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5 gardening tools for the elderly

Mark Gale

Mark Gale



Whether you've been a gardening enthusiast for years or only recently discovered the joys of green fingers, getting your hands dirty in the garden can become more difficult in later life.

While gardening is a fulfilling pastime in so many ways, it is a physical and often strenuous activity, and if you're perhaps not as sprightly as you once were, the weeds might start to catch up on you. But with a few smart gardening tools under your belt, you'll be able to dig, chop, prune and weed your way through later life without a sore back in sight.

We've found some of the best gardening tools for the elderly, to help you keep your garden looking its best.

Lightweight tools

Regular gardening tools are often heavy enough before you even try digging up soil or uprooting stubborn weeds. If you're feeling the strain using cumbersome tools, opt for lightweight tools instead to help make gardening easier. Darlac and Wilkinson Sword both stock lightweight hand tools such as hand rakes, planters, trowels, cultivators and pruning shears. 

Kneeling mats 

Weeding and planting in borders and flowerbeds can put strain on your joints when kneeling down. Avoid aches or injuries with a gardening kneeling mat. You'll find a great variety of affordable styles from brands like Gardman and HeyCo, which are made with soft and comfortable materials which are conveniently dirt repellent, machine washable, and wipe clean. Garden kneeling mats come with a built in handle, making them easy to carry around the garden as you go. Choose from pretty patterns or simple green hues to suit your taste. They also double as comfortable cushions - simply pop them on a wall or bench and take the weight off your feet. 

Tool stools

If you're not so sure on your feet as you once were, a tool stool is a brilliant gardening solution. Jobs like repotting and pruning smaller bushes can be done while sitting down, which prevents back and neck strain. With a tool stool you'll have everything you need within arms-reach, without having to keep getting up to find where you put your trowel.

Tool stools are, quite simply, a stool with inbuilt tool storage. Some fold away to be carried, while others are mounted on wheels for added mobility. Keep your trowel, fork, gardening gloves, pruning shears and any other essentials in the pockets or tray, and take everything with you from one spot to the next. Fallen Fruits, Esschert and Andrew James models are all available on Amazon for under £20.

Easy grip tools

If you find your grip isn't as strong as it once was, or if you suffer from arthritis in your wrists or hands, typical gardening tools can put strain on your joints and be difficult to handle. But there are a range of tools designed with this in mind, with specially altered handles and even support cuffs to make the job easier. You'll find the whole Easi-Grip range online at Complete Care Shop. 

Telescopic tools

Back problems are common in the elderly. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself while gardening, so you should ensure that your larger gardening tools such as spades and forks are the right size. Tools that are too small or large put undue strain on your back and joints. Adjustable telescopic gardening tools are a great solution for elderly gardeners. If you garden with your spouse or a friend or family member, telescopic tools ensure that the tool is the right height for everyone, all the time. Try the Fiskars telescopic spade for size. 

Of course, the garden can be a source of frustration, as well as joy. Many find the upkeep of a garden means dedicating time and effort that they feel would better spent elsewhere, for example keeping up with family. If this is the case, here at McCarthy & Stone we have onsite gardeners in all our developments, meaning you have more time to spend with the family or concentrating on other hobbies.

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