Gardening is usually therapeutic, but certain medical conditions and physical disabilities can make it challenging for aging people. The good news is they can have a safe, accessible, and pleasant space; all they need is a little planning and a few modifications here and there to enjoy it and be productive. For one, their tools and equipment must be light and easy to maneuver, and their gardening beds accessible.
Working in the garden is particularly good for older people as it encourages them to use all their motor skills. It also increases mobility, promotes flexibility, and improves endurance and strength. It also helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis, reduces stress levels, and promotes relaxation. As if that wasn’t enough, gardening provides stimulation and an interest in the outdoors, improving well-being as a result of social interaction. The best part, it provides nutritious, home-grown produce.
Seniors must consider their physical, mental, and age-related limitations before they begin to work in the garden but shouldn’t let these keep them from enjoying this hobby. For example, the skin of aging people is often thinner and more fragile. It makes them more susceptible to bumps, bruises, and sunburn, but a pair of gloves can help them.
They must also consider changes in their vision, such as loss of peripheral vision that might restrict this activity. How are their mental abilities? Their capacity for thinking and remembering might be affected by dementia and similar conditions. Seniors are also more susceptible to temperature changes and tend to dehydrate and experience heat exhaustion. Finally, falls are more common in seniors due to poor balance, and osteoporosis can further restrict movement and flexibility, along with other conditions like arthritis.
Gardening is fun and rewarding but weeding and planting under the hot sun isn’t, especially for an older person. TIt is when a good gardening stool or chair comes in handy, providing a spot to sit while you work and rest.
The Top Gardeners Chair To Prevent Back Pain
Here’s a list of our top favorite gardening chairs, which feature knee cushions and even storage for your gardening tools.
TomCare Garden Kneeler Seat
It is a foldable stool with a large tool bag with four pockets and a smaller one with 3 for your gardening tools. It’s available in black and green, measures 21.65 W by 10.62 D by 18.89 H inches, and sells for $59.99.
This high-quality chair is durable as it features a metal frame and a plastic seat. It also functions as a kneeler and has a foam padded cushion for added comfort. You can easily fold and store this lightweight, portable stool, and it won’t take up too much space.
TomCare Upgraded Garden Kneeler Seat
It is a foldable garden bench with two large tools that can hold sturdy gardening tools. The product is available in green, measures 10.83 D by 19.3 W by 23.43 H inches, and sells for $63.99.
This garden kneeler is similar to the above but features an upgraded wider kneeling pad. It fits more than one person and is comfortable for long periods. This garden stool has two large detachable pouches, each with four large pockets to hold your gardening tools.
A sturdy, lightweight, multifunctional gardening aid, you can unfold it and kneel on the soft pad to keep your knees away from the ground. Or, you could flip it over to use it as a comfy chair.
The frame is made of solid steel and can hold up to 330 lbs, but it’s lightweight and portable, so it’s easy to move it around and adjust it according to your needs.
Kneeler And Stool
This heavy-duty lightweight gardening bench comes with a tool pouch and gloves. It sells for $69.95, measures 11 D by 23 W by 16 H inches, and is available in green. The frame is made of metal and has a plastic seat.
It’s easy to kneel in this deep-seat garden kneeler-stool without hurting your back or knees, so it’s great for weeding, seeding, and planting. It also keeps your clothes away from the grass or dirt. This ergonomic garden kneeler comes with a soft EVA foam padding to provide a cushion to your knees and protect them.
The heavy-duty metallic frame is strong and durable and will support your hands and back when kneeling and standing up. Hold the handles to lower or rise comfortably. This stool is strong enough to handle a 300 pounds person but light enough to move around – it only weighs 6.7 pounds. You can quickly fold this kneeler flat, making it even more convenient to carry and store. It occupies very little space when folded, and you can take it around and even store it in your car for an outing.
Garden Kneeler and Seat with EVA Foam Pad
It is a 2-in-1 foldable heavy-duty gardening beach, ideal for aging people. It measures 10.9 D by 23.5 W by 19.3 H inches and has alloy steel and plastic. It’s available in green and has a bonus of 2 gardening tool pouches.
The handy garden kneeler features an elevated kneeling pad to reduce aches from kneeling for too long and keeps your knees away from the muddy ground and grass.
This kneeler becomes a garden chair just by flipping it so you can comfortably tend to your long-stemmed plants and bigger shrubs. It holds up to 330 pounds. The product is pre-assembled so that you can use it straight from the box.
Luckyermore Garden Kneeler and Seat
It is a heavy-duty gardener’s chair for kneeling or sitting. All you have to do is flip it over. It sells for $39.99 and measures 10.6 D by 22.5 W by 18.5 H inches. The chair is assembled, and you can use it straight from the box. The comfortable EVA pad is 6 inches wide and 0.8 inches thick.
The garden kneeler folds up easily and compactly so you can easily move it around and store it in a nook. The solid steel frame will support your arms when kneeling and getting up and can hold up to 300 pounds.
The product comes with a bonus removable tool pouch with a pocket. It’s perfect for keeping your tools in it.
Ohuhu Gardening Stool with Thick and Wide EVA Foam Kneeling Pad
This dual-function gardening seat can ease gardening chores. You can raise the legs to make a comfy bench or lay it flat on the ground for a supportive kneeling pad.
The solid steel frame and thickened partition of this garden kneeler and seat can support up to 330 lbs. It measures 10.9 D by 23.5 W by 19.3 H inches and comes in green. Furthermore, the ultra-soft high-quality EVA cushion on this garden kneeler reduces painful pressure on your joints, keeping you comfortable for long periods.
The chair comes with two detachable tool bags to store your gardening tools.
Adjustments to Gardening Equipment for People with Limited Mobility
Modifying and adapting garden spaces, tools, and equipment is easy. The main goal here is to help reduce the physical stress associated with gardening for older people and anyone with chronic pain and limited mobility.
For example, you can install a vertical planting system to make garden beds accessible for planting and harvesting. Install trellises on available walls. Likewise, raised beds can enable people to garden without bending down. You could also use retractable hanging baskets, wheelbarrows, and containers on casters to make suitable movable and elevated garden beds.
There are all kinds of adaptive tools and equipment in hardware shops like Home Depot, but you can also use foam, tape, and plastic tubing to modify existing tools and attain a better grip. You want lightweight tools as these are easier to handle. Also, set up shady areas for working in the summer months and stable chairs and working tables. Make sure there’s a tap nearby or install a drip feeder system for easy watering.
It’s crucial to immediately attend to any cuts, bruises, or insect bites and supervise or limit the use of power tools. You should also secure gates and fences if the senior has memory loss issues and ensure that paths and walkways are flat and non-slip. Any gardener should warm up before getting to work and take frequent breaks.
On this note, garden early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid sun exposure and wear a hat and sunscreen. Stay well hydrated with water or any other quality drinks, and skip the alcoholic cocktails until happy hour. Wear protective shoes, clean your skin with light, comfortable clothes, and use gardening gloves.
Always store garden equipment safely and check out these chairs. They’re great for preventing back pain.
Tips for Pain-Free Gardening
Did you know that a warm-up can bring oxygen to your muscles and prepare the body for physical activity? It raises your core body temperature and makes it easier for muscles and tendons to move. Well, gardening is a physical activity so treat it like a workout.
As you garden, you want to stretch out your major muscle groups to help them remain pliable and less prone to injury. So, a warm-up for a few minutes and a simple 10-minute walk can lower your risk of injury. Drink plenty of water before gardening and replace the water you lose when you sweat. Drinking enough fluids will prevent dehydration and, thus, muscle cramping. It is particularly true in hot weather.
Furthermore, you want to elevate your workspaces when possible. Raised garden beds are easier to access, so try to lift them to waist height from the ground. Minimizing the stretching involved in tending your patch will put less strain on your back. Also, having your soil within reach will make it easier to plant, weed, and harvest. A raised garden bed will also make it easier to check your plants. You want to keep them away from fences to be able to access them from all sides. Also, use trellises and arches as these encourage plants to grow upward, and you can reach them more easily.
Lightweight, multi-purpose hand tools are great for gardening while sitting as they can help you reduce the effort when weeding. A multi-use hand tool will also help you avoid the effort of carrying around several at a time. Furthermore, a long-handled tool like a hoe will minimize bending, and you can add a telescoping extension. Try various hoes to find the one you like the best.
Did you know that squeezing is the most difficult movement for a senior? They usually have arthritis or other kinds of hand inflammation. Ironically, the squeeze-grip watering nozzle is the most common, which is very hard on a senior’s hands. Get a one-touch watering tool with a thumb control valve instead. Even better, have someone install soaker hoses, drip, or in-ground irrigation, and add an automatic water timer if you have a larger garden with lengthy rows. It’ll save you time and effort.
Changing position can help prevent one part of your body from taking a toll on your gardening efforts. So, shift your body around or even stand straight and stretch every 30 minutes. You might want to use a timer to remind you to do it. Use the break for drinking water and walking around the yard a bit before resetting it for the next round.
We’ve already mentioned the need for good posture; a kneeler with a decent pad can help you. You may not realize it but weeding or planting for long periods often leads to a sore back and neck, which could lead to chronic back pain if you’re not careful. You may also want to use a garden trolley to move around your bags of mulch, fertilizer, manure, seed starter mix, etc. Be aware that pulling is easier on your back and arms than pushing. You might want to invest in one with a dump option, and you don’t have to lift it.
Cultivate resilient plants if you’re too limited by pain. Many can withstand weeds and extreme weather. So, opt for plants that can survive on their own such as berries, rhubarb, kale, and some fruit trees.
Compost is essential for gardening, but the effort of turning the piles every few weeks is too much for older people. Consider a compost tumbler. It’ll reduce the effort and provide the nutrients you want from your compost. You want to get a smaller one with a handle that does most of the work of turning it. Furthermore, a countertop composter can also lighten your load. These food waste grinders are great for house plants and garden beds.
Invite your family and friends to garden with you. The more hands you have, the easier your work will be. You can also hire your teen neighbor for those jobs you can’t manage, such as weeding, raising your beds or digging a new one, and installing a new irrigation system. You could also join a community garden where people work together for a common goal.
Finally, soak in a hot bath once you’re done gardening for the day. It’s a great way to soothe your stiff muscles and relax after a hard day’s work. Add Epsom salts or aromatherapy oils to the bath to enhance your experience.
Cultivating a garden is a great activity for older people as it stimulates their senses by smelling, touching, looking, listening, and remembering. At the very least, one can enjoy digging, planting, sowing, watering, pruning and clipping, weeding and mulching, flower picking, and arranging.
As you can see, there are many other crafts and hobbies associated with plants if you can no longer be active outdoors. Gardening is a healthy, stimulating activity that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy, and you can always modify equipment and tools to make up for any disabilities.
Adults over 50 years are more vulnerable to lower back pain due to age-related wear and tear of the spinal discs, joints, and other spinal structures, in addition to nonspecific causes of pain, such as muscle strain. Those at risk for degeneration in the spine are also at risk for degeneration in the hip joints. Finally, one’s attitude and situation also affect pain levels and duration. Be sure to select the best gardening stool for you—one with a great seat cushion or kneeler pad and great lumbar spine support. Remember, gardening adds years to your life and life to your years, so garden away!