Of course, age can force seniors to curtail some of their favorite activities, but gardening doesn’t have to be among them. While it may be difficult for them to garden in exactly the same way they have been doing for decades, with a few modifications, elderly gardeners can enjoy the joys of growing fruits, vegetables and flowers for years to come. The secret is to change a few key aspects about gardening to better suit an elderly person’s abilities.
What is Raised Bed Gardening?
Traditional gardening is done at the ground level and below. Gardeners must spend a lot of time raking, tilling, weeding and more. This kind of stress on the back, knees, hips and feet can have detrimental effects on an aging gardener. Raised beds bring the gardening to a more manageable height, relieving pain, reducing the need for hard labor and giving gardeners better access to plants.
Creating Custom Raised Beds.
Creating a raised garden bed is limited only by creativity and imagination, because there are dozens of ways to bring the garden closer to the elderly gardener. Raised beds can be permanent fixtures in a yard or portable, depending on the senior’s needs. In many cases, an enclosed container is made of wood, metal, stone or cinder blocks. Depending on the senior’s needs, it can be a foot or so off the ground. It is then filled with clean soil. The gardener can then sit on a stool to do the work, and not have to bend far over or use unwieldy garden tools anymore.
Raised beds can also be set on legs if the gardener needs to bring the plants even higher. Plastic, ceramic, wood and even metal containers may be situated as high as needed, using stands, benches and other things. Seniors can sit comfortably or stand as they tend to their raised bed garden. Family members and elder care aides can assist seniors as needed as they move around the raised beds but for the most part, elderly gardeners can spend as much time as they want with their modified hobby.
Tips for Raised Bed Gardening.
When preparing the beds for gardening, there are a few tips that will make things easier for an elderly gardener. Of course, make sure the gardening space will see as much sun as possible. If the raised bed is being built on the existing garden, that’s fine, but if a new raised bed is being created, sun exposure is critical.
Another thing to keep in mind is creating the type of raised bed the senior needs. Is it high enough to garden from a chair? Can the senior get all around the bed easily or are there obstacles in the way? Can they tend to the plants with minimal assistance from an elder care aide or family member? Consider additional items and gadgets that can help them care for their garden, such as raised stools, an assortment of hand tools, hose nozzles and more.
When it comes to raised bed gardening, it’s hard to find a better alternative for seniors. Not only does it ease stress and strain on the body, it provides them with a fulfilling and enjoyable hobby that gets them outdoors and rewards their hard work with impressive results.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Glenview, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.