What possessed me?
This is a fairly new blog mainly on the subject of aging in place in the garden, since I am an ancient gardener myself and one who happens to use a rollator to get around.
Planting a tree — now that is REAL optimism for a 70 year old!
Interior design has quite a bit about aging in place, but exterior features might also need to be modified to make it accessible over one’s lifetime, not just if one becomes disabled. Well, did I get an earful (or eyeful) from one reader via email:
“Why do people think that aging has to do with walkers and being disabled? I am nearing 70. Work out weekly, walk 3 miles a day, and my friends all do the same. We work, we play, we vacation, we interact, we are active in our community. We are like most other people.
“My Aunts, who are 98 and 97, each only started using a walker last year!
“….We all have to start promoting a healthy way of life rather than a disabled. What about promoting a healthy lifestyle?
“…I am not surrounded by many people who are declining until they reach their late 80’s or 90’s….”
It certainly hit a chord that I often hear or read from Baby Boomers and others seeking to stave off inevitable signs of aging. We can dye our hair, regrow hair we have lost, get plastic surgery, replace hips and knees, etc., etc. We can eat healthy, exercise healthy, keep our minds active, keep working, etc., etc. 60 is the new 40. We have no limits (and we refuse to die.)
1. The yard came with the house
But not everyone has preserved their good health. Because of genetics, accidents, bad health practices, many 60+ are not fit, but they want to stay where they are and live a happy life. So many of us are suburbanites, and that usually means that a yard comes with the house. I wanted to blog about trying to get people into their gardens and enjoy, even if their capabilities are not those of a 20 year old.
I suffer blue flowers, not the blues. I prepare.
Planning and preparing is better than believing that one will stay strong forever.
I had to visit my physical therapist recently and I saw many, many patients who were healthy up to very recently and then, BAM, torn cartiledge, fractured (something), sudden pain doing something they love doing. I have had to go to the therapist for three times a week for several months. Not every patient was released able to perform at the same level as they had been. Many were, but many were not. I am happy to report that I have been lucky to return to my home and garden just as good or better than before. But if I hadn’t been able to, I was prepared.
If we can’t dig in the garden, we can plant a pot…
2. The “Tweener” generation might be able to help their parents stay in their house
Even if we possess superb health, we might have parents who want to age in place in a suburban setting. I’d like to help others help their parents age in place in their gardens.
3. Differently-abled may also find useful pointers
Those who are disabled or differently-abled may also find useful tools, ideas, and suggestions that allow them to work in and enjoy a garden.
4. Paying it forward is more than a good idea
Teaching others what I have had to learn the hard way is an extravagance I can now afford with the cloud and electronic media to help me. I believe we have a responsibility to help others in whatever way we can. We are blessed to live in this country and we have a responsibility to pay back.
5. Gardening is good exercise that might be more accessible than we think
I have found with raised beds and certain types of hardscaping that the garden is accessible for someone using a rollator. I wanted to share our ideas and projects to make our garden more accessible and easier to care for.
My rollator in the garden
6. Gardening has certain hazards that can be minimized for everyone
When we plan for others to enjoy our garden with us, we find ourselves reducing hazards that we might not have considered. My blog seeks to provide ideas that minimize potential problems that anyone might have in a garden.
7. Philosophical mind bending
The 60’s were good to me (the 1960’s I mean). And the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, and 10’s. I want to share. I want to hear (and read from others). Not just those I agree with. I learn from everyone, and I never want to stop learning.
8. I am a visual person
I learn most from pictures. I am off scale when it comes to how I learn and what my eyes take in. I love to share DH’s and my photos of this enchanting place in which we live. There are others like me out there….
Swallowtail on buddleia