Gardening safety tips for seniors

Gardening safety tips

n Protect your body by wearing gloves, sunscreen and layers of clothing. Wear a hat with a brim and good walking shoes. Remember, the ground may be uneven and balance is critical. Use a cane, shovel or tool for balance.

Use your wheelchair or other chair to sit when you garden.

n Use eye cover when you use a lightweight blower. Have an alert system or cell phone handy when you need help.

Use tools you can handle. Have a first aid kit handy.

n Know your limits and take breaks. Don't overdo it just because you feel good.

n Take necessary medications for allergies or arthritis.

Consult your doctor before you garden.

n Hydrate by sipping water throughout the day and especially when working outside.

n Do a safety check of the area where you select to garden.

Make sure there are no objects in your walkway. Use appropriate chairs or kneeling pads for planting, weeding or pruning.

n Use a gardening table and chair where you can sit and prepare plants and consider their arrangement.

Have everything you need, even the garbage bin, within reach.

n Garden with a friend or family member if possible. You may need assistance with heavy objects or an injury might occur. Make it a social event or go to a gardening event at a public garden.

-- Martha Boyce, executive director, Horticulture for Humanity