Friday, April 5, 2019

Tools to Make Your Garden More Accessible for People with Limited Mobility

Gardening is a therapeutic and calming pastime that many can easily spend hours on. From caring for baby seedlings to watering your beautiful hydrangeas, gardening can be highly rewarding and is most definitely a labor of love. Many people even devote their entire lives to caring for these beautiful and delicate beings. But as you age, gardening can become a bit more of a chore than a hobby as it requires you to crouch down and spend time in the sun. All too often, those who experience a limit in mobility end up leaving this hobby behind. But this doesn’t have to be the case. As you experience a dwindle in your dexterity and mobility, there are ways you can change your garden setup to accommodate to your needs. We have compiled a list of tips on how to amend your garden and make it more accessible for limited mobility.

Start Off Easy

Begin with plants that are easy to care for and are tolerant of rough conditions. The less you have to worry about plant maintenance, the better, especially since you may not have the luxury of getting out to your garden every single day. Gardening should be a therapeutic pastime and not a chore for you, especially in retirement. Gardening strikes the perfect balance between hobby and responsibility in a time when you may need added responsibilities to feel a sense of purpose.

Elevate & Make Your Plants Easy to Reach

The easier you can make this task, the better. You don't want to spend half of your time outside positioning and repositioning yourself in a comfortable place to tend to your plants. If you build elevated garden beds, you can tend to your babies from the comfort of your chair or from a comfortable standing position. Bending over or crouching down to water your plants will not only take a toll on your joints, but it can also lead to back problems. Make sure you also have enough room to reach the center of the garden bed for full watering coverage. If you absolutely want beautiful hanging plants but can't reach them, you can also invest in a reacher, which will also come in handy if you drop your gardening tools. The reacher is the ultimate tool to let you carry about your daily gardening tasks with full autonomy.

Have Resting Areas

If you place enough chairs and stools around your garden, you won't find yourself inclined to go back inside and forgo the entire project. Even if it isn't hot outside or you feel well-rested, you never know when your body will get hit with a sudden rush of fatigue. You may even want to use a convenient folding cane that doubles as a seat. This device is helpful, lightweight and extremely convenient. Anytime you are under the sun or standing for extended periods of time, it is crucial that you get enough rest.

Walker & Wheelchair Friendly Pathways

This may be the perfect time to add in a paved, smooth walkway to your dirt paths. Your wheelchair, walker or cane should be able to travel through your garden with ease. Therefore, it is important that you measure the width of your walkways and remove any stones that could leady to unwanted and evitable accidents. While we’re on the topic of walkers and wheelchairs, it’s worth noting that it can be extremely helpful and convenient to add a tray, basket or pouch to your walker. You can easily keep any watering and gardening tools as well as medical tools you may need if you plan on spending a few hours in your garden. Take your setup a step further and increase your comfort with a rotating seat that will enable you to have full seated mobility in your wheelchair.

Use the Right Dexterity Equipment

This would be a great time to invest in a pair of orthopedic socks and shoes if you plan to make gardening your main hobby. You want to be fully equipped so that if you get lost in this pastime, tiredness doesn't put a damper on your fun. Using the right footwear and arthritis wrist braces for gardening will let you spend more time outside and will prevent gardening from becoming a physically demanding task. You may also want to use a back brace to avoid back pain related to crouching, bending over or standing for prolonged periods of time. A back brace will be especially helpful if you still feel strong enough to lift a bag of soil for your garden.

Treat Injuries

Whether you are working with roses or pruning some of your plants, gardening related injuries are not uncommon. Therefore, you want to equip your gardening area not only with a first aid kit but also with the right wound care products, such as hydration cream, skin protectant and wound repair cream. In this environment, untreated wounds can easily become infected. This is the last reason you want to be pulled away from your garden, especially because it is easily preventable. Equip your garden with the right tools so you can enjoy as much time as you want caring for you plants.

Just because you can’t move the way you used to or can no longer endure hours under the sun, it doesn’t mean you have to give up some of your favorite outdoor hobbies. As you can see, there are a number of ways to change your garden so that you don’t have to give up this peaceful and rewarding pastime.

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