My grandmother is quite brave to be 87 years old. Only last year she underwent heart valve replacement surgery and was given a good outlook and a free ticket to resume activities and interests as usual.
Your first activity was to take care of it their peony bushesand set up a garden grate for some climbing flowers.
If this isn’t proof that the garden bug never leaves us, I don’t know what it is. Even at an age when many of us are slowing down and stopping activities, more seniors are reluctant to give up gardening. It should be so!
While it’s sensible to slow down a bit, there are many things we can do in old age to keep our gardens beautiful and productive like never before. Because gardening has so many advantages, it’s a good idea to include some of the tips and tricks we discuss below in your routine.
With the following tips, you can keep the garden bug alive throughout your life, from changing tools to adapting at work!
Advantages of gardening for seniors
Gardening is not only a good form of exercise with little impact, it also exposes us to the much-needed fresh air and sunshine.
Gardening requires concentration that keeps the mind sharp and increases the attention span. Other pleasant side effects of tinkering in flower beds at any age are:
If this didn’t convince you that everyone should be working in the garden, there are a few less scientific reasons to encourage a green thumb as well.
Gardening for my family has helped bridge the gap between my own children and their great-grandmother. At a time when they are communicating on FacebookIt is important to have a common bond in order to practice their personal relationships.
Gardening is this connection.
Even if our most valued generation is perhaps the most passionate over their lawns and gardens are often not enough.
The physical demands of straight keep a simple raised bed can sometimes seem too much to us as we get older. Leaning, standing, stooping and digging can be challenging and keep older enthusiasts from gardening if they don’t have the right tools.
One way to get around some of the problems my own grandmother is facing is to chat about her garden frequently. I learned that many of their problems can easily be solved with the right technology, the right hack, or even the product found online.
(Remember, this generation didn’t grow up in the time from Shopping on Amazon. It can never occur to them that solutions exist in the form of simple ergonomic tools or that they are as affordable or easy to buy as we know them!)
Best practices for growing for a lifetime
Many older gardeners may live alone at home, but still want to be independent outside in the garden.
The following tips can help all of us continue with a meaningful gardening routine and allow older hobbyists to live a normal and rewarding life.
1. Create raised beds
Already at the age of 38 I appreciate a good raised bed garden system.
Working from the ground is not only perfect for pest and weed control, it also eliminates some of the pain points associated with bending over, kneeling, and working below the waist.
A well-designed garden can even be maintained by a hiker or wheelchair, which makes it ideal for different stages of life!
Further advantages and details of raised bed systems here on the gardener’s path.
2. Sit comfortably
There is no need for anyone to kneel down these days.
With so many garden trolleys and stools on the market that allow for a comfortable sitting position, it is possible to work longer in the garden without any adverse effects.
Best Choice Products Garden Trolley Rolling Seat
Many of the products even offer storage space for your tools, seeds and gloves! I really like this rolling garden trolley with work seat and tool storage. available at Amazon.
3. Protect yourself
The older you get, the more sensitive you are to heat and sun.
A good garden hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and long-sleeved button are important to keep you cool and to avoid the risk of sunstroke, burns, or sensitivity to light that many common medications can cause.
4. Avoid peak periods
In addition to covering up, it is advisable to avoid the hardest sun rays during the hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in most North American time zones.
Adopt a sensible rule of heat and moisture: No outdoor gardening if a heat warning is issued by the local weather authorities!
Air quality is another common problem for people with breathing problems who should stay indoors and avoid strenuous activities when the quality level is low.
5. Go ergonomically
Not all tools are the same. Spend the extra few dollars on garden tools with soft handles, easy-to-hold handles, and a length that’s comfortable for your body.
I think this is a game changer regardless of your age or physical condition!
6. Expand the security routines
If you or someone you love have security or emergency services set up in the event of a fall or accident, make sure the service reaches the place where the gardening will take place.
The security system I installed for my grandmother has a large radius, but we have moved her flower beds closer to the house to make sure she is within range of her alarm base.
If you don’t have a warning system in place but want extra safety when working outdoors, you can take a cordless phone or mobile phone to the places where you work in the garden instead. Test the range of each device to ensure that a call for help can be heard, if ever needed.
7. Make it bright
Acquired color blindness is common in people over 60 years of age.
Overcome color confusion by investing in colorful garden tools and accessories. And make sure that the labels for common applications such as fertilizer or weed control are easy to read.
You can also paint the handles of tools with neon spray paint to make them easier to find. My husband has been doing this for his garden and tractor equipment for years and it really saves time!
Gardening as a family matter
Although all of the tips we’ve shared make a great contribution to improving the quality of life in the garden and growing beds, there is no better way to ensure a safe garden experience than to create a family tradition to get your green thumb.
While you may not always have help with daily weeding and watering, a weekly gardening session is a great way to report back to your family and create lasting memories.
You will not regret spending time together. Invite them to get their hands dirty!
The future of geriatric care?
As the benefits of gardening become more apparent to us in old age, we should see a shift in the way the activity is treated.
Many community centers, senior centers and nursing homes use gardening activities in the daily lives of their citizens.
Given the potential to lower general health costs and improve quality of life, I’m excited to see what new developments can be expected in the area of gardening accessible to the elderly.
Are you an older gardener who is excited to keep going for the rest of your life? What tips can you share with others so they can continue to do the activities they like so much? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!