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Outside the house

A few simple processes and assistive products will help you enjoy getting outside and into the garden. You can see some suggestions to help you outside your house below.

Questions to consider:

  • Do you wear well-fitted, low heel shoes with a non-slip sole?
  • Do you have sturdy, properly fitted handrails by the stairs and at entrances to your home?
  • Can you clearly see the edges of your steps? Do your steps have a non-slip surface on them?
  • Do you use a key turner? Could this make unlocking your doors easier? 

Plan

When deciding what to plant in your garden, choose low maintenance native plants and consider installing a watering system. Hydroponic gardens reduce the need for watering or heavy digging. Plan to install a pulley system to adjust the height of hanging baskets.

Prepare

Prepare your body for working in the garden by doing some gentle warm up exercises and simple stretches. Make sure you can see your way around by installing a high wattage bulb to maximise light in dark spaces.

Pace

Set your reticulation on a timer to reduce the need to drag a hose or lift a heavy watering can. Consider turning your garden into a ‘no dig garden’ made from organic material, compost, newspaper and lucerne hay.

Posture

Stepping backwards and forwards when using a weeder or hoe is safer than reaching and pushing using your arms and back. Set up your garden storage areas so that everything is within easy reach (waist to shoulder height) so you don’t have to bend down or stand on tip toes. Potted plants can be low maintenance and if on wheels, can be easily moved. 

Simple solutions

Replace handles and latches

Replacing small latches or handles on cupboards, drawers and doors with a lever or D-shape handle makes them easier to use. Try putting a magnetic door latch on your front and back door to hold them open while you’re going in and out.

Use assistive products

Using garden tools with ergonomic long handles such as pruners, cutters, and trowels and installing raised garden beds reduces the strain on your joints, the need to bend or having to get down low. 

Make gardening easier

Try using a gardening trolley and stool with a kneeling board so you can keep the tools you need with you and sit or kneel comfortably to garden.

Try maintenance tricks 

Try simple tricks like installing gutter protection to stop leaves collecting. Another great trick if you have stripped a screw or your screwdriver is too small, is to place a rubber band over the tip of the screwdriver to provide the extra traction you need to turn the screw.

Find out how to age your way

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