Dallas Home Health Care Blog

Five Gardening Tips For Senior Adults

Saturday, April 11, 2015

5 Gardening Tips for Senior Adults

Back pain, creaky knees, and carpal tunnel are common problems for seniors. They add inconvenience, aggravation, and even shocks of pain to everyday activities, much less extracurricular hobbies like tending houseplants or gardening. Even simple chores like carrying a gardening pitcher of fresh water or dragging a garden hose through the yard pose a challenge.

As humans grow older, it only makes sense to adjust the way we do things to maintain a lifestyle that’s both safe and healthy. The same not only goes for everyday activities, like showering or walking to the end of the drive to check the mail, but also for extra things that we do for our own entertainment, like gardening. Here are some tips to help seniors garden safely.

1. Admit that you need to change how you do things.

After a certain age, you have to admit that you cannot do all the gardening in a single day. Situations like being tired lead to careless mistakes, which unfortunately leads to accidents. Fortunately seniors rarely hold down full-time jobs, which means not limiting all the chores to a single Saturday. Consider spreading the gardening out over several days, such as an hour or so each day after breakfast, and tackle it a little at a time.

2. Keep your yard safe.

Have a caregiver walk around your yard with you to check for potential hazards, like roots sticking out of the ground or rocks. While fixing or removing these hazards, wear gloves to prevent branches and other items from scratching into skin. You might also consider goggles or safety glasses with UV-protection. Not only will they keep snapping twigs from hitting an eye, but they will also protect from sun damage.

3. Carry an alert device or a cellphone while gardening.

Hopefully you will never need this kind of device. If something does happen, then it could save you from a long, uncomfortable wait until a caregiver, friend, or family member arrive to help you out. In a worst case scenario, it could even mean the difference between life and death.

4. Keep a walking stick or cane handy.

You might not need this for walking around on flat surfaces, like the living room floor or a sidewalk. When you are outside in the yard, however the ground is uneven. Having a walking stick or cane, even a makeshift one like a ski pole, can help you catch your balance if you stumble. And in the event that you do fall, it can make standing up a lot easier.

5. Garden at waist level whenever possible.

Talk to your caregiver or family members about installing raised gardening beds around your home, so that you can work them from either a standing or a seated position. Avoid hills and other slopes or banks, and give up the idea of climbing – ladders or otherwise. In the event that you do fall, even if help from a caregiver or another loved one is nearby, always go to the doctor or the emergency room to check for signs of health issues.

Using these tips will help you be the safest senior gardener in your neighborhood. With your caregiver’s help, you can enjoy your favorite hobby for many years to come.