Things I have learned to make gardening less likely to injure me are mostly trade-offs I have had to make. It’s worth it to age in place! I go around taking pictures of the garden and some things just jump out at me. Others need a near-accident for me to acknowledge the necessity of changing things. This first blog is part of a series on keeping the garden injury free:
Match your path and equipment to how you get around and what you take with you into your yard and garden.
Even if YOU are self-propelled, consider the size of the implements you take with you regularly. Is(are) the path(s) you use in the garden wide enough to accommodate you and your implements?
For example, do you use a wheel barrow? Are paths wide enough for it?
On the other hand, is your wheel barrow safe – that is, does its design have 3 wheels (easily tipped) or 4 (less likely to tip especially when loaded)?
Some wheel barrows are shin-busters. You constantly walk into cross struts and parts of the barrow when you hit an obstacle or when you lift the barrow. There are designs that you drag behind you that are safer for your shins (and other body parts).
Are barrow wheels large enough to go up and down curbs or steps? How much energy must you expend to take it around with you? Could you find one self-propelled?
When you are having greater difficulty getting around the garden, it is even more important to consider the path(s) you travel and either fix them or have them fixed to accommodate you:
Do you use a rollator walker? (see post at http://wp.me/p2DvJe-2s ) Are paths smooth enough to accommodate it?
Do you avoid having steps to have to lift rollator up? Are rollator wheels large enough to get around garden? Is there a basket or shelf to place equipment upon while you are walking?
One of the trade-offs I have made is to not put in steps in the paths, even on sloping ground, so I won’t have to lift my rollator up and down the steps.
Even placing stepping stones in the garden to avoid wet feet, etc. can be a hazard. They can work their way up high from the surrounding mulch, or their barriers can stick up higher than the stones, both providing tripping hazards or just energy wasters getting the rollator over the humps and bumps.