Spring begins the circle of new growth: flowering trees, bushes, bursts of vibrant colored tulips and crocuses. Gardening is one of the pleasures of spring for millions as warm weather and rain bring the best growing conditions. Getting the right equipment and having an ergonomically designed garden can prevent injuries, create independence and make gardening accessible for everyone, especially while aging or if you have a disability!
Abilities OT & Irlen Diagnostic Center loves working with people of all ages to find the best garden design, ergonomic tools, equipment accessible and ways to move to minimize pain, prevent injuries and enjoy the delicious foods that are grown through summer and into fall.
Make the Work Simpler
Simplifying the work is an excellent technique to ease the strain on your body and joints when gardening in order to minimize strain, pain and fatigue during and after tending to your garden:
- Slide objects instead of carrying or lifting them. Use a wheeled cart or hand truck to move items from place to place.
- Lay out your work area in advance and keep items within comfortable reach
- Use lightweight equipment using a rechargeable battery so no wires and are smaller and easier to maneuver.
- Let gravity help you and do some of the work.
- Use the fewest pieces of equipment that you can in order to minimize confusion and clutter. Multi-function tools with ergonomically designed handles are excellent for this.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Other than adapting the area that you are gardening in, you can also follow basic guidelines to make your work easier:
- Work when you feel the best. If you are stiff in the morning, save outdoor activities for the afternoon.
- Pace yourself during activities and hydrate yourself with plenty of water.
- Protect yourself from harmful UV rays with a brimmed hat and long sleeves. Wear sunblock as needed.
- Before you exercise, including gardening and other strenuous outdoor activities, check with your doctor.
- Use low-maintenance plants and shrubs that require less care and upkeep.
- Avoid doing the same motions and activities for extended periods of time. In general, you should switch what you’re doing every half hour and take a 15-minute break every hour to reduce tension, prevent stiffness and assess how you’re feeling before you dive back in.
- Ask for help from a friend or family member if you can’t tackle some tasks on your own.
- Avoid using squeezing, pinching or twisting motions and don’t put direct pressure on painful areas, like your fingers or thumbs if you have arthritis.
Use Arthritis-Friendly Garden Tools
Some of our favorites include:
- Standing Garden Beds:
- Hose Extensions:
- Ergonomic Hand Tools:
- Garden Kneeler/Seat:
- Stand-Up Weeders:
Learn How to Make Your Outdoor Space More Accessible
At Abilities OT & Irlen Diagnostic Services, everything we do is centered around promoting independence and wellness in your living space. We can develop an appropriate modification plan to make your landscape more accessible, including:
- Promoting injury prevention/safety awareness
- Training your aide or caregiver to decrease stress
- Identifying potential problems and formulating solutions
- Stress management and pain management
- Promoting comfort and accessibility.
- Designing raised garden beds and containers with benches to sit while gardening.
Wear Irlen spectral filters with UV protection to minimize eye strain, glare and migraines or headaches from bright sunlight. The unique color for the most effective results requires diagnostic testing if you have Irlen syndrome.
We also carry cocoons that come in a variety of styles, colors, sizes and over 15 lens color choices available with photochromatic and anti-glare coatings. Visit our office and try on our vast inventory to find your optimal sunglasses or computer glasses!
Cocoon Fitover Frames
These stylish, durable, and reasonably-priced frames come in a wide range of styles, colors, sizes and a variety of spectral tinted lenses, including blue-light blockers, mirrored, computer, and anti-glare coatings. Cocoon Fitover frames can also be fitted with Irlen spectral tints to address visual stress and processing problems, visual distortions, reading fatigue, glare and light sensitivity for both day and night use while studying or working under fluorescent lighting, at the computer or driving.
To find a frame type, color, size and lens color you like by clicking on the link below. Email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, phone and preferred email address to receive a 10% discount. We will call you for your credit card or PayPal payment.