Spring has sprung and what better way for our elderly Mums and Dads to keep active than to get out and do some gardening!
Of course, we want to make sure the experience is a pleasurable one for our parents. To that end, here are some tips on how they can keep their bodies safe in the garden.
• Keep hydrated. Bring a water bottle out in the garden or take regular breaks to have a glass of water inside. Time flies when you are busy pulling weeds and tidying up the yard. If you haven’t had enough water then your risk of dehydration increases. Symptoms of dehydration include: muscle cramps, nausea, light-headedness and weakness. This can increase the risk of falling or injuring yourself in the garden.
• Keep all your garden tools in a safe place. Keep buckets, clippers and shovels in an easily accessible area that is out of your way. Leave the hose wound up in a reel so you are less likely to trip over it.
• Make sure you have the appropriate equipment. Weeding chairs help to take the pressure off your knees when kneeling and can act as a stool if you need a rest break. Equipment like a battery-operated blower is an easier and more efficient way to keep pathways neat and tidy, rather than using the broom.
• Be aware of your limits. Don’t attempt to lift anything too heavy from the ground without making sure you are capable of doing it safely. Get help if you need!
• Break up the tasks. Your body has a higher chance of getting sore spending prolonged time doing the same things – for example, digging. Leaning forward will put pressure on your lower back if you are in that position for long periods of time. Start with 20 minutes then change task to take the pressure off those joints before returning.
• If you live alone and have a personal alarm make sure you are wearing it in case anything goes wrong. If you don’t it may be worthwhile having your mobile or cordless phone in reach, particularly if you plan on spending several hours outside and something unexpected occurs, causing you pain or unease.
Most importantly, if you (or your elderly Mum or Dad) love gardening, getting older does not mean you need to give it up! The Physio Co is here to keep you mobile, safe and happy – we can help you to keep doing the things you love.
If you’d like to discuss having a physiotherapy assessment to provide some tailored advice, our friendly Client Care team would love to help.