As we cautiously move forward with our reopening, many will be looking to outside activities to fulfill both their social desires and drive to keep active and healthy. This means different things for all of us. Here at Southgate at Shrewsbury, many of our residents are thrilled to see our community garden reopened.
Many seniors enjoy gardening, which can be a very low-stress physical activity with right tools in hand. As we range, putting less stress on our joints becomes imperative for optimal function. If you are physically disabled in any facet, this guide will provide a path to an activity you may have given up.
Ergonomic Hand Tools
There are many companies which make a variety of ergonomic hand tools to make the physical demand of gardening significantly easier. Radius™ Garden produces a line of highly-rated ergonomic hand tools including trowels, a transplanter, a weeder, cultivators and others. Their award winning Root Slayer line also includes a host of stand up tools including shovels, diggers and spades.
The Gardener’s Friends have an entire line of pruning tools designed specifically for gardeners with weaker hands. The highly-regarded Bionic® Reliefgrip Gardening Gloves are specifically designed to not only provide a secure grip, they are designed to take relieve pressure on your hands and fit comfortably for both men and women.
For stand-up hand tools, a wide variety of innovative specialty tools exist to make your life easier. The ergonomic Amazing Rake® will help you take care of all those New England leaves and any other garden debris with ease. The specially-designed Spear Head Spade® makes tougher digging significantly easier, while shovels from Bosse tools will handle help you handle anything from digging to removal.
Additionally, if you’re handy and looking for an easy project, you can purchase the BackEZ handle attachment to fasten to shovels, rakes, and other standing hand tools to make things easier on your back.
Specialized Gardening Power Tools
Adding some power can certainly make some gardening tasks much easier, such as pruning larger bushes or trees. The KOMOK Professional Cordless Electric Pruning Shears carry a reasonable price tag and are quite positively reviewed. The KOHAM Professional Cordless Electric Pruning Shears is another highly-regarded option.
Sun Joe® by Snow Joe® sells a line of gardening power tools known for being lightweight and easy to handle. Mantis makes a handy, lightweight, cordless electric tiller/cultivator to handle heavier loads. Although they come at a more premium price, electric wheelbarrows like the Piledriver XL can help take a heavy load off your back, knees, hips, shoulders and ankles. Handtrucks2Go features a particularly large selection.
If you’re looking for more economical power option, Power Planter® has a line of augers, bedding and planting tools that attach to drill.
Stools, Kneelers & Carts
When gardening, constantly standing up, bending over and kneeling down can cause a good amount of stress on our joints. Combat this with many of the lightweight, stools, kneelers and carts available to make gardening less impactful on your joints.
For stools or kneelers, try the ABCO Garden Kneeler and seat, if you’d like a sturdy, lightweight bench with pockets for your hand tools. The lightweight Suncast® Garden Scooter contains a storage area underneath a cushioned seat, and employs the use of wheels and a convenient pull strap. Despite its metal construction, the Plow & Hearth® Green Rolling Scoot-N-Do Garden Seat comes with easy-rolling pneumatic tires, a swiveling tractor seat, a convenient pull handle and a tray underneath for tools.
Although it’s not on wheels, the Vertex® Garden Rocker™ relies on lightweight construction, contains a tool tray underneath the seat, and rocks back and forth to keep your back in an upright position when reaching further into your garden. If you find yourself needing to kneel, try one of these padded kneeling mats from InSassy™.
When it comes to carts and wheelbarrows, Gorilla Carts® offers a wide variety depending on your need for capacity that all feature easy-to-use, ergonomic handle designs and soft pneumatic wheels for easy maneuverability. Sunnydaze Decor has many similar offerings, including this easy-to-pull 400-lb capacity utility cart that is perfect for gardening tasks.
With some of the above tools in hand, you are ready to get back out and garden as if you were 20 years younger! We hope this helps you become more able to get outside and enjoy your garden; we know our residents sure are!
At Southgate at Shrewsbury, we have a beautiful garden with custom raised flower and vegetable beds for easier accessibility. Our skilled maintenance staff created these flower beds in our woodworking shop; they actively maintain and till the soil so residents can more easily plant what they want. Our garden shed is stocked with quality gardening equipment. If you need more specific tools to help make gardening easier and less physically impactful, this post is a great place to start.