If you enjoyed gardening in your younger years, you probably remember all the physical activity that went along with it. While your physical activity may have waned a bit as you age, it doesn’t mean gardening is out of the question. It simply needs to be done at a safer level. For gardening safety, some adjustments need to be made.
Gardening for the elderly can be an enjoyable time offering ample opportunity for physical activity, creativity, and more. Garden with a friend or two, participate in a community gardening project, or simply do your gardening alone in a small patch. With the fresh vegetables you grow, experiment with some new nutritious and delicious dishes, if you like.
Regarding safety, here are some suggestions.
Sharing Your Skills and Knowledge
If you have a grandchild who is a beginning gardener, they can benefit from your gardening knowledge and skills. At the same time, they can help you out with some of the things that might be a little too strenuous for you, which would result in aching joints, a sore back, and more.
Waist Level Gardening Line
If you bring your garden closer within your reach, it will take the load off of arthritic joints and aching knees. A raised planter bed can make working and sitting easier. Think 2 to 3 feet high. Don’t make it too deep. You can raise it higher, if need be, with stacked bricks or concrete blocks.
Avoid Banks and Slopes
It would never do to take a tumble while you’re gardening. Keep your garden on level ground whenever possible.
Climbing is not a necessity where gardening is concerned. Use even, level, waist-high surfaces and don’t reach up if you don’t have to. Hanging gardens may be beautiful, but they pose a risk for older adults. If the ground is a bit uneven, feel free to use a walking stick or a cane.
Don’t Forget Your Cell Phone
Anytime you’re outside of your home, you should have your cell phone with you. You may not think of a cell phone as a valuable gardening tool, but it is. In the event of a fall, having that phone on hand can save valuable time and effort.
Watch for Hazards – Fix Any That Exist
Peruse your gardening area before you dive in headfirst. Locate, remove and/or fix any possible hazards that could lead to a fall or some other accident/injury. Hazards can include rocks, loose steps, uneven ground, exposed roots, and more.
No matter how active you used to be when you were younger, it’s time to admit that everything you did back then may not be achievable now. Relax in the shade or in an air-conditioned environment after short periods of working in your garden. Have a cool drink ready. Take it easy.
Great Gift Ideas
If you’re one of those “hard to buy for” individuals, now your friends and relatives will have ideas for gift giving. Gifts that allow for safe gardening are plentiful. You might even consider putting together a “Gardening Wish List” to hand out around your birthday, holidays, etc.
This doesn’t have to be limited to just physical objects, either. If one of your friends or family would like to help out with some of the things that might be more dangerous for you, here are some suggestions:
- Assist you with tree decorating and putting up Christmas/holiday lights
- Help with digging and planting your garden
- Prune your rose bushes
- Plant fruit trees