In 2015, Bob Esworthy worked as a golf professional at a local country club, a dream job for so many! From all outward appearances, Bob and his wife, Christy, were living the American dream. They live in a beautiful house and have two beautiful children. However, that ideal job had significant drawbacks, namely long hours which meant limited quality time with his family, and a great deal of stress managing the day to day golf operations of the club. He loved the challenge of making members, guests, owners and employees happy but he longed to spend more time with Christy and the kids. Added to the stress of the job and time away from his family, Bob was concerned for his ailing father who lives in New Jersey.
Then, life gave Bob a mulligan. A major life experience forced Bob to refocus his priorities, and gave him the opportunity to start over.
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With his new lease on life before him, Bob resigned his position at the country club. Bob and Christy were ready for a change and a new adventure. They discussed his father’s recent frustrations and saw an opportunity. “My dad’s medical issues had reached the point where mobility was an issue, especially when it came to getting in and out of the bathtub to take a shower,” said Bob. “A fall was inevitable, and there was the risk of my mother getting hurt, too, by helping him in and out of a slippery tub. My dad resigned himself to daily sponge baths. But sponge baths can only offer so much when it comes to personal cleanliness. My parents were looking for options, and the only thing that seemed to be available was a complete bathroom remodel.”
With an average cost of a total bathroom remodel being in the ballpark of $14,000, the senior Esworthys needed something more affordable, especially since they are on a fixed income. Through much research, they found a solution that was common in Canada, but not so much in the US: converting a standard existing bathtub into a walk-in shower, while preserving the functionality of the tub itself.
“The man who converted their tub did a great job,” shared Bob. “However, I found his project missing something. Where were the safety grab bars? I expected these two to go hand in hand. This is a real safety concern. Grab bars are needed in the shower and at the entrance where the new cut out is located. As much as the insert had helped re-establish some personal independence, the insert alone didn't give me the peace of mind I needed as a son. The bathtub area needed the insert and grab bars together to make it truly safe enough for my parents.”
This was Bob’s new door of opportunity, and Safe Tubs, LLC was born. “We offer a far more cost-effective solution. Our Safe Tub inserts, along with safety grab bars, are done at a fraction of the cost of a remodel,” said Bob. “Our average price is about 10% of the average remodel cost.”
A Safe Tub installation works over Re-Bath® fitters and as previously mentioned, still allows for the use of the tub. Bob explains, “The insert is designed to allow for one to walk in, but for those who want to take a traditional bath, the cut out can be covered with a cap that fits over the insert and easily locks into place, sealing water in the tub.” Safe Tub offers free in-home estimates, and most installations are completed in one day. Plus, their products have a lifetime warranty.
All Safe Tub installations are also inclusive of one safety bar up to 24” in length, and they don’t offer less than 18” in length. “Safety bars are not only to help prevent falls,” explained Bob, “but to help rescue those who have fallen. To be effective, bars should be long enough to help one pull oneself up. That can’t happen if there’s not room to grab onto the bar.”
Safe Tub offers a return to independence and a significantly improved quality of life. The National Institute on Aging reports that one in three seniors over the age of 65 fall each year and 80% of those falls take place in the bathroom. 95% of hip fractures occur from a fall, and in 2013, falls resulted in death for over 25,000 senior citizens.
When you consider those kinds of numbers and statistics, Safe Tub is a no-brainer. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be over 65 to start looking out for your safety. If you struggle to get in and out of your bathtub or are the caregiver to a parent, family member, or friend, a small investment in a Safe Tub is a nominal expense to ensure the safety of those who may have balance issues, those who are frail, or people with limited mobility. There are other health concerns to be worried about; a fall shouldn’t be on that list.
Safe Tub, LLC can be reached at 336.663.2911 or visit them online at SafeTubLLC.com. Be sure to follow them on Facebook as well!
Sources: National Safety Council and NewsUSA
Written by: DENISE HEIDEL, Editorial Director & Project Manager at Forsyth Women Magazine