By guest contributor Sally Writes.
These Tools Make It Easy for Older People to Tend to Their Garden
Everyone can benefit from the fun and healthy hobby of gardening, even if you have physical limitations caused by aging. Senior gardeners are still able to enjoy growing their own crops. The key to tending your landscape successfully when you have mobility issues is to use adaptive gardening tools.
Adapting Existing Gardening Tools
Gardening is a healthy way to enjoy the outdoors, engage in an activity that produces a sense of accomplishment, and to get regular exercise, which is one of the best ways to stave off dementia. Even those requiring supervision in an assisted care environment can benefit from spending time outdoors. Adaptive gardening uses advanced, modern lightweight tools specifically designed for people with physical disabilities as well as older tools you can modify yourself. You can utilise a favourite item with ease and save money when you adapt garden tools you already have.
For example, punch small holes in the lid of a jar, mix your seed in the jar, then from a standing position, sprinkle them on the soil. Another idea for people who have trouble bending to plant their gardens is to mix seeds in a gelatin block. The sun then melts them into the ground.
Another way to avoid bending in the garden is to add PVC pipe or old broom handles to existing tools to extend your reach. Foam or bike tape will improve your gripping ability on the handles. The only limit to making gardening tools easier to use is your imagination.
Purchasing Adaptive Gardening Tools
Older people can turn to garden centres as well as online retailers for tools that improve accessibility. Adaptive garden tools come in several varieties, including cushioned handles, attachable extension rods, several types of grabbers, and quick release tools.
Some gardeners with mobility problems can get added movement assistance on paths and firm soil from a garden seat with wheels. If you need help increasing your grip and leverage or extending your reach, consider arm cuffs that go around your forearm and attach to tools, such as forks, cultivators, and trowels.
If you are still in the planning stages of your garden, we recommend a raised table garden bed or container garden. Both options are easy to reach without a lot of bending or kneeling. When you are a senior with physical limitations, create a system where you are able to have shorter sessions. Make projects accessible and safe by using adaptive gardening tools, and most importantly, listen to your body. If you start to feel pain, take a break.