Tips To Make Landscaping Easier For Seniors
For many, especially those who do not know much about landscaping, their concept of it conjures up images of little old men and women in their twilight years pottering about in their gardens. This belies the fact that landscaping gardening is a profession and a pastime enjoyed by many whose ages make them more likely to be grandchildren than a grandparent.
Nevertheless, it is also true that there are many people who might be regarded as in senior years who love landscaping, and who derive a huge amount of pleasure from designing, creating, and maintaining both natural, and man-made elements, within their landscape garden.
There are also many seniors, for whom their garden is simply a place where they can sit and relax, chat with friends and family, and make the most of the well-deserved free time they have, now that they have retired. They might also still enjoy some light gardening but here is where the sands of time can cause problems.
There is no escaping the fact that when we reach a certain age, our bodies are no longer as youthful, supple, and energetic as they were in our prime. For this reason, many seniors, regardless of how much they love gardening, struggle to enjoy it as much as they once did.
In addition, designing a landscape garden for a senior, given some of the issues we have just touched on, needs more consideration, than if it were being designed for those who are much younger. Whichever elements are being considered for the design, they need to take account of the senior’s mobility, physicality and potentially, their failing eyesight.
So, if you are helping seniors to design their ideal garden, be that your parents, your grandparents, a friend, or a client, then here are some ideas in terms of what you need to consider to make it a safe and enjoyable environment for them.
Consider The Light Levels
If the garden in question is bathed from dawn until dusk in brilliant sunshine this might not be as pressing an issue, but regardless, make sure the design takes into account light levels. This means nothing should block the sunlight such as a tree or other feature, and if the senior is likely to be in their garden at night, you will want to install adequate lighting, with mounted floodlights the best option.
Use Low-Maintenance Plants
To ensure that the senior who is using the garden does not need to exert themselves to any great degree, it is a great idea to use plants that do not require a lot of maintenance. This means you should avoid those that need constant watering, pruning, weeding, and replanting.
Install Ramps For Mobility
There will be many seniors who require the use of a walking stick, a walking frame, or a wheelchair to get around. Even those that do not need any of these might not be particularly steady on their feet when walking. To help all of them, in any part of the garden that is on two levels, you must avoid steps and instead install a ramp. This could be made from timber, or for a more permanent solution, concrete.
Minimise Unnecessary Obstacles
This is more common sense than a landscaping tip, but nevertheless, you want to ensure that within any landscaping design there are no unnecessary obstacles that, at best are an inconvenience to, or at worst, a trip hazard for the seniors who are using that garden.