Sara Willey a Family Nurse Practitioner at Bucksport Regional Health Center is here for this week’s Senior Watch to talk about gardening with arthritis….
Two-thirds of gardeners are over the age of 45.
Bucksport Regional Health Center is holding their monthly Health Talk Tuesday, which is the third Tuesday of the month, on gardening, June 21, at 1:30 and again at 6:30.
Bucksport Regional Health Center is located at 110 Broadway, Bucksport.
Health Talk Tuesday is free to the public.
Here are some tips to garden safely:
Plan Ahead- the garden itself, the physical tasks necessary to complete it and most importantly, plan ahead for your physical limitations
Ask for help for tasks you know will be difficult for you- such as heavy lifting
Buy or borrow tools that are geared towards your limitations, such as a garden stool to sit on and reduce the load on your knees and hips; Gloves to help you grip more easily; rubber grips on tools to reduce strain on your knuckles (you can buy special tools already made this way, or you can tightly wrap pipe insulation around the handles to make them thicker and easier to handle if you don’t want to replace the tools your already own); knee pads also provide great protection
Changing tasks regularly is really important in order to reduce repeated strain on the same joint (i.e.: don’t sit too long as that may make you stiff and cause difficulty when you go to stand up)
Work at waist level to prevent bending and stooping- for example pot plants at a work table or build a raised garden bed
Don’t try to complete all your tasks at once- spread them out over the course of days and weeks instead of trying to complete them all in one weekend.
Pace yourself and rest when needed- listen to your body
As always, talk with your primary care provider about the best ways to manage your arthritis so that you can continue to garden for years to come
For more information you can contact the health center at http://www.bucksportrhc.com or by calling 469-7371