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.