Gardening Information for Disabled People & Seniors
With the help of special tools, thoughtful planning and design a surprising number of people can enjoy gardening and the benefits it brings. Indoors or outdoors many can enjoy the rewards that flowers, foliage plants and vegetables provide.
You may have physical limitations and disabilities due to aging, injuries, or diseases, but don’t let that stop you – you may be able to do more than you think!
Your particular challenges may seem insurmountable but there are special tools that can be used by people with restricted mobility or reduced strength. Even if you have back problems or some paralysis it is possible to garden from a seated or position or without bending.
We will help you find the right tools and come up with ideas for garden design that allow you to keep on gardening.
Video: How to make gardening accessible for people with disabilities – it just takes a little ingenuity.
I hope that video gave you some Inspiration!
We will go into the various things that can be done from an article that gives an overview of the possibilities for gardeners with Reduced abilitiy.
Overview and Summary of tips
Taking a person’s health restrictions into consideration, gardens can be designed to enable even those who’s activities are limited to a walker or wheelchair to enjoy the healing benefits of working in a garden, not to mention the added mental and emotional stimulation.
Planning an Accessible Garden
If you are planning a new garden be sure to include places to sit and shelter from the sun and the wind.
Bushes and trees provide structure and direct movement.
Maximize perennial plantings, annuals do take up more time.
Fill the garden with bright flowers.
Place herbs, lavender and other plants so that when brushed they will release their fragrance.
Provide a convenient source of water and use drip irrigation or soaker hoses wherever watering would be a difficult task.
Taking a little time to add mulch around plants will greatly reduce the amount of water needed, as well as time spent on weeding.
Garden paths should have a hard surface at least 3 feet wide to allow wheelchair access.
Raised beds should be around 2 feet tall for wheelchair users and to reduce bending for those with Arthritis or other pains.
Make sure that the center of each raised bed is easily reachable, so for wheelchair users, about 2 feet is an ideal reach, 2.5 feet for those who can stand. If your bed has pathways on both sides, you can double that depth.
Adaptive Gardening Tools
There are a variety of gardening tools that can be used and adapted for wheelchair users.
For those who can only use one hand, there are ‘cut and hold’ tools, which are available in various sizes for such things as light pruning and dead heading in difficult to reach areas, rose arches and pergolas and at the back of borders.
For those of you who can not get down to the soil level, there are tools specially manufactured for people with disabilities with handles that keep the hand and wrist in a neutral, stress-free position and provides a firmer grip on the tool.
Snap-on, twist or clip-on tool heads give extra length from the sitting position.
Long-handled shears especially for edging lawns are also ideal, as are the firm grip weed pullers.