How to make your garden more accessible
Although gardening can be enjoyed by all ages, it’s often looked upon as a hobby to the elderly, given them opportunities to focus on enjoying themselves during their retirement years, leisurely and allow them to carry out bigger personal projects that full-time workers don’t have the time for.
Of course, when it comes to mobility issues those of all ages could find themselves struggling to live with a lack of functionality of their joints, so being able to navigate through their beloved spaces without the concerns of an uneven surface, slippery surfaces, sloped areas and step is essential. That’s why we’ve team with stair lift providers, Acorn Stairlift to provide some insights into how to successfully maintain a garden to ensure its accessible for those seeking independent lives while living with mobility obstructions.
Whether you’re personally passionate about gardening or just enjoy spending your free time outdoors, it’s known to bring great benefits. The most admirable benefit this task brings is to those living with Alzheimer’s, as studies have revealed that a bit of gardening every other day can protect the mind from developing the disease.
Despite this being obvious, pathways should be wide enough to allow two people to walk comfortably down them to make it mobility-friendly. Opting for wood may look more aesthetic to a proud gardener but is prone to becoming slippy in the rain or colder weathers, so concrete or tarmac, both being low cost and maintenance would be the most plausible choices.
If flowers are desired by you, then consider installing a raised flower beds to prevent or ease the task of bending down, especially if you suffer from arthritis or chronic back pain. Ensuring that they are moveable is an important factor of these as they can easily be relocated if required.
One of best assets about a garden is appropriate seating to sit on and enjoy the view of your green space. For the elderly, aches and pains can strike at any moment, so it’s important if there are seats dotted around the garden that can act as checkpoints for those with larger gardens to tend to. To lower the risk of accidents, opt for a material that is waterproof, durable with low maintenance.
Tools and equipment
There are tools such as folding kneeler stools that are worth investing in, with prominent grips that aid tasks such as weeding or planting on concentrated areas. Having a small arsenal of lightweight, long-reach tools that are cheap but very handy at reaching the areas that the user can’t will aid those that have difficulty bending, similar to that of the elevated beds.
An obvious consideration for the those restricted to wheelchair use, replacing your steps with ramps is a great way to ensure efficient mobility within your garden. If you’re installing a ramp, make sure a handrail is installed alongside it, so users can remain in control of their movements without losing balance or momentum going up and down the ramps. Installing these at the right height for the user and ensuring the right material such as hardwood is used, as metal can feel cold and wet to the touch.
For many people, living an active life is important but trying to do this at a later stage in life, is extremely important for those wanting to maintain their personal projects. Taking pride in ones garden doesn’t just do good for stress levels and personal satisfaction, natural soil acts as an antidepressant, so ensure it’s accessible as it can be!