July 5th, 2017
It was William Kent who once proclaimed “Garden as though you will live forever.” Though that is an admirable ambition, seniors should also be reminded that they shouldn’t live like they can garden forever – or at least not without safety restrictions.
As we age, our bodies and minds can no longer keep pace with many of the activities we participated in during our younger days. But gardening is something that can still be enjoyed, as long as you observe the following five safety tips:
1. First and foremost, recognize that you can’t do everything the way you used to. The majority of accidents happen when you’re tired, so be sure to take plenty of breaks – and if you don’t have shade, avoid working outdoors on extremely hot days.
2. Safety check your yard, or ask a relative to do it for you. Roots, uneven ground, loose steps, and rocks are among the things that can be easily corrected, thus preventing missteps.
3. Carry a cell phone with you every time you’re outside (or, for that matter, inside the house, too) so that if you fall, you can call for help. Or invest in a medical alert device for wearing around the neck, or on your wrist.
4. Three words: avoid using ladders! If you can’t reach something from a standing position, either ask someone to reach it for you, or let it be.
5. Invest in a raised planter bed or two, with nice wide top boards for easy sitting and working. Aching knees and arthritic joints will appreciate the extra height, and your loved ones will appreciate the extra peace of mind.