Family Inherits Old Shoe Store: Finds Time Machine

There’s an old joke that goes… A man walks into a shoe store, and tries on a pair of shoes. “How do they feel?” asks the sales clerk. “Well they feel a bit tight,” replies the man.  The assistant promptly bends down and has a look at the shoes and at the man’s feet. “Try pulling the tongue out,” the clerk says.  “Well, theyth sthill feelth a bith tighth.” :)

vintage women's shoeSo imagine that your family inherits an old building from a deceased relative, and you get to take a peek inside for the first time.  An American family recently incurred that very scenario and to their surprise the building was an old shoe store that had been closed up for decades.  Inside they found… well… shoes! Lot’s of vintage shoes among other items!

Reddit user oktober75 posted his photos to a popular sharing site for all to see. Turns out this old building is a bit of a time machine.  The shoe store operated in the 1940’s only to close up shop in the 1960’s because of an illness in the family.  Except for the expected dust, everything seems to be in tip top shape, from floor to ceiling.  Here’s what october75 says about the find:

Photos of our first look inside an old shoe store owned by my family. The store was open from the 40’s through the 60’s from what I recall. The store closed up when my great grandmother fell ill. She ran the store as long as she could until she passed away. They closed shop and it remained this way for over 40 years, mostly untouched. EDIT: Spoke with my mother, it was my great grandmother on my maternal side, not my great aunt. – october75/Imgur

Here’s a look at some of our favorites!

Family Inherits Old Shoe Store

family inherits old shoe store

Vintage shoes from floor to ceiling!

family inherits old shoe store

Old heater probably used to keep patrons (and staff) warm while they visited.

family inherits old shoe store

Old shoes and display stands.

vintage old shoe

Beautiful vintage woman’s shoe would be fashionable today.

vintage men's shoes found in old shoe store

These men’s “stride steppers” would do the trick today.

Vintage shoe boxes from inherited shoe store

I’ll bet even the boxes are collector’s items!

After an “overwhelming response” to his initial round of pictures, october75 asked his grandmother if he could re-enter the building to take some more pictures.  She agreed, and he was able to take some more, and poke around a bit more.  In addition to MORE shoes, he found an old Victrola Credenza Talking Machine, and some other pieces of furniture.  Here’s more from round 2:

Vintage shoe stand

An old shoe stand for displaying shoes or working on them

Vintage woman's "Red Shank" shoes

Stylish for the time – A woman’s “Red Shank” shoe.

Vintage steamer chest

Looks like an old chest or “steamer chest”. Let’s see what’s inside!

Inside antique steamer chest

Inside the steamer chest: A few interesting items, but nothing crazy cool.

Vintage Victrola Credenza Talking Machine

Vintage Victrola Credenza Talking Machine

Vintage Victrola Credenza Talking Machine

Here is the Victrola with the top open

Special thanks Reddit user october75 for sharing his special finds with us.  Here’s hoping the family is able to find many more treasures while they go through the rest of the building!

Types Of Walk-In Bathtubs

Did you know that (more than) one in three seniors over age 65 fall each year?  The National Institute on Aging (NIA) reports that 80% of these falls are in the bathroom.  To prevent such occurrences, many families consider walk-in bathtubs to mitigate the risk of injuries.  Walk-in bathtubs are great considerations for the less mobile among us.  For aging adults, falls can lead to debilitating injuries.  Today’s post focuses on the different types of walk-in bathtubs available.

What are walk-in bathtubs?  Walk-in bathtubs are an alternative to a traditional bathtub.  Walk-in tubs have doors on them.  They open up so the user doesn’t have to step over a leading edge like you might find on a conventional bathtub. Walk-in bathtubs can be safer alternatives for elderly and/or disabled individuals, but there are many different types of walk-in bathtubs.  If you’re considering a new walk-in type tub, you need to know your options.

Types of Walk-In Bathtubs

Soaker Tub

types of walk-in bathtubsA soaker tub is a basic walk-in bathtub.  It has no hydrotherapy jets, and is generally less expensive than other models with additional features.  This is considered an entry-level walk-in tub.  A soaker tub comes with a leak-proof door, usually includes a grab bar and a hand-held shower accessory.

Hydrotherapy Tub

types of walk-in bathtubs

A hydrotherapy tub includes the leak-proof door, and some additional options that help with circulation in some folks.  These tubs come with water jets (and usually air jets as well) in order to circulate and/or agitate the water.  It feels good, and it  can help loosen up stiff joints and muscles.

Bariatric Tub


Walk-In Bariatric Tub

A bariatric tub is a walk-in bathtub made for larger individuals.  You can purchase a bariatric tub with minimal features, or all the bells and whistles like water jets, etc.

Wheel-Chair Accessible Tub

Wheelchair Accessible Walk-In Bathtub

The wheelchair accessible walk-in tub usually has an outward opening door frame, and allows for the easy transfer from the chair to the tub.

As you can see, there are many different types of walk-in bathtubs.  Wheelchair accessible showers are another area of interest, and a topic for a later discussion.  Be aware that these walk-in tubs can get expensive.  Another consideration is the installation, which can range from $500 to $5,000 depending on what is necessary for the job.  If you’re worried about the safety of your loved one at home and the bathroom is a concern, see a professional about adding industrial grade grab-bars, and other safety equipment in and around the bathtub or shower.  You’ll be glad you did.

Our Favorite Old Signs

Bob Dylan was right… The times they are a changin. It’s all around us of course – In the cars we drive today, in the way we communicate, and in the way brands express themselves. Gone are the days when a sign was your main channel for advertising.  We thought we’d take a look back at some of our favorite old signs, in a walk down memory lane.

Favorite Old Signs

I love to see an old sign that’s been beat-up over time.  Seems like it builds character!  Here’s one from the Polish Hill Civic Association, that was pulled out of a resident’s shed for restoration.

old sign - Lasky Beer Dist. Co.

In keeping with the beer theme (from above), here’s one from declaring that “beer will save the world”.  I wouldn’t argue the point, but it’s just odd enough to make our favorites list.

Old Sign - Beer will save the world

After drinking all that beer, you may need to be reminded to “mind your manners”.  Here’s an old sign that does just that!

Old Sign - No cursing

Wanna join the Texas Rangers?  The vintage sign below says you can make $1.25 per day for laying your life on the line to protect this land. Oh and you’ll have to “Furnish Your Own Mount, Arms & Equip. To Enlist”.

vintage old sign - Texas Rangers

If you’re in need of a little baking powder, perhaps a little “Clabber Girl” will fit the bill. Gotta love that name!

Old Sign - Clabber Girl

This maybe one of the first advertisements for energy drinks back in the day. This vintage sign promised a “big lift” with a swig of Double Cola.

vintage sign - Double Cola

Here’s an oldie but a goodie from… This is what’s known as The Original McDonalds Restaurant.  This was the first McDonalds opened by Mr. Ray Kroc.  It was located in Des Plaines, IL.  Do you see what the burger-count is out front?

Vintage McDonalds Sign

Finally, if you’re doing some cleaning around the house this week, you might wish you had a can of Old Dutch Cleanser to chase your dirt around… I’m not sure how it may have worked, but at least you could get a “large sifter can” for a dime.

Old Dutch Cleanser Can

What Is Memorial Day?

What is Memorial Day

What Is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a federal holiday which honors those members of our armed forces who died while serving.  It had been traditionally observed on May 30th, but is now recognized on the last Monday in the month of May.

Memorial Day is a solemn day of remembrance for everyone who has died serving in the American armed forces. The holiday, originally known as Decoration Day, started after the Civil War to honor the Union and Confederate dead. –Tessa Berenson (

What is Memorial Day

Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day, which is a public holiday held on the anniversary of World War 1.  The term Veterans Day replaced the term Armistice Day in 1954.  This is a day that commemorates the end of WW1, and it’s a day that we nationally recognize and thank veterans for their service to this country.

What is Memorial Day

In the United States, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument located at Arlington National Cemetery.  It is a dedication to the services of an unknown soldier and to the common memory of all soldiers killed at war.  Other countries like Portugal and Italy also have Tombs of the Unknown Soldier.

Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God – Inscription on the back of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Changing of the Guard

New Hearing Aid Technology Pairs With iPhone

New Hearing Aid TechnologyNew hearing aid technology has come a long way, and much needed changes to the growing hearing aid market is upon us. We’re on the precipice of a market shift in the otherwise stale hearing aid environment we’ve come to know and love. Changes include new players in the hardware arena, new apps that control the hearing aid environment, and new connectivity options via smartphone apps!

Starkey Hearing Technologies has recently introduced a line of hearing aids that connect quite seamlessly to your iPhone. The iPhone app helps control your hearing aid’s amplification intake and output, but that’s not all. It also helps you locate your hearing aids, and provides controls should you wish to stream music from an iPhone. The new hearing aid technology from Starkey Hearing is based on their Halo hearing aid platform, and controlled by the TruLink iPhone app.

Here’s what Starkey Hearing Technologies has to say about their new hearing aid technology:

Hear life to its fullest with Halo, our breakthrough Made for iPhone® Hearing Aids and our easy-to-use TruLink™ Hearing Control app which are engineered to work specifically with your iPhone, iPad® and iPod touch®. Together, Halo and TruLink are designed to stream phone calls, music and more, directly from your iPhone to your hearing aids. Now available in two styles to fit individuals with mild to severe hearing loss. – Starkey Hearing Technologies

We wrote about the growth driving hearing loss in the USA in a recent post entitled “A Billion People At Risk For Hearing Loss“. In that post we quoted the World Health Organization who states that “Some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars and sporting events, according to WHO. Hearing loss has potentially devastating consequences for physical and mental health, education and employment.”

Here is a great video that discusses the new Starkey Hearing Aid Technology and how it all works:

New Hearing Aid Technology

Seniors vs Seniors: High School vs 50+

seniors vs seniors videoWe found a really fun video that the folks at BuzzFeedVideo posted on their YouTube account. The video pits high school seniors and senior citizens against one-another in a modern-day-battle-royal!  Modern insights, dance moves and “mottos to live by” are all up for grabs in this winner take all event.

Somewhat objectively I’d have to say that the more experienced bunch had both the better dance moves as well as excellent words of wisdom! (*Note that they also had their pants pulled up while executing dance moves!)  Enjoy the video!

Video: Seniors vs Seniors

Exercise For Seniors Proven Important

exercise for seniors growing in importanceHuffPost recently summarized the results of a new study entitled “Associations among Physical Activity, Diet Quality, and Weight Status in US Adults“.  It was done by researchers at the University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC) and published in The Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.  The study was one of the first to look at associations among moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, diet quality, and weight status within and across age groups in US adults.

Purpose: Nearly 70% of adult Americans are overweight or obese, but the associations between physical activity, diet quality, and weight status have not been examined in a representative sample of US adults. – Russell Pate et al (University of South Carolina)

Study: Exercise for seniors

The study, consisting of 4,999 American adults (ages 20-70) noted that diet alone isn’t enough to stave off age related weight gain.  It further noted that exercise for seniors has a greater impact on weight gain than diet does.  Authors felt their findings provided support for “public health efforts to prevent obesity by promoting increased physical activity in adult Americans”.  Clearly we all need to be more cognizant of the role that both diet and exercise play in our overall health.

Overall, Americans’ activity levels are lower thanks to sedentary jobs, technology and better mass transportation options, according to the American Heart Association. We’re paying for those conveniences with our health; about 69 percent of adults are either overweight or obese, which increases risk for diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers and reproductive problems. – Anna Almendrala, HuffPost

Balance is the key

In our opinion it’s important to note that balance is really the key here.  A consistent regimen of eating healthy foods (in proper portions) combined with (at least) the federal activity guidelines of 150 minutes of exercise per week are vitally important to both our physical and mental health.  As we age, we need these 2 healthy components more than ever to stay sharp, to feel our best, and to keep our bodies strong (muscles as well as bone structure).

What are you doing to keep yourself healthy these days?  Are you spending time at the gym? Do you have a particular walking/running routine?  We’d love to hear how you’re tackling these important issues in your life!  Let us know in the comments below.

Top Gadgets For Seniors

Nell Bernstein (senior editor) over at wrote up an informative post on aging in place gadgets.  Many of these gadgets have been highlighted here on The Senior List, but we wanted to share Nell’s list with our readers too. The Center for Disease Control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level”.  Many of the gadgets listed below can help aging Americans stay in their home longer, and in a safer environment.

Most adults would prefer to age in place—that is, remain in their home of choice as long as possible. In fact, 90 percent of adults over the age of 65 report that they would prefer to stay in their current residence as they age. One-third of American households are home to one or more residents 60 years of age or older. – Wikipedia on aging in place

Top Gadgets For Seniors

Here are several of our favorite gadgets that can contribute to a safer home environment for your friends or family members:

1.  Big Button Cell PhoneJitterbug 5 Review

Big button cell phones (yup some folks call them dumb phones) have a place in the mobile phone world, especially for aging adults.  When people age their eyes can (and usually do) get worse over time.  This is due to a variety of medical issues like glaucoma, cataracts or (age related) macular degeneration.  Yes, smartphones are all the rage these days, but cell phones like the Jitterbug 5 from Samsung can serve many purposes, including acting as a medical alert system.

2.  House Cleaning Robots

gadgets for seniorsActually we care do differ from Nell a little bit on this one.  Having a fun little “robot” vacuum cleaner like the iRobot Roomba are very cool devices, and we like them a lot.  But let’s face it, vacuum cleaners aren’t all that complex, or difficult to operate (at least not all of them yet).  The key to keeping a clean home, free of dust and/or dander is regular cleaning.  So having an easy-to-use vacuum of any kind is useful.  It should be light, and located in an accessible location.  Also, it might be a good idea to have a cleaning service come in once a month for a deep clean (if one can be afforded).

3.  Automatic Pill Reminders

Medication management systems are a great idea. As people age, they typically end up on a variety of medications like cholesterol lowering agents, high blood pressure meds, and more!  The fact that these medications must be managed for many aging adults accounts for a huge percent of nursing home admissions.  Medication management systems range from simple plastic pill boxes all the way up to smart (electronic) medication management systems that remind users when to take their meds.

4.  Medical Alert Systems

Top Gadgets for SeniorsMedical alert systems are something we know a great deal about.  These handy devices come in all shapes and sizes, but the most common is a pendant style alert system.  These have a single push button that alerts a call center when a person feels like they’re having a medical emergency (or any emergency for that matter).  Some of these devices also come packed with automatic fall detection which senses when an aging adult has fallen down.  If they’re unresponsive the medical alert system will notify the call center automatically.  Medical alert systems with fall detection usually cost a bit more, but they can be worth it in certain situations.  If you need help picking out the right medical alert system, we’ve created a handy medical alert system buyers guide to help navigate you through the many choices offered today.

There a number of other handy gadgets for seniors that can help one stay in the home longer, and be safer as well.  Head on over to Nell’s article for the full list.  Do you have any additions that you’d add to our list?  Any suggestions that you’ve implemented in a home?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

New Study: Americans Anxious About Retirement

Anxious About RetirementA new study by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) notes that Americans could be on the verge of another financial threat.  That threat is the lack of income to be able to sustain an independent lifestyle as they move out of the workforce and into retirement.  This is a relatively new phenomenon with massive economic implications down the road.

Life used to be a little easier for retirees. In the past retirees could count on 3 main sources of retirement income; Social Security, Pension Plans and 401K’s.  Today many companies have chosen to forgo a pension plan offering, leaving saving for retirement up to the individual worker(s).

In recent years, however, this retirement infrastructure has degraded dramatically. A large portion of the workforce lacks access to or is not participating in retirement plans, making future retirement security prospects—especially for middle class employees—challenging at best. – Diane Oakley & Kelly Kenneally (NIRS)

Anxious About Retirement

CBS News reports that “medical expenses are a major and realistic worry, with Fidelity estimating a couple who retired in 2014 needing an estimated $220,000 to cover future medical costs.”  It doesn’t take long for a savings account to dwindle down to nothing when dealing with Alzheimer’s or Dementia related issues, or when faced with Nursing Home costs.  These issues and more are further causing Americans to be anxious about retirement.

The NIRS study confirmed that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe there is a “retirement crisis”, and that 3 out of 4 Americans are highly anxious about their retirement prognosis. Further, many Americans see retirement benefits “almost as important” as a salary! It’s clear that we need to continue to protect the retirement programs we do have, while creating easier access to retirement plans for those that don’t have access at work. An estimated 10,000 baby boomers per day are leaving the workforce and entering into retirement.

Americans continue to feel that policymakers need to do more, and are quite supportive of state initiatives to shore up retirement savings. As the policy debate continues, we hope that these research findings help inform deliberations and serve as a valuable tool for government officials, experts and the general public. – Diane Oakley and Kelly Kenneally (NIRS, March 2015)

photo credit: Flickr/401(K) 2012

Need to start saving right away? Here’s our BIG LIST of Senior Discounts for 2015.  Feel free to pass it along to your friends!

Tips For Those Considering Retiring Overseas

Retiring Overseas - Expert Tips

Ever thought about retiring overseas? If you answered yes, you need to read this great article by Kathleen Peddicord (of Live and Invest Overseas fame). In Kathleen’s HuffPost write-up, David and Cathy Thompkins tell their story of how a rock-solid western US couple moved from Northern Idaho to Cayo, Belize just a year ago.

Retiring Abroad

Retire Overseas

If you’re going to consider retirement overseas, you should probably make a few test runs first.  Spend some extended-time in the locations you’re considering.  This is a good rule-of-thumb even if you’re considering a domestic move right here in the good ole USA.  Just a few of the big challenges that David and Cathy faced included; What to do with all their stuff back home, where to find food, and how to build new relationships.

As you can imagine, the people in Belize are great – and things seem to be working out swimmingly (pun intended) for the Tompkins’.  If you’re looking to retire in Belize, or anywhere else for that matter – Do your homework. Click here for a direct link to the article or find it on our Facebook page where you’ll find all kinds of great boomer/senior related resources.