Don’t Look a Gift Tub in The Mouth!

By Kerry Knight

Gift Horse
Gift Horse (Photo credit: failing_angel)
Have you ever heard the phrase, "never look a gift-horse in the mouth"? Well, my
article today is about a man whose pride got in the way of receiving his gift.

I recently heard the story of a senior gentleman who refused the offer for a walk in tub, and then paid dearly for his reluctance.  Several months previously, when his children discovered that their father had fallen, not once, but numerous times, they began to discuss among themselves how to help Dad maintain his mobility, but be safe as well.  He had fallen once in the kitchen, slipping on a rug, while suffering a mere bruise.  However, he had fallen three times while trying to get into and out of the bathtub.  They decided to get rid of any loose rugs in the apartment, but were more concerned about what to do in the bathroom.  With ceramic tile floors and walls, a fall there, could create a much greater risk of injury.

Research Can Help if You Let it

After doing some research, they discovered the WalkIn Tub.  It was the newest innovation in bathroom safety.  A person could walk into the tub through a watertight door, close the door and fill the tub, and actually sit down using a handy interior grab bar.   The tubs were tall enough that you could fill the tub with warm water and cover almost to the shoulders.  They could then lean back and soak, bathe, and relax.  There was even a hand held shower for rinsing, which would retract back into the tub when not being used.  The controls for water supply and drain were within easy reach, and they could even add hydrotherapy jets for a soothing massage.

Client Testimonial

"This is it," the daughter said to her brothers.  "Dad, can continue to bathe himself and not run the risk of falling again."  The cost of the tub was obviously a little more than a conventional tub, but well worth it.  One brother said, "Okay, how do we pay for it?"  "Well Dad certainly has the money.  Let's start there," the daughter remarked.

When they approached their father about the idea, even showing beautiful, full color pictures of the different models, he was immediately dead-set against it.  "I don't need that!"  The daughter explained all the features and how it could help.  "Who's going to pay for it?"  When she went over the pricing with him he laughed out loud.  "No way!  As long as I can get around, I'll just use my old tub.  It's worked just fine."  They knew he could be stubborn, so decided to lose the current battle in hopes of winning the war in the end.  They left.

The Kids Where Ready to Pitch in

Out in the parking lot, they all agreed to pitch in and pay for the tub themselves.  It was a strain on their budgets, but they knew it was a small price to pay in the end if they could keep Dad safe and sound.

They went back into the apartment building, knocked
on his door and waited.  He was surprised to see them back so soon.  "No, I haven't changed my mind, " he said.  "No, Dad, we want to get the walk in tub for you ourselves.  We'll pay for it."

"No way I'm going to let you do that.  I told you I'm not interested.  I don't care if it's free.  I don't need it.  And that's the end of it."

They said goodbye for the last time and slowly walked away.

Then the Worst Happened

A few days later, at 6:00 am in the morning, the daughter gets a call from the apartment building.  It was management.   They explained that someone had heard calls for help coming from inside her Dad's apartment.  Management went in and found him immobile on the bathroom floor.  An ambulance had just arrived and after examining him said they thought he had broken his hip.  He was being rushed to the hospital. 

By the time the daughter and one of the sons had arrived at the medical center, the doctor came out and confirmed the earlier diagnosis.  We need to get him into surgery right away.  The doctor had explained how it would require a lengthy convalescence.  He would be in therapy for months, and would need around the clock care.  Even with Medicare the costs were going to be extremely expensive.  It would also require constant care and attention from the children. 

After seeing their father and visiting for a while, the brother and sister left the hospital.  After returning to the apartment they learned that their Dad had  slipped while trying to get out of the tub, then grabbed the shower curtain as he fell  hard on his left hip.  Their worst fear had happened.  And they knew something else.  Even after all the surgery, therapy, and rehab, when he finally came home, it could happen again.  And this time it would be far worse.

They also knew that if they had talked him into the
Walk In Tub option, all this could have been avoided.  The daughter immediately went online, made the call and ordered a Walk In Tub.  "He's going to have this tub, "she said.  "We'll deal with his stubbornness later."

The Senior Walk In Bathtub is a life saver, and in the end it's worth every penny.  What is a Mom and a Dad worth?  Can't put a price tag on that.

In this article, I have shared with you the story of a man whose pride got in the way of common sense. It got in the way of his children's wishes to provide him with greater safety, independence and freedom. Being grateful would have removed the danger of falling in the bathroom. His children would be able to sleep better knowing he was safe. If you found this article useful or enjoyable, please pass it on to your friends and neighbors. If you have a comment, leave it in the comment section below, If you have a question, feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article.

Alan & Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc and 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, winning the best of Jacksonville Chamber Award three years running. If you would like to contact them call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231 or email them at

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  1. Both my parents are in their 80's. They hate to admit that they are unable to do many of the things they used to. As a result, their pride gets them into situations that I could easily put paid if they'd let me. I'll send them this blog and see if they blink.

  2. This is a solution that prevents a lot of potential safety issues.