NORMAN — Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend some good ergonomic gardening gear for seniors? My 72-year-old mother loves to work in the garden but has been plagued by various gardening injuries this year.
— Looking for Solutions
There’s no doubt that gardening can be tough on an aging body. Garden work often requires a lot of repetitive stooping, squatting, kneeling, gripping and lifting, which can lead to back and knee pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and various other injuries.
To help make your mom’s gardening chores a little easer is a slew of new and improved gardening gear that’s lightweight, comfortable to use, and ergonomically designed to help protect her body from the physical strains of gardening. Here are several that can help.
Gloves: There are a number of specially designed gloves that can improve your mom’s grip and protect her hands while she works. Two of the best are the “Atlas Nitrile Touch Garden Gloves” (available at amazon.com for under $6), which are coated with a flexible synthetic rubber. And the “ReliefGrip Gardening” gloves (bionicgloves.com, $35), that have extra padding in the palm and finger joints that can improve grip, and cause fewer calluses and blisters.
Digging tools: There are ergonomic tools that can help protect your mom’s wrists by reducing the bending and twisting wrist movement that often comes with digging and weeding.
Some good options include Radius Garden tools (radiusgarden.com), which make a variety of curved-handle hand tools (scooper, weeder, transplanter, cultivator and trowel) and shovels that run between $10 and $50. And Corona tools (coronatoolsusa.com), which makes the ComfortGEL and eGrip hand garden tools.
Another excellent product is the “Cobrahead Weeder and Cultivator” (cobrahead.com), an all-purpose digging and weeding tool that’s available in a short handle version for close up work for $25; and a long handle for standing work for $60.