Proper installation is the key to safety. They should not just be mounted onto the sheetrock but instead, firmly attached to a wall stud. This can be a do-it-yourself project but for those lacking skills of a carpenter, professional installation might be a good idea. I’ll discuss a little more about grab bars for the bath/shower area in the next section.

SCRUB A DUB DUB- DON’T FALL GETTING OUT OF THE TUB

That says it all. Most falls in the bathroom occur while getting in or out of the bathtub and shower. Seniors are most susceptible due to their lack of agility. There are a few precautions you can take to make the area much safer for everyone.
1.      Use grab bars. As I mentioned previously, these need to be properly installed for paramount safety. Knowing there is something to hold onto while getting in and out of the tub can provide an extra level of comfort.
2.      Rubber mats are all the rage. Well, that might be an exaggeration but they definitely have their place in preventing slipping in the tub or shower.
Image courtesy of TubKing.com
3.      Sit comfortably and safely. Shower seats and chairs should be purchased with care. Make sure they have rubber and suction feet to prevent slippage.
4.      A hand held shower head makes bathing a blast. Whether you are a senior or someone who is just a bit tired after a long day, it is pretty relaxing to sit in the shower and be able to control the placement of the shower. It does provide an added layer of protection and safety.

THE ULTIMATE SCORE

The emergence of walk-in tubs and showers really is all the rage. These are amazing additions to any bathroom and will provide years of comfort and safety. Literally, you can walk right in without having to climb. They come with many additions, like built in chairs, removable shower heads and built-in grab bars. They are not only extremely functional, but quite elegant and are an upgrade that will pay off for many years to come.

In this article, I provided you with many precautionary measures you can take to make your bathroom a safer place for people of all ages and give everyone in your home more peace of mind. 

If you would like a FREE copy of our eBook “The Walk-In Tub Buyers Guide”, fill out the form below and we will send it to you.

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Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.
Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com. 

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What You Don’t Know About Mother’s Day … and What You Should Remember

By Alan Knight
Photo Credit: mothersdaycelebration.com

I hope you and yours enjoyed a warm and heartfelt Mother’s Day.

Did you know that while not the actual beginning of today’s Mother’s Day celebration, the ancient annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to their maternal goddesses is generally regarded as somewhat of a precursor to it?  Admittedly, some pundits are divided on this issue.  Nonetheless, the Greeks used the occasion to honor Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology.  Ancient Romans, too, celebrated a spring festival, called Hilaria, which was dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. 
It may be noted that ceremonies in honor of Cybele began some 250 years before Jesus was born.  The celebration during in the Ides of March was made by making offerings in the temple of Cybele, which lasted for three days and included parades, games and masquerades.  Over time, the celebrations became so notorious that followers of Cybele were eventually banished from Rome. 
Photo Credit: britlitwiki.wikispaces.com

Early Christians celebrated a Mother’s Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.  However, the roots of today’s present Mother’s Day history can also be traced in UK where a “Mothering Sunday” was celebrated much before the festival saw the light of day in the U.S.   It was expanded to include all mothers.  A more recent history of Mother’s Day dates back to 1600s in England.  It was celebrated annually on the fourth Sunday of Lent (the 40-day period leading up to Easter) to honor mothers.  After a prayer service in church to honor the Virgin Mary, children brought gifts and flowers to pay tribute to their own mothers.  On this occasion, servants, apprentices and other employees staying away from their homes ― and there were many of them ― were encouraged by their employees to visit their own mothers and honor them. Traditionally, children brought gifts and a special fruit cake or fruit-filled pastry called a simnel.  Yugoslavs and people in other nations have observed similar days celebrating mothers.  While most countries celebrate Mother’s Day in May, usually the second Sunday of the month, in other parts of the world, Mother’s Day is celebrated at different times of the year and with different customs.

Origins of Mother’s Day in the Land of Lady Liberty

Photo Credit: awesomestories.com

The idea of the official celebration of Mother’s Day in the U.S. was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe. An abolitionist, activist, writer and poet, Julia Ward How is known for her famous Civil War song, “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  She wrote a passionate appeal to women and urged them to rise against war in her famous “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” which she had written in Boston in 1870.  In 1872, Julia Ward Howe suggested that June 2nd be annually celebrated as Mother’s Day, asking women from around the world to join together for peace.  Unfortunately, her efforts proved unsuccessful, and she openly began to wonder if Independence Day on July 4th could be reconfigured into her vision of “Mother’s Day.” Her idea evolved and was later replaced by the Mother’s Day holiday now celebrated in May.

Last year, our modern-day Mother’s Day celebrated its 100th birthday.  It was founded for the mourning women to remember soldiers who’d died in battle and to work for peace.  When the holiday began to take on overtly commercial overtones, another of its greatest champions, Anna Reeves Jarvis, tried vehemently to fight it, but ended up dying a pauper and broken in a sanitarium.
Photo Credit: puraproducts.com

According to an article, “Mother’s Day Turns 100: Its Surprisingly Dark History,” published last year by “National Geographic”: “In the 1850s a West Virginia woman, Ann Reeves Jarvis, Anna’s mother, held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination.  The group also tended wounded soldiers from both sides during the U.S. Civil War from 1861 to 1865.  In the postwar years, Jarvis and other women organized Mother’s Friendship Day picnics and other events as pacifist strategies to unite former foes … Around this same time, Jarvis had initiated a Mother’s Friendship Day for Union and Confederate loyalists across her state.  But it was her daughter, Anna, who was most responsible for what we call Mother’s Day ― and who would spend most of her later life fighting what it had become.”

While Anna Jarvis didn’t have children of her own, the death of her own mother served as inspiration for her to organize some of the first official Mother’s Day observances in her hometown of Grafton West Virginia in 1908. On May 10th of that year, families gathered at a church, which has since been renamed the International Mother’s Day Shrine. Other Mother’s Day events were held in Philadelphia, where Jarvis was living at that time and in several other US cities. It was primarily from Anna Jarvis’ work that Mother’s Day became a national holiday, as seven years later, in 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed the second Sunday in May as the official holiday.
Photo Credit: medienwerkstatt.com

Originally devoid of all the commercial trappings associated with it today, Jarvis’conception of Mother’s Day included spending time with one’s mother and personally expressing gratitude for all that she did. “It wasn’t to celebrate all mothers.  It was to celebrate the best mother you’ve ever known ― your mother ― as a son or a daughter,” states West Virginia Wesleyan College graduate Katharine Antolini, who authored “Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Defense of Her Mother’s Day” as her Ph.D. dissertation. That’s why Jarvis stressed the singular “Mother’s Day,” rather than the plural “Mothers’ Day,” Antolini explains. However, the increasing commercialization of the holiday eventually led Jarvis to perceive her initial success as a failure.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

“Anna Jarvis’s idea of an intimate Mother’s Day quickly became a commercial gold mine centering on the buying and giving of flowers, candies, and greeting cards ― a development that deeply disturbed Jarvis,” according to the “National Geographic” article. “She set about dedicating herself and her sizable inheritance to returning Mother’s Day to its reverent roots.  Jarvis incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association and tried to retain some control of the holiday.  She organized boycotts, threatened lawsuits, and even attacked First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using Mother’s Day to raise funds for charities … Jarvis’s fervent attempts to reform Mother’s Day continued until at least the early 1940s.  In 1948 she died at 84 in Philadelphia’s Marshall Square Sanitarium.

“‘This woman, who died penniless in a sanitarium in a state of dementia, was a woman who could have profited from Mother’s Day if she wanted to,”Antolini says. ‘But she railed against those who did, and it cost her everything, financially and physically.’”

Money Mother’s Day  

Photo Credit: blog.allmyfaves.com

Today, Mother’s Day, like many other contemporary holidays, comes gift wrapped in overt consumerism.  According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an average of $162.94 on their mothers this year, down from a survey high of $168.94 last year.  Total spending is expected to reach nearly $20 billion. The National Restaurant Association states Mother’s Day is the most popular holiday for dining out.  Furthermore, more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than on any other day of the year. These holiday chats with mom can cause the phone to traffic to spike as much as 37%.

We can, of course, argue the points regarding how Mother’s Day has become so commercialized.  Of course, the same can be said of many other religious and non-religious holidays.  But the commercial element embracing mommy dearest is here to stay. Retailers stay in business to make a profit, while we have that not-so-gentle nudge to do something nice for someone we love. 

Presenting the Best Presents

Photo Credit: firststreetonline.com

In recent years, adult children have started to take a look at where they spend their money in expressing their love and appreciation for their mothers (and nowadays, mother’s in law, grandmothers, aunts, etc.).  In some cases, help in purchasing a home, help in purchasing a condo or renting an apartment in a retirement community, or perhaps something even more personal.  For example, the Walk-in Bathtub has become a product of need among seniors.  Many have seen commercials about them on TV, Internet and in print, and maybe even received information by mail.  The Walk-in Tub is something many seniors need, which may not be affordable, especially for someone living on a fixed retirement income. Companies such as Tub King, Inc. have always strived to make these tubs affordable for seniors.

Unlike some companies that try to bilk would-be buyers out of their hard-earned money to buy a Walk-in tub, (read our previous blog, “Is the Walk-in Tub a Scam?”) since its inception 14 years ago, Tub King has always done its very best to keep both the purchasing and installation fees on its various models as affordable as possible.  My brother, Kerry (now retired from Tub King) and I have an elderly mother, so we empathize with those who want to ensure that their parents are safe and comfortable, particularly in the bathroom, which statistically is the most dangerous room in the house for the elderly.
Photo Credit: americanstandard-us.com

This unique, high-tech but easy-to-operate bathtubs offer the opportunity for independent bathing, safety from falling when getting in and out of the bathtub due to its low threshold, hydrotherapy options for various pains and ailments that are associated with aging, and importantly, peace of mind for users and their children.  They’re a great way to tell your mom “I love you” on Mother’s Day.

Photo Credit: tubking.com

Another product that mothers of adult children are gravitating towards these days are Tub King’s new Safety  Suite Showers. There are two main designs ― a low threshold and a zero threshold ― and each comes with a variety of options such as the drain orientation (left, center, right), the type of in-shower seat, the type/color of tile, etc. There are also safety-designed accessories that are fitted with built-in grab bars such as towel racks, paper roll stands, shelves, etc. 

In this article, I discussed the origins and history of Mother’s Day, heralding back to ancient Greece and Rome. I also talked about two of its main proponents in the U.S., Julia Ward Howe and Anna Reeves Jarvis. The article goes on to discuss two very popular bathroom products for mothers (and dads, too), Tub King’s Walk-in Tub and Safety Suite Showers.

Tub King Customer Testimonial for Walk-in Tub
If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. Thanks again for visiting with us.
If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-in Tub Buyers’ Guide, fill out the form below.
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If you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, fill out the form below.
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Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

Check Out Some of Our Best Prices Ever! Click Here. 

Alan Knight has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also multi-award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact Tub King, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.

Get Your Free Gift Card From Tub King. Click Here. 

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Traveling Tubs on the Wagon Trail

By Alan Knight

Photo Credit: www.peachridgeglass.com

It was 1867 in a small mining town called Denver, Colorado. With signs of winter fast approaching, the sun set at 4:30 p.m.and didn’t rise again for nearly 15 hours. With the thought of the long, cold hours that lay ahead, there was only one thing on the miners’ minds — whiskey! The hard-drinking miners knew they didn’t have enough liquid gold to make it through the winter, and this made them grow restless.

Determined not to face the harsh mountain weather without it, they hired a group of Irish Teamsters to transport 40 wagon loads of whiskey through the Colorado plains. To ensure its safe arrival, the US Cavalry was commissioned to escort the load. 

However, when a crusading group of women from the Temperance movementlearned of the shipment, they were furious. They formulated a plan to intercept and destroy the “evil cargo” on its way to Denver. Dressed in their finest Victorian gowns, they packed up their wagons and headed west for the 185-mile journey, singing as they went.
Image courtesy of fotolauncho.com
Knowing it would take at least a month of hard travel through dangerous territory, these ladies of refinement turned their wagons into little mobile homes. They packed every luxury their prairie schooners could hold. There were tables, chairs, linens and silverware, colorful rugs and lamps, even pianos and several bathtubs.
The Temperance ladies were committed to their cause. But they drew the line when it came to traveling without their washtubs.  And these were no ordinary tubs.  We aren’t just talking galvanized buckets. These traveling tubs were Victorian furniture, replete with intricately decorated modesty covers.  All these ladies had to do was slip into the tub while another one poured hot water through an opening at their feet.
Image courtesy of movpins.com
Meanwhile, several other groups became aware of the shipment and decided they, too, wanted a bit of the joy juice. Local Native Americans who were interested in easing the pain of an approaching winter sought to intercept the shipment.  To make matters worse, the Irish Teamsters began to grumble and soon decided to strike. Receiving word their precious cargo was in peril, the miners created a posse that headed eastward, ostensibly to recover their wayward shipment. With so many opposing parties looking to get their hands on the whiskey, the wagon train came to a halt … in the middle of nowhere. Inevitably, the women caught up with the whiskey wagon train as it made its way west, and demanded demolition of the alcoholic “mountain dew.” (BTW: To learn the fate of the whiskey wagon train, you’ll need to rent the movie, “Hallelujah Trail,” made in 1965 starring Burt Lancaster and Lee Remick.)

  

Early Bathtub History

Photo Credit: dreamstime.com

But in 1867, it wasn’t only women that enjoyed the luxury of bathing on the trail. It’s reported that the Bathtubs that existed during the antebellum period before indoor plumbing came into vogue were large but relatively light containers. They were usually hidden away and only pulled out when needed, perfect for on-the-road washing. The typical mid-19th century bathtub was a product of the tinsmith’s craft, commonly made from a shell of sheet copper, or zinc. The use of copper continued into the mid-1900s as a liner for wood-enclosed tubs. Commanders and officers of the US Cavalry also enjoyed some downtime relaxing in traveling tubs.

More commonly, tubs back then were steel-cased. By 1867, tub manufacturers started using cast iron, which had been used for several years for making sinks and toilets. The problem with metal was corrosion. Copper and zinc discolored readily around water and soap, and the seams of sheet metal were hard to keep clean. Iron and steel, of course, rusted eventually, even under the most meticulous coat of paint.  Bathtubs made of lead were only found in more progressive homes equipped with early water-heating devices. As running water became more common in the latter 19th century, bathtubs became more prevalent and less portable.

  
Birth of the Modern Bathtub

Photo Credit: brettcogburn.com

While some members of the US Calvary and the Temperance ladies were enjoying their high society tubs, the miners most often bathed in horse troughs, if at all. Bathing wasn’t considered a necessity by these hard-working men. In fact, personal hygiene was considered something of a nuisance. Over time, as bathing became more fashionable, more tub manufacturers entered the market and began improving designs. Out with the horse trough and in with cast iron bathtubs with porcelain interiors on “Clawfoot”pedestals. These tubs rose to popularity in the 19th century and remain so today.  

To combat the corrosion problem, tub makers began successfully marketing porcelain-enameled, cast iron bathtubs, a process that remains broadly the same to this day. Some modern bathtubs are made of acrylic or fiberglass; occasionally, waterproof finished wood. In addition to the advanced materials used in making today’s modern bathtubs, many new and innovative bathtub designs have entered the market.

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

One such design is the Walk-in tub that is perfect for seniors. These bathtubs provide a great safety advantage to handicapped persons or those with limited mobility. Not only are these tubs highly functional, there is also a range of hydrotherapeutic options available. Walk-in tubs are perfect for everyday bathing needs, but importantly, they also provide personal safety and independence wrapped in therapeutic luxury.

Tub King’s cast iron/porcelain Clawfoot and Pedestal tubs as well as our therapeutic Walk-in Our tubs are made to fit in your bathroom. Or, if you want one for your covered wagon, we can hitch you up with that, too.


In this article, I first gave a brief historical account of the development bathtubs. I highlighted a story made famous by the motion picture, “Hallelujiah Trail,” about a skirmish between whisky-thirsty miners and Temperance-minded women of the Old West. It then goes on to talk about elegant cast iron/porcelian Clawfoot and Pedestal tubs as well as safety-minded Walk-in tubs.

If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. Thanks again for visiting with us.

Tub King Customer Walk-in Tub Testimonial 

If you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, fill out the form below.

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Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

Enjoy TubKing’s Lowest Prices Ever and Free Shipping. Click Here. 

Alan Knight has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also multi-award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact Tub King, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.


Get a Free GiftCard from TubKing. Click Here. 

Form & Function: the “Wright” Stuff

Planning Ahead for a Walk-in Tub


By Kerry Knight
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I’m retiring.  Every time I say that it still sounds strange to me.  “I can’t retire,” I think to myself.  “I’m too young.  I feel great.”  It’s as if I’m speaking of someone else.  Yet, then I realize I am at retirement age, 65-years-old. 

 

Where have all the years gone?  I think back to certain events in my life that were 20 or 30 years ago and it seems like they were just a few years ago.  It can’t be that far back.  But it is.  So, I realize I have to accept it and move on.  
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And I now have a Medicare card.  I feel guilty, as if I have something that should belong to an older person.  But I qualify.  When I go to the movies, I qualify for the senior discount.  At first I refused it, then I thought, “Why not enjoy the benefits of retirement?”  In one short year, I’ll qualify for Social Security. 
My wife and I are building a new home.  I don’t plan to ever move again once it’s built, so we’re being careful to include everything that we could possibly want, as long as it’s affordable.  In the master bath, the original plans called for a huge Garden Tub and a separate shower unit.  The tub is beautiful, but here’s the caveat: it’s not right for us at this point in our lives.  It’s designed for someone much younger, someone who doesn’t have to ever worry about falling or stepping over a tall ledge into a deep basin. 
My wife was quick to notice how impractical that tub will be.  “I want to replace it with a Walk-in Tub,” she said.  At first, I was surprised.  Most women would go to their grave before admitting they need a tub designed primarily for seniors with mobility issues.  However, she’s the smart one in our family.  In requesting a Walk-in Tub, she was being pragmatic and realistic.  “The day will come when we’ll need it,” she stated matter-of-factly.  
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She’s right.  I can already feel a tinge of arthritis in my hips and back.  It probably won’t get any better.  The day will also come when getting light-headed will be more common when I get up out of bed or stand up from sitting in a chair, so even maintaining balance everyday will be a real challenge.  We both know that day is coming, it’s just a matter of time.

Statistics don’t lie: most fractures among older adults are caused by falls, and the most dangerous and frequent place senior fall is in the bathroom.  Most common are fractures of the hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.  Furthermore, the risk of slamming one’s head on a hard surface in the bathroom (and there are several of them) is frightening real.  Twenty to 30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries.  Once experiencing a fracture, it makes it much harder for seniors to get around or live independently, thus increasing the risk of early death.  Many people who fall, even if they aren’t injured, subsequently develop a fear of falling.  This fear may cause them to limit their physical activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, thus again increasing the actual risk of falling.  In 2010, over 21,700 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries.
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My wife and I both eat right and we visit the gym almost daily.  We both know the value of preventative care.  We strive to live a healthy lifestyle, but eventually we will need some type of assistance.  In this regard, a Walk-in Tub can be of tremendous assistance.

My mother is 83 years old.  She now requires around-the-clock care.  She can’t even bathe herself.  In nearly 20 years, when I reach her age, I hope I can still take care of myself.  
The Walk-in Tub could definitely provide a significant advantage in this regard.  The Walk-in Tub is a self-contained unit.  It stands about 40 inches off the floor and will hold about 50 gallons of water.  You enter it by a hinged door on the side of the tub and step in.  The threshold for entering and exiting is only six inches, so raising the legs and causing instability doesn’t happen due to its inherent design.  Once the door is closed and locked, because of its water-tight seal, it doesn’t leak.  Then you sit down in the slip-resistant, molded seat designed into the tub and soak in warm water.  You can easily reach across the tub to the controls and turn on the hot or cold water, empty the drain, and utilize the hand-held shower sprayer with its four-foot, metal-braided hose.  You can also control the water and/or air jets.  There is a convenient grab bar on the inside for assisting with getting up and down.  In other words, even if you were feeble, you could take a bath without the help of anyone.  I like that.  We do have our pride, you know.  Independent bathing is vitally important to seniors.  In requesting that the contractor switch out the Garden Tub to a state-of-the-art Walk-in Tub, my wife had looked forward 20 years and saw the eventual need.
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But that’s not all.  Just like many elderly seniors, my wife and I will probably develop a few aches and pains as we get older.  Age often brings on things like psoriasis, arthritis, eczema, neuropathy, muscular aches, and joint discomfort, just to mention a few.  The Walk-in Tub comes with air jet hydrotherapy where its jet ports fill the tub with thousands of therapeutic bubbles that stimulate the skin and relax the body.  Just the act of sitting in warm water creates buoyancy and takes pressure off the joints, muscles and ligaments.  The Walk-in Tub can also come with a water-jetted massage system with inline heater.  This means you can target certain parts of the body for specific “aquatic massage” treatment.  The jets are adjustable as to force and direction.  It’s like having your own massage therapist around the clock.   

When I was younger, and long before I was part owner in a specialty bathtub company, I dreamed of having my own portable spa in my home, where I could walk in and get the same treatment that I would get from a professional health spa.  Now I can have it, and not a minute too soon.

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It really doesn’t matter if you’re retired or facing retirement, it makes sense to plan ahead.  The Walk-in Tub can be enjoyed at any age.  Many who have medical problems are enjoying it long before retirement.  And some who are presently in very good health, who simply enjoy the pleasure of having their own year-round, private Jacuzzi, have them as well. That’s great, too.  

Getting to our senior years and existing comfortably during those years when we really might need help will provide new challenges for my wife and me.  Sure, having that beautiful Garden Tub in our new master bath might be tempting, but it’s not our best choice in the long term.  The Walk-in Tub might cost a little more, but overall, it will be one of the best investments of our lives.  We don’t want to spend our retirement years fighting pain and ailments when we can install something now that can help us later.  After all, that’s what planning ahead for our golden years is all about.  
In this article, I shared some of my thoughts and issues upon facing imminent retirement. I then went on to discuss how swapping out our new home’s Garden Tub with a safety-featured Walk-in Tub makes much more sense for my wife and I.  Then I shared some of key benefits Walk-in Tubs can provide, such easy access and egress, water-tight door, safety bar, ergonomic controls, water and jet-therapy and more. 


Customer Testimonial for a Walk-in Tub from Tub King
If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. 
Thanks again for visiting with us.
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Kerry Knight is a former co-owner of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida (now retired). He and his brother, Alan, have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 843-4231 or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.
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 Related articles

Shocking CDC Statistics About Bathroom Injuries – and What You Can Do to Prevent Them

By Alan Knight   
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Mention the initials “CDC” in a conversation today, and most people are well aware about what organization   Especially in light of the ongoing concern and news articles pertaining to Ebola, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has virtually become a household acronym. 
you’re referring to.  According to its charter:  

“The CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.”
In addition to the ramifications of Ebola and a wide range of other infectious diseases is just a portion of this organization’s important work.  For example, the CDC has an entire portion of its website (and I’d likewise assume personnel and resources) solely dedicated to “Home & Recreational Safety.”  Among its various sub-specialties:  
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  • FallsOlder Adults
  • Falls – Children
  • Prescription Drug Overdose
  • Concussion in Sports
  • Water-Related Injuries
  • Poisoning
  • Fires
  • Playground Injuries
  • Bicycle-Related Injuries
  • Dog Bites 
 “We want a society where older adults can live safe, healthy and independent lives. While falls are a threat to the health of older adults and can significantly limit their ability to remain self-sufficient, the opportunity to reduce falls has never been better.  Today, there are proven interventions that can reduce falls and help older adults live better,” the organization states. 
Consequently, in 2011, the CDC issued it’s first-ever report, “Nonfatal Bathroom Injuries Among Persons Aged ≥15 Years ― United States, 2008,”which documented the incidence and circumstances of nonfatal bathroom injuries.  
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The reported stated there were 21.8 million persons over the age of 15 who sustained a nonfatal, unintentional injury from falling.  Significantly, the fiduciary costs of these accidents totaled over $67 billion in lifetime medical costs.

An estimated 234,094 nonfatal bathroom injuries among persons aged 15 years and over were treated in U.S.  “Approximately 80% of all bathroom injuries were caused by falls, with the highest injury rates in the oldest age groups.  For adults aged ≥65 years, falls often cause serious injuries, such as hip fractures, attributed in part to osteoporosis, a metabolic disease that makes bones porous and susceptible to fracture. This study found that older adults had the highest fracture rates and were hospitalized most often.”
Of particular note, in the opening paragraph of the report is the statement, “Information about where injuries occur is limited, but bathrooms commonly are believed to be a particularly hazardous location… All persons, but especially older adults, should be aware of bathroom activities that are associated with a high risk of injury and of environmental modifications that might reduce that risk.”  

Gender Issues

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According to the report, injuries sustained by elderly women were a whopping 72% higher than the rate for men. “Studies consistently have shown that women are at higher risk than men for falling and for sustaining fall-related injuries. This difference might be related to gender differences in physical activity, lower-body strength, bone mass, circumstances surrounding the fall, or greater willingness to seek medical treatment.” 

Age Factors 

Not surprisingly, injuries that were sustained in or around the bathtub or shower concomitantly increased as people got older.  The following verbiage from the report is particularly sobering for aging seniors: “Injury rates increased with age, and most injuries (81.1%) were caused by falls.  The most frequent diagnosis was contusions or abrasions (29.3%). The head or neck was the most common primary part of the body injured (31.2%).  Most patients (84.9%) were treated and released from the ED [Emergency Department]; 13.7% were treated in the ED and subsequently hospitalized.”  

Location 

 

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Guess what activities contributed to the large number of falls?  Bathing, showering, or getting in and out of the tub or shower. (The other area was from standing up or sitting down or using the toilet.)  The two areas of the bathroom where most falls occurred were “in or around the tub or shower (65.8 per 100,000) and injuries that happened on or near the toilet (22.5 per 100,000).”

For all ages, the most hazardous activities were bathing, showering, or getting out of the tub or shower.  Approximately two thirds of all injuries occurred in the tub or shower, and approximately half were precipitated by bathing or showering, slipping, or getting out of the tub or shower.”

Additional Findings & Recommendations

 

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The CDC report made special mention of the fact that according to the Home Safety Council‘s 2004 report, “The State of Home Safety in America,” 63% of U.S. homes used bathtub mats or nonskid strips to help reduce bathtub falls.  However, less than 20% of private homes had grab bars. (The report noted that assisted-living facilities and nursing homes were more likely to have them, however.) The authors emphasized “adding grab bars both inside and outside the tub or shower might help prevent bathroom injuries to all household residents.”

The report also recommended that seniors should learn “effective fall prevention strategies” that would focus on specific exercises to improve strength and balance (Yoga comes to mind here. Have you ever seen photographs of elderly Indian yoga masters? They have incredible strength and balance.) 
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The report also recommends a medication review by a senior’s healthcare provider.  Many drugs in and of
themselves can cause dizziness. In combination with other prescriptions ― which is often the case with the elderly ― the side effects that can make seniors more susceptible to falls can be dangerously amplified.  The authors of the report also highly recommend that all adults, and in particular older adults, their families and their caregivers need to become aware of how certain activities in the bathroom can result in more frequent injuries “notably getting out of tubs and showers and getting on and off toilets.”

A Personal Concern

As Baby Boomers with aging parents, my brother Kerry and I are personally aware of these sobering statistics.  You may recall that as Kerry wrote in a previous blogs our own elderly mother has fallen several times.  And being in this business, we hear harrowing stories about the ramifications of seniors falling every day.  A sobering statement in the CDC’s report emphasizes, “Preventing falls and subsequent injuries in this vulnerable older population is critical.”   

Our Solutions

 

That’s why we’re proud to offer two excellent products that have repeatedly proven effective for preventing falls for the elderly and those individuals who may, for whatever reason, have mobility issues that are exacerbated by every day activities in the bathroom, particularly bathing and showering. 
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Our Walk-in Tub offers several safety features that are specifically designed to eliminate the risk of falling.  You can read more in-depth information about each of these features in some of our previous blogs such as “Is Your Bathroom a Safe Haven or a Minefield?” “How to Avoid Needing a Senior Nursing Home?” “The Dangers of Bathrooms – Falling is a Family Matter,” but to especially highlight several of Walk-in Tubs’ “user-friendly” design elements:

  • Low Threshold, watertight door/High Sides
  • Nonslip surfaces, especially its ADA-compliant seat
  • Strategically placed interior grab bar
  • Ergonomically placed controls (temperature, handheld shower wand, hydrotherapy controls)
 
If you’re looking for a “safety solution” for the entire bathroom, our brand new product, Safety Suite Showers, features no-threshold and low-threshold showers. They can be custom-configured to suit the need of the individual in regards to orientation (placement of the seat, temperature controls, handheld shower wand, etc.). They also feature several different grab bars built into the shower, including one right over the often-used temperature controls. 

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But that’s not all.  You can also enhance the safety of the bathroom environment by adding matching grab-bar outfitted accessories such as towel racks, and toilet paper handles. (For more information, see our previous blog, “What’s New in Showers? Sophistication Today, Safety Tomorrow.”)

True, the bathroom can be a dangerous environment, especially for seniors.  But by being proactive and by taking several preventative measures to thwart or diminish these dangers, you and your loved ones can remain safer in the bathroom, particularly when bathing or showering.   
In this article, I discussed the sobering findings of an official report issued by the Centers for Disease Control entitled, “Nonfatal Bathroom Injuries Among Persons Aged ≥15 Years ― United States, 2008.” The report noted that “For all ages, the most hazardous activities were bathing, showering, or getting out of the tub or shower.  Approximately two thirds of all injuries occurred in the tub or shower, and approximately half were precipitated by bathing or showering, slipping, or getting out of the tub or shower.”  I cited other data presented in the report, including some of the authors’ suggestions for safety improvement.  I then discussed the numerous safety benefits of our Walk-in Tubs and our new Safety Suite Shower. 
If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. Thanks again for visiting with us.
The Benefits of Walk-in Tubs for Seniors
If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I’ll personally get back to you. 
Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.
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