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Adapting Tools And Equipment

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 10 May 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Gardening Tools Tools Garden Equipment

If you are elderly and you’re no longer as capable of using traditional gardening tools or if you are disabled, this does not mean that you have to give up on your gardening activities. Although you may have to make some slight adjustments or hand over certain tasks to someone else, there are a wide range of specialist tools and other gardening equipment which can make life easier for you and which will give you the freedom to carry on enjoying your gardening activities.

Wheelchair Gardeners

There are a multitude of specialist gardening tools which have been specially adapted or designed with the wheelchair gardener in mind. You can get gardening tools which have twist, snap-on and clip-on head extensions which will provide additional length from the seated position. These all tend to be manufactured using lightweight materials and thicker grips which make for ease of use.

Kneeling Stools

Those who may have difficulty getting up again if working at lower levels will often benefit by getting hold of a kneeling stool with raised handles. Working in conjunction with reaching or grabbing sticks or poles which can help you to grip plants and to retrieve equipment more easily, kneeling stools are a useful way you can still attend to conventional flower beds and other things you may have planted in the soil.

Gripping Tools

Some elderly gardeners may suffer from problems with arthritis in their hands and fingers which makes it difficult to grip tools. However, there are lots of specialist gardening tools which feature trigger grips on their handles. These also have a thumb pad on the top for ease of use.

You can buy the likes of trowels, forks and planters which feature these types of grips. Ratchet pruners are also good, as they require only a gentle squeeze of the handle to exert a lot more pressure than conventional tools.

Cut And Hold Tools

Even if you have one arm amputated or can no longer use one hand or arm for whatever reason, you can buy specially adapted tools which will both hold and cut at the same time. These are ideal for pruning and for reaching areas at the backs of borders, for example. Some even incorporate a swivel head which will rotate and enable you to collect cuttings.

Other Types Of Tools

There are so many different types of gardening tools which can assist you if you’re disabled or if your mobility and flexibility is restricted somewhat. Common types include:

  • Attachable extensions
  • Quick release
  • Ratchet and pulley tools
  • Cushioned handles
  • Thick handles
  • Lightweight tools
It’s also useful to get a tool bag or tool holster so you can carry some of your smaller tools around with you on your waist so that you’re not constantly bending down to retrieve a particular tool.

Sheds And Greenhouses

Sheds and greenhouses should be set up or adapted so that all of the plants you’re working with and all of the equipment you’ll need to use is kept at a level at which you won’t need to stretch or climb up to reach. The more accessible your equipment, the easier your gardening will become.

Probably the best advice is to actually visit a garden centre which specialises in selling these types of tools and equipment. By visiting in person, it will enable you to get a feel of the different types of tools available and what feels comfortable to use.

Staff will also be able to offer you information and advice on the best ways to manage your garden if you have mobility issues.

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