There are those that tend to think of gardening and landscape design are activities that are mainly undertaken by those within an older age group but that is more myth than truth. Yes, there are many seniors who love gardening, but there are also thousands, if not millions of landscapers and gardening enthusiasts across just about every age group.
Whilst that is most certainly a positive, it can lead to one specific problem, and that relates to landscape designs for older people. What we mean by that is the creation of a landscape design where the elements within it make allowances for some of the problems which some older people may encounter.
By problems, we are talking about mobility and safety issues, for example, and ensuring that whether you are a senior and designing your garden for yourself, or you are a landscape designer, designing for an older client, that what you create takes these into account. If you are unsure about what ways you can make your landscape design seniors friendly, here are some ideas you can consider.
Make Movement Easy And Safe
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you would be amazed how many landscape designs we see where a senior has to navigate around a multitude of obstacles. Walkways should be as wide as possible and there should be no objects or features, such as small plant boxes, which present a trip hazard or make any walkway more like an obstacle course.
Select Plants That Are Low-Maintenance
If you have ever spent a day or more looking after and maintaining your plants you will know that it is not exactly an effort-free exercise. In addition, the more plants you have that need frequent maintenance the more difficult it becomes. For these reasons when you are creating a landscape design for someone who is elderly, choose plants that are low-maintenance and do not require constant attention.
Use Lighting Wisely
For those who are older, their eyesight may not be as good as it would have been 20 or 30 years ago and that is particularly so when there is poor or little light available. That is why you should install adequate and appropriate lighting especially in those areas where they may be walking. The use of motion sensors to activate the lighting is an excellent way to ensure that power usage is kept to a minimum.
Use Ramps If Necessary
We have already mentioned walkways, but not every senior will be able to walk freely around their garden. Some may be so frail that they need a walking stick, a walking frame, or even a wheelchair to move around. If this is the case then utilising ramps in order to make all areas of their garden accessible, especially those on different levels, is strongly advised.
Install Handrails Where Appropriate
There will be seniors who do not need to use walking aids such as a stick or a frame, but who may occasionally be unsteady on their feet when they are walking. This is why installing handrails on pathways and areas where there might be an incline or simply where they might be walking the most often, will give them a chance to steady themselves, and if needed, to take a short rest whilst leaning against it.