Millions of people all over the world enjoy going out into their garden and tending to the plants, trees and lawns. There is something soothing about maintaining your own garden – the smells of the various flowers, the feel of the moist air on your skin from a freshly watered lawn, the sight of all the different colors. Also, the fact that most gardening takes place during fine weather means that the gardener gets a healthy dose of Vitamin D from the sunlight and we all definitely feel much better about ourselves when basking in the warmth of the sun.
However, as with most things in life, there are some risks to spending time with your flowers – especially if you are an elder with medical conditions or disabilities.
We have mentioned already about being outside in the sun, and we all know the risks there. Sunburn, dehydration or a heat related illness will ruin your fun. Always put sun cream on and wear a hat. Drink plenty of fluids to fend off dehydration. Finally, if it is a hot day don’t push yourself. Make sure you take plenty of breaks in a nice cool spot so you don’t end up being a casualty of the heat.
Another thing to watch out for are bees and wasps. These insects play an important part in the ecology of your garden but should you get stung then you could find out you are allergic to them. A severe allergic reaction is called ‘anaphylaxis shock’ and it is a very very dangerous condition. Hopefully you are aware whether or not you suffer from sting allergies. If not then there are tests you can have.
Finally, due to the physical nature of gardening you have to make sure you don’t cause any joint or muscle injuries. Gardening involves kneeling down and standing many times, carrying various weights on uneven surfaces, there are things to trip over, etc. Don’t do more than you are physically capable of. If you are receiving home care then having your caregiver help you is a safe way to enjoy the garden.