Safety & Care Tips For a Healthy You and an Abundant Garden
Spring is upon us and if you are one of the many people who take pride in their yards and enjoy gardening, you’ve been looking forward to this for the past couple of months. You are likely itching to get outdoors and do what you love but, before you do, we want to remind our seniors of a few things to consider before racing to the door…
Assess the weather and plan accordingly
It may sound trivial but always make sure that you check the weather before heading out to the garden. It is important that you know what to expect so that you can plan accordingly. If it is going to be a sunny day, plan to wear a hat to help shield your face from the sun and prevent sun damage to your skin. If it is going to be a hot day, make sure you bring water with you when out in the yard to stay hydrated. If the grounds are wet from a recent bout of rain, make sure you are wearing proper shoes to help you safely navigate the grass and garden beds so that you don’t slip. New England weather is always changing and sometimes without much warning so it is always a good idea to bring a light jacket with you when you are outside so that you can put it on if you get cold. You want to limit the amount of times you have to go in and out of your house so planning ahead can help you spend more time in the yard!
Always be well-equipped with sunscreen, gardening gloves, and bug spray
It’s going to be so nice to feel the warmth of the sun when enjoying time outdoors but too much UV exposure can be problematic and contribute to medical conditions such as skin cancer, heat stroke etc. Even if it is a hazy or breezy day outside, you want to make sure you are always applying sunscreen BEFORE you head out into the yard to garden etc. Sunscreen helps stop harmful UV rays from the sun in their tracks and help ensure you don’t walk away from a great day with a bad sun burn!
Similarly, when spending time in the garden or outdoors (especially in wooded areas), it is a good idea to load up on bug spray to keep ticks away as well as prevent you from getting bit by pesky mosquitoes that can carry viruses like West Nile Virus.
Lastly, things can get quite slippery when you are working with water and soil. To prevent dropping gardening tools and supplies, make sure you have ample pairs of gardening gloves readily available. These gloves have grips on them which help you hold onto things better even when they are wet from the garden hose or covered in dirt!
Make sure you have the right tools to help you get the job done safely
Raking, digging and planting are basic gardening activities that require much physical effort. To reduce the amount of effort and joint stress caused by these activities, ensure that you or your loved one has the strong, durable, light-weight and ergonomic tools they need to be able to help them do what they need to do as safely as possible.
Don’t over-do it
Be mindful of when it’s time to take a break. Working in the yard or in the garden is great exercise but can be physically taxing- especially if you haven’t been used to such exercise in the past. It is easier to complete small tasks instead of taking on large, overwhelming ones so try to break tasks down in 5-minute intervals with break times in between to ensure you are not working yourself too hard.
Ensure ease of access to and from the yard and/or garden
Plant beds that are raised and narrow plots can help prevent one from having to get into uncomfortable positions when tending to the garden. In addition, it is a good idea to ensure that the area surrounding the garden is free of rocks, weeds or tree roots that could pose as trip hazards. The same idea goes for the gardening supplies and tools. Best to keep everything that your loved one needs within an arm’s reach. Make these supplies and tools as easy to find as possible. If they are currently stored at the back of a garage or shed, ensure these are moved to the front and not blocked by any other items so that they can be easily accessed once it comes time for gardening.
In addition to ensuring the ease of access to the garden, gardening tools and supplies, it is equally important to make sure that the means of access from the home to the yard and/or garden is safe and accessible. Here are a few things to look for:
- Check stairs for any cracks, disrepair or evidence of them detaching from the structure as these could become trip hazards if not tended to
- Make sure there are railings on stairs and that, if railings are already present, they are sturdy and secure to provide proper support
- Secure any loose bricks or stones in the exterior walkways as these could also become trip hazards
- Ensure that doorways are clear and free from any obstructions
- If you or someone you love is having trouble in getting and out of the home, assess if grab rails or enhanced mobility options are required
ABC Home Healthcare Professionals has been keeping older adults living safely and independently in their homes for over 15 years and we continue to strive to provide the best at-home care experience possible for our clients and their families. One of the premier services we offer is In-Home Modifications whereby one of our licensed ABC contractors will come to your home to install grab rails, handicap ramps etc. to help make the home more accessible for you or your loved one. If you want to “spring” off to a good start this season, give us a call today at 781-245-1880 to schedule your home safety assessment!