Easy to Use Garden Tools for Seniors
Combating Cabin Fever: My Weapon of Choice
I’m 73 years old now, and my husband is 76. Yesterday we went out into the woods surrounding our house and cut up some firewood from a tree that had fallen in the woods.
This wasn’t a necessity. We didn’t have to cut wood to survive here. We have central heat and air, or we could have called someone to deliver us a load of wood. But most of the land surrounding our home is wooded and there are almost always fallen limbs or trees that can be cut up for firewood.
The weather was bright and sunny, if a little chilly. We are still healthy and active, and the exercise was good for us. And the fireplace is very pleasant on these cold, snowy days.
What made this task much easier for us was our very reliable, small, light-weight, battery-operated chain saw. It’s a Greenworks with a 40V Lithium battery. Even though this saw is relatively small and light weight, it has a remarkable amount of power. It is not as powerful as a larger, gas-powered chainsaw, but is sufficient for the type of sawing we do around our property.
Besides its light weight, what also makes this saw easy for me to use is its ease of starting. I have been using a chain saw for years now, but I always had difficulty starting a gas powered saw and had to depend on my husband to start it for me. Once the battery is fully charged, all I have to do with this saw is pull a switch.
The only problem we have with this saw is that it must be filled with oil often. If using it for an extended period of time, this could be a real problem. We don’t usually spend that much time at one time, and are ready for a break when the saw needs to be refilled with oil but this could be a problem if you had a lot of wood to cut.
See How This Great Little Tool Works
The Next Tool I Hope to Purchase
Other Easy-to-Use Tools We Like
I also often had difficulty starting grass trimmers, so we have been using the battery operated models of those for years now. They are not as powerful as the gas powered models, but easier to start and lighter weight. One charge on a battery does not last as long as a tank of gas, but I don’t mind taking breaks while doing yard work.
The next battery operated tool I want to get is a pole saw. Maybe I’ll save enough money by not buying loads of wood that I can purchase one of those soon. It’s on my wish list.
Besides the battery operated pole saw, a couple of tools we hope to purchase are a wheelbarrow that makes loading and hauling large loads easier and a small, battery powered tiller.
Another tool that makes the work easier around our place is our automatically retracting hose reel. All you have to do is push a button on this hose reel and it retracts for you. That has always been one of my least favorite gardening chores. Not only is the hose automatically retracted but the water in the hose can be caught as the hose is retracting and used to water the garden.
Manual Log Splitter
A Favorite Non-Battery Operated Tool
Another tool we own that has been easy for both of us to use is a manual log splitter. I’ve just never had the power to swing an ax and split a log. My husband can do this, but at his age there is always a danger of tearing a rotator cuff.
Years ago, when I was still just dreaming of this place in the country, I saw an ad for a manual log splitter. In the ad, there was a testimonial from a woman who was 60 years old who said this tool was very easy for her to use.
That manual log splitter was the first gift my husband gave me after we met and he joined me to live here in our woods. (I happened to mention the ad I had seen just before Christmas.)
Bionic Garden Gloves--On My Wish List
A List of Other Tools for Seniors We Have Not Tried Out Yet
- Bionic Garden Gloves, granted the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease of Use Commendation, are designed with padding for extra comfort and improved grip strength. I don’t suffer from arthritis in my hands, but I’d still like to try these out. They just sound cool. And I think they’d go really well with my floppy garden hat.
- Besides gloves, there are also garden tools designed to help reduce wrist and hand pain. Some of the brand names of these are Fist Grip Garden Tools, Hound Dog Garden Tools, and Radius Garden Tools. I think the Hound Dog Garden Tools would be go well with the Bionic Garden Gloves—and my floppy garden hat.
- One of the frustrating things about aging is the increasing difficulty of getting up once you are down in a kneeling or sitting position. The Tractor Scoot is designed to help with this problem since it allows you to sit comfortably while gardening and steer around garden beds without having to get up.
- Raised beds, window boxes, hanging baskets with pulleys to raise and lower, or deck railing boxes offer alternative gardening opportunities for those with increasing difficulty in moving.
Taking It All In
Finally, one of the most important garden devices is a place in the shade to admire all of your handiwork--a hammock under a shade tree, or perhaps some sturdily built gliders like these we bought from our local Mennonite craftsman. And how about some John Prine music to round out a perfect day. I've taught this song to all of our granddaughters. It's a frequent refrain around here.
Since one of my loves of life is to be out with nature, any tool that I find that makes pursuing this activity for as long as possible will be welcomed. I’m certainly a big fan of the battery operated tools that we own that make starting and maintaining our tools so much easier.