Is this you in the garden? Do you have arthritis or RA or just plain creaky joints? You have lots of company!
Almost 32 million US adults report medically diagnosed arthritis, RA or other physically limiting symptoms. See Chart 1.
Learn to adapt your garden or the garden of a loved one, an assisted living environment, hospital or public garden to make sure that everyone can enjoy all the benefits of a beautiful and productive garden. As the population of the US grows older, the number of people with limited ability to participate in many activities will increase (Chart 2). The ultimate goal is to have a garden that can be enjoyed by everyone from the very young to the very old, the blind or wheelchair bound. And just as with any gardening project, the ideas are endless.
Proven ideas to start your garden immediately.
- Assess what you can and cannot do. Make a list or adapt this list to your needs.
- Find help for the things that you cannot do.
- Add handrails for all stairs, check paths for barriers.
- Make paths wide enough for wheelchairs or walkers if necessary
- Consider raised beds, containers and vertical gardens for easier access.
- Find tools that assist your work, with features like long handles, soft grips and ratchet gears.
- Invest in light weight hoses, efficient sprinklers and soaker hoses to reduce the need to haul heavy hoses around the garden.
- Install quick release couplers for sprinklers and hand watering tools to reduce twisting nozzles on and off the hose.
Check out our link to catalogs and on-line suppliers of more ideas and products.
As people grow older, the incidence of these physical issues also increases, affecting more women than men. *
*US Census 2010