Digging in the dirt, planting your own herbs and vegetables, and nurturing flowers does so much more than beautify the yard. Gardening also nurtures the body, mind, and spirit. It boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure and stress levels, and helps the gardener stay strong and limber.
Aging does present undeniable physical changes, however, some of which can make gardening a little more challenging for seniors. In honor of National Gardening Month, here are six tools that can help keep the older gardener safe.
Safe Gardening for Seniors
- Coiled hose: One task that increases a senior gardener’s risk for a fall is watering flowerbeds. It’s easy for an older adult to lose their balance while dragging a long, heavy hose around the yard. Newer, more lightly coiled hoses that stretch further are a more senior-friendly option.
- Easy-to-grip garden tools: Arthritis in the hands is fairly common among older adults. The condition can make it more difficult to maneuver traditional garden tools. There are a variety of tools on the market that are larger and easier to grip, such as Peta Easi-Grip Garden Tools and Fiskars Big Grip Garden Tools.
- No Bend Weed Puller: Seniors with balance difficulties are at higher risk for a fall while weeding the garden. One inexpensive tool that can help is the No Bend Weed Puller. This tool allows a senior to weed their garden from a standing position, eliminating the fall risks associated with getting up and down or bending over to pull weeds.
- Garden kneeler bench: For an older gardener with knee or back problems, a kneeling bench makes gardening less painful. Knees rest on a thickly cushioned bench while the gardener works. Hand rails on each side of the kneeler make it easier and safer to stand back up. You can find one at your local home improvement store or online at stores like Plow & Hearth and Gardener’s Supply.
- Seated garden scoot: Some garden chores need to be completed at ground level. For seniors with arthritis, crawling around on hands and knees can be painful. A heavy-duty garden scoot allows an older gardener to work from a seated position. Look for a scoot with heavy-duty tires and a swivel seat.
- Raised garden beds: Investing in raised flowerbeds is another way to safely garden during retirement years. While they can be built for any height, many older gardeners find waist-high raised garden beds to be the most comfortable. These types of beds also make it easier for seniors in wheelchairs to enjoy gardening. The wheelchair can safely slide underneath the raised bed to allow the gardener to work.
Gardening is one of the many activities enjoyed by residents of Sunrise communities across the country. We invite you to contact the community nearest you to learn how we help older adults Live With Purpose each day.