Gardening comes with a whole host of physical, emotional and therapeutic benefits. However as we begin to grow older, physical disabilities and chronic medical conditions can make it difficult for us to truly enjoy the hobby in the manner that we used to.
For people who find that digging up weeds and looking after plants isn't as easy as it once was, there are now various garden tools that can be bought or modified to meet the needs of older people, creating a garden atmosphere that is productive and accessible.
This article looks at five of the best gardening gadgets for the elderly.
1. Garden kneeling stools
Garden kneeling stools are objects that have been designed to offer a dual-purpose functionality. They can either be used as seats, as a comfortable place to rest, or they can be turned upside down to provide a place to kneel whilst working on a particular portion of the garden.
One of the main reasons why elderly individuals can be reluctant to get back into the habit of gardening is because they are afraid they will not be able to get back up once they have moved onto their knees to complete a particular activity. Gardening can provide challenges to people who have trouble walking, getting out of bed, or simply lifting themselves from seated positions.
Luckily, the sturdy legs of gardening kneeling stools can be utilised as arm-supports when they are turned upside down. This makes them able to assist people back onto their feet once they have finished their task.
2. Easy weeding tools
Weeding is perhaps the most exhausting gardening-related task. Often, properly weeding a garden will force us to bend and yank at tough roots, an activity which can leave even the youngest and most robust individuals with terrible backache.
Elderly people are often more susceptible to back pain, which makes stooping and twisting particularly difficult. However, there are various weeding tools that can make the process easier.
Long reaching hoes, harpoon style weeding tools and pick-up style weeding tools can allow individuals to avoid bending over as much as possible. It can also be a good idea to use a grabber when you are weeding to pick up discarded weeds as this will save you from having to bend over later.
3. Handgrips and arm support attachments
You have probably already come across handgrips and arm support attachments during other activities such as golf. They are especially useful for people who are able to use one hand more often than the other, as well as for people who have a weak grip.
Not only do the longer handles and arm supports help to make the tools more comfortable for use, but they also allow the weight of the tool to be distributed more evenly, thus preventing arm strain. Some tools are also designed with two hand grips to aid people who need to use both hands.
4. Outdoor stairlifts
When you put some thought into the necessary changes that will have to be made to a gardening space in order to make it senior safe, you may find that you have to consider installing railings or a stair lift in order to make it easily accessible.
Stair lifts are not as expensive as you may have been led to believe, and some senior citizens are entitled to grants which lower the costs further. A stair lift could be the most important gadget that you install, especially if it enables you to leave the confines of your home without assistance. Outdoor stair lifts are completely safe, and they are also designed to be weather resistant and easy to maintain.
5. Raised or waist-high flowerbeds
Raised flower beds are simple containers that come in various different shapes and sizes, and help to elevate the planting area from the floor.
Their aim is to make it easier for people to reach the soil without needing to kneel down or bend over. Raised beds can provide an aesthetically attractive addition to a garden space, as well as offer various practical advantages by making the process of weeding, planting, and digging much easier.
Many raised beds can be constructed at waist-height, enabling elderly individuals to plant flowers or vegetables within the bed without needing to bend over. Raised flowerbeds also tend to come with sturdy borders making them much more stable.
There is no reason why elderly individuals cannot continue to work in their garden, even if they have mobility issues. The above gadgets can all be purchased relatively inexpensively making them a good addition to your gardening arsenal.
With so many benefits associated to gardening, it's time to pick up the tools and head outside for a day in the sun.