By Alan Knight
Did you know that over 9 million older Americans can't pay their bills? The basic expenses like food, housing, health care, and transportation is too much for many who are 65 years or older. With the weak economy of recent years, seniors have been suffering alongside everyone else, and in many cases the suffering has been much worse by comparison. The housing crash erased millions of dollars in home equity for older Americans. Baby Boomers saw a wealth of savings go up in smoke, and many had to return to the work force to make ends meet. Meanwhile, health care costs are rising and more than one in five people over age 50 say they have skipped doctor visits due to costs. Add to that the fact that most have turned to cheaper medications, or simply avoided certain medications altogether, because costs are so high, and you can see the problems seniors face. Then, on top of that, there’s the news about Social Security cut-backs, and you can see how this would also affect the mental health of senior citizens.
Let me give you an example from one couple: “I am seventy-something, and so far my husband and I are paying the bills (just barely). But there are no extras, none of the trips we thought we would take and none of the house improvements we thought we would make. We are not sure how long we will continue to be able to meet our basic living expenses. Our medical costs will inevitably increase, even though right now we are both healthy. We have pensions, social security, savings, and received an inheritance of a small piece of property, and we still are only just making ends meet.
What are seniors who are not so fortunate
supposed to do? I would add that our
house is very small and fully paid for, and our living expenses are low, apart
from living in a part of the country where property taxes and the price of
utilities are very high. To the "personal
responsibility" folks: we did work
all our lives and we did save for our retirement, but the rule of thumb for
living off one's investments during our prime years was 7-10 percent. Now we can count on about one percent. See the difference? I would add that there hasn't been a cost of
living increase for social security for years, because the cost of the Medicare
premium has completely canceled out the cost of living adjustment.”
In the early days of America, a household consisted of parents, children, and grandparents. It was usually a rural agricultural family where families were large due to the need for help in the field or on the farm. It was not uncommon for a married couple to have twelve children. Urban families worked in factories. Households were smaller, but still included the grandparents. Families were self-reliant and tight-knit. Everyone in the family had a part and a place, and everyone contributed.
Today, things are different. Families are scattered all over the country. Grandparents live alone, and many seldom see their children or grandchildren. Responsibilities go far beyond farm or factory work and include the high-stress modern pace of computers and cyberspace. Simple life has given way to a complex network where family time is relegated to hello or goodbye while grabbing a granola bar and rushing out the door. Late meetings at work create desperate high speed drives home to catch dinner or just to shower and collapse into bed. In this new world we have created, families suffer, and none so much as our seniors.
So what can be done? We can't turn back the clock. Adjustments need to be made. A little more thought on what is truly important in life seems to be eluding us. Doesn't it seem a little unfair that parents or grandparents spend their life working and when they are physically unable to work there are no other answers? If children either cannot or will not help, seniors are left to worry about their brief future on planet earth. I believe there are little things that we can all do. It may just be simple things like showing kindness, helping to lift something, offering an arm to guide them, or spending a few moments recalling fond memories.
There is also something that businesses can do. Make life a little more affordable for seniors. Some are already doing that, like offering discounts at movie theaters, restaurants, department stores, etc. In the health care field some companies are helping there too.
One of the best things to come along for the elderly is the walk in bathtub. Companies that make this affordable are really doing a service. Older adults often have difficulty getting into and out of bathtubs. Falling is an ever present danger for seniors. A fall, especially in the bathroom, with all its hard surfaces and edges, could cause serious bodily harm or even death. The walk in tub was designed specifically to meet the need for safety in the bathroom. It comes with a water tight door and a seat. The step-up is only six inches and all the controls (faucet, drain, and hand held shower) are within easy reach. They even come with jetted systems which provide hydrotherapy to treat all types of aches, pains and medical conditions. They can be installed in a day or so in a normal bathtub opening.
Watch this short origin story and the testimonials from a few clients.
In this article, I shared information about the high cost of living that senior have to deal with and how some walk-in tub companies try to cheat seniors by inflating the prices of their tubs. Tub King on the other hand exclusively makes their high quality walk-in tubs more affordable so that seniors can afford to have and use them.
Watch this short video about our buyers guide.
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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. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to email@example.com.
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