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
Dear Looking: 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.
Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.
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.
Bahco and Corona also make a nice line of ergonomic pruning tools and handsaws that you can see at bahcostore.com or coronatoolsusa.com.
Some good companies that make these products include Water Right Inc. (waterrightinc.com), which makes a variety of super lightweight garden and coil hoses; the DIG Corp. (digcorp.com), which makes convenient drip irrigation kits and micro sprinkler kits; and Suncast (suncast.com), the leading maker of self-winding hose reels and hose carts.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of "The Savvy Senior" book.