Friday, December 15

Successful Gardening For Older People Or The Physically Challenged

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If you’ve always loved gardening but are now hampered by disability or advancing age, don’t give up on your passion. There are ways to adapt and continue growing those wonderful flowers and plants despite your perceived limitations.

The common difficulties associated with gardening for older persons and those with physical ailments are lack of energy needed to accomplish gardening tasks, limited freedom of movement, and pain which causes disruptions in work. There are, however, certain ways to circumvent these problems.

If the concern is that you easily get exhausted and therefore unable to complete a task, the remedy is simply to divide the whole project into several shorter tasks and work at a pace that is not too taxing for your body. For example, you don’t really have to weed the entire garden at once. Make it a little everyday chore to pull out a few weeds here and there, or start from one end of the garden and work a little each day toward the other end. In fact, you can make it even easier by looking at it not as a chore but a necessary but enjoyable part of your hobby, perhaps in the same sense that you might “enjoy” hiking up to the top of a hill before being treated to a spectacular view of the sunset.

Another problem is being limited in terms of movement or dexterity that ordinary gardening tasks present special challenges. You might now be in a wheelchair and therefore could not reach down, squat, or crawl through your garden to do things the “normal” way. In this case you have to develop your own way. How about gardening while seated instead of bending down to reach your plants or the ground? It’s possible to construct several raised flower beds or sets of containers. Now you don’t have to bend and crawl around; you can move up to each raised mini-garden and do the job from your chair.

It can also be the case that you are feeling some pain or weakness that prevents you from performing your gardening tasks in a satisfactory manner. You may find that your gardening implements are a bit too heavy, for instance; or you can’t get a good grip on them because of arthritis. You’ll be delighted to know that some makers of garden equipments offer gardening tools specially designed for people with infirmities. Such tools include small and lightweight rakes with firm-grip handles.

Other devices allow you to extend your reach in order to minimize bending or other motions that you find stressful and demanding. One should not have to give up pleasurable, worthwhile pursuits as a result of ailments or old age.

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