"Dan, I feel an overwhelming urgency to go to Grandma's."
My cousin Donna related this story as she described our 90 year old grandmother's bathtub incident. Donna, her husband Dan, and their children were retuning home from a trip to Vancouver, BC when Donna felt compelled to go and see our grandmother, Lumina. She was such a sweet and loving grandma and we all loved her very much. She lived in her own apartment in an assisted care facility in Seattle, WA where she received excellent care.
Upon arriving, Dan and Donna found paramedics loading Grandma into an ambulance. She was conscious and so happy to see them, but she had suffered an incredible ordeal after slipping and falling in her bathtub. They didn't know the extent of her injuries at the time, but Dan and Donna learned that she had fallen in her tub and had lain in cold bath water overnight. She wasn't found until friends missed her at lunch the following day. Grandma later related that she had injured her elbow and couldn't get up. She had banged on the wall all night hoping the neighbors would hear her. After being released from the hospital, Grandma lived only 6 months in a full care facility. She never fully recovered from the accident.
It has been many years since this incident, but I have never forgotten how Grandma must have suffered that night and the days that followed. No one should ever have to go through that kind of experience!
Years later I was helping an elderly friend with some household improvements when I noticed that his bathtub posed the same threat as my grandmother's did. I went home and began researching solutions to this dilemma. Not finding a reasonable, economical, practical solution, I determined to design and manufacture a product that would solve the problem and insure the safety of the elderly and disabled - an inexpensive solution that anyone could afford.
Today we convert existing bathtubs into ADA compliant walk-in or roll-in baths. Some folks choose the walk-in model that allows them to take a bath or shower. Others prefer to shower only, choosing the shower roll-in model. In the future they can use it with a rolling shower chair, if needed. We can even remove the "tripping step" from the front of a shower and convert it into an ADA compliant roll-in shower.
It is a privilege to work with our older generation and those with limited mobility. Hundreds of satisfied customers are bathing in safety and confidence, staying in their homes longer and giving them peace of mind. My only regret is that this conversion design was not available for my grandmother's benefit.
- Roger Gardner