Gardening tools for physically disabled and arthritic people and elderly gardeners
Adapting your own gardeners toolscan be less expensive and the tools just as comfortable and easy to use as tools specially designed for use in the garden. So if you are elderly or have a disability that restricts movement or a bad back that makes bending painful I have included a few DIY tips below.
If you are not into d.i.y. and prefer specially adapted tools, I have included the main ones, that can be viewed and purchased from my adapted tools page
How to adapt your own gardening tools
Gardening tools to make or adapt yourself.
Making and adapting your own gardening tools to help with your own special physical needs. really can make many difficult or uncomfortable gardening jobs easier.
If a bad back, limited mobility or working from a wheelchair is making gardening difficult, or you know a elderly or physically disabled person who is, and are a bit of a handyman at adapting existing gardeners tools, save money and help yourself or a neighbour.
Tools for sowing seeds.
Back pain can be a deterrent to sowing seeds, if a painful back or knee condition make the job difficult this simple home made tool reduces bending.
To make a seed sowing tool, cut a four foot length of 2 ½? PVC pipe making a 45 degree angle at one end. Use the sharp end of the tool to make furrows or holes in the soil. put the seed or seeds in the top and let them fall down through the pipe into the soil, now use the pipe to cover the seeds over with soil. This simple adapted tool will help to sow seeds without bending.
If you have a weak grip or arthritic fingers a roll of toilet paper can be a useful planting tool for gardeners, pour the seeds on to a piece of dry light coloured cloth, then dampen a piece of toilet paper and use it to pickup the seeds, the seeds will stick to the toilet paper, push the paper into the hole and cover with soil.
If you are sowing small seeds spread over a wide area use a empty pepper pot or any container with a lid that has holes just large enough to let the seeds through.
A Weak grip,
Adapting hoes, rakes, spades or shovels if you have a weak grip that makes gardening difficult.
Tools with wider, padded handles are easier to grip if your hand grip in not as strong as it used to be. Adapting your own tools by padding out the handles of ordinary gardeners tools like hoes, rakes, spades or shovels with foam is a lot cheaper than purchasing new ones and can make the tools as comfortable to use as the adapted tools you see advertised.
How to make handles easier and more comfortable to grip. Cut rectangles long enough to fit your hands and wide enough to wrap around the handle. Slice about three-quarters the way through the width of the foam rectangle, stopping an inch short of the top. Fit the handle of the hoe, rake, spade or shovel into the notch and secure the foam with strong water proof tape and bobs your uncle gardening is easier and more comfortable.
Adapting your existing gardeners tools is not expensive and just as comfortable and easy to use as some specially designed tools for disabled and elderly gardeners.
Making your garden more mobility friendly
Home made Raised beds, Container gardens and adapting a garden to a more mobility friendly garden layout can eliminate much of the need for bending, for people with a back problem and very useful for wheelchair gardeners. Two Articles explaining how raised beds and garden layout for elderly, disabled and wheelchair gardeners.
The gardening tools featured below are designed for gardeners working from a seated position, those with bending difficulties or a weak grip.
Long Reach Garden Tools provide additional length to assist reaching ground level, or the further reaches of a raised flowerbed. Due to the balance of these tools we recommend that the Arm Support Cuff is used to improve weight distribution and control.
Gardening aids Adapted Tools for elderly and disabled gardeners and people with arthritis .
Gardening tools for disabled people, like garden kneelers, long reach and easy grip tools adapted for people with arthritis and elderly gardeners can make gardening easier even if a bad back makes bending over difficult.
So being disabled doesn't mean gardening has to stop. Just the opposite, because time spent in the garden can be good for us and fun.
Using the right tools and maybe making a few changes to our gardens, like raised beds, sound surfaces, resting places described on my disabled gardening page and using gardening aids, like, kneelers and long reach tools designed for disabled and gardeners, really can make life a bit easier for disabled and wheelchair gardeners.
Don't spend to much time at each gardening task, do just as much as you can without your disability becoming uncomfortable. It's more important to enjoy the garden and the exercise you will be getting.
If you are a disabled gardener with back problems it is more practical to use raised garden beds described on my raised garden beds page,
But it is also possible for people with back problems and those paralysed on one side to enjoy gardening from a non-bending position by using aids like, long reach tools that are designed for gardening in the sitting position.
These gardening aids, include the attachable extension type, quick release tools and adjustable cushioned handles are described further down.
Adopted lightweight tools and gardening aids are usually made from aluminium alloy, carbon fibre or plastic and are therefore tools that are light and easy to use.
Lightweight and long reach tools to make gardening easier
Gardening tools to reduce stretching, straining and bending, like long handled and easy to grip trowels, spades, forks and garden kneelers , really can make difficult or uncomfortable gardening jobs like digging, sowing seeds and weeding easier.
If you prefer to buy rather than adapt your own tools.
The following adapted gardening tools can be seen and purchased from this page of my website shop for adapted tools
Long reach and easy to grip garden hoe
Designed for gardeners working from a seated position, those with bending difficulties or a weak grip
Ergonomic handle keeps hand in natural position, preventing sprain
Non-slip grip, prevents tool slipping in the hand even in wet conditions
Long reach and easy to grip garden fork
Overall length c. 80cm (30") gives greater accessibility without need for bending or stretching
Ergonomic handle allows more work for less effort
Long reach and easy to grip garden trowel
For gardeners with bending difficulties or a weak grip.
Overall length c. 80cm (30")
Ergonomic Garden Tools feature a patented ergonomic grip that provides more leverage with less wrist stress.
This Gardening range of tools is designed as part of a collection of solutions for improved mobility and independent living and is designed to reduce wrist stress for elderly and physically disabled gardeners.
Arm support cuff
Can be purchased at the same time to provide extra arm support. It simply plugs into a hole in the back of the grips.