Gardening is the Purest of Human Pleasures.
Every year around this time, I walk around the neighborhood to admire everyone elses beautiful landscaping! Unfortunately, I do not have a green thumb. I want the beautiful yard, but without the hours of time and energy it would spend to achieve it.
My step-grandmother LOVES to garden. At almost 90, she lives in a snowy, cold part of Canada on her own with very little assistance. Did I mention she is legally blind? She cooks, shovels, and tends to her gardens despite her "limitations". She also still gets out several times a week to socialize and run errands. This lady still takes the bus like a boss! Growing up she reminded me of Queen Victoria. Very regal, excellent posture....but kind of no nonsense. I love that she has lived life on her own terms. She has quite the story....but I'll save that for another time.
Something that stands out to me is her love for gardening. It brings her so much joy, that she refuses to give it up, and she shouldn't have to. If we focus on what elders CAN do and what they WANT to do, we can get creative about HOW to do it.
In honor of my grandma here are three helpful gardening tips for elders:
Raised beds. One of the greatest challenges with gardening is the wear and tear on the knees. The up and down movements associated with gardening are also a test of strength and endurance. Creating a raised bed will eliminate the wear and tear on knees and assist with conserving energy.
Timing. Aging skin is much more sensitive to the elements. Morning and late afternoon hours are optimal for spending some time in the garden.
Tools. There are plenty of ergonomic tools available to facilitate movement and protect joints. I like these tools from Radius.
I love hearing stories about how elders are thriving at home! Please keep sharing. Thrive at Home is always available for local consultations in the Rochester area. We would be more than happy to tour your yard and your home so you can continue to enjoy the things that you love. You can reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 585.735.9223.