Gardening tools for handicapped

The act of gardening offers many benefits to our planet as well as its vast population. It is an activity that connects us to Mother Earth, provides us with both prismatic environments and nutritious goods, and is often a source of relaxation for most. In sum, gardening positively affects our overall well-being, both inside and out. However, the pastime, though very beneficial, requires a lot of bending over, pulling and other very physical movements, thus making it difficult for people with disabilities. So, I “dug around” (haha!) searching for some resources that may be helpful for people with disabilities.

Here are 8 gardening tools to help simplify gardening:

1. Deluxe Tractor Scoot:

This is ideal for individuals who have back problems or struggle getting low. The Scoot by The Gardener’s Supply allows individuals to work from a seated position thus easing their back and knees. The newer deluxe version is made more comfortable and easier to use featuring a longer handle allowing users to pull it like a wagon. Once the handle is retracted, it locks in an upright position to serve as a sturdy handhold. The heavy-duty Scoot includes pneumatic tires and a swiveling, height-adjustable seat. It also features a basket to hold plants in, and beneath the seat is a tray where tools can be stored conveniently.

2. Ergonomic Trowel:

Gardening often strains an individual’s’ wrists and hands, ultimately causing fatigue and stress. The Radius Hand Trowel features a comfortable, ergonomic hand grip to offer more leverage; it also includes an aluminum blade that is both strong and very light.

3. Ergonomic Cultivator:

The ergonomic cultivator is similar to the trowel above with similar ergonomic handle to reduce the strain on one’s wrists. It is a precision tool that helps work in tight areas. It is also very light and incredibly strong making it easier to pull and push as needed.

4. Collapsible Garden Bucket:

Garden buckets are used for holding clippings while walking around the garden; they may also be used to hold pulled weeds, soil, fertilizers, plants, or tools. In order to make gardening easier, garden buckets should be light and durable. If you are an avid gardener, a collapsible bucket may be ideal. It is light, durable, and can be collapsed for easier storage.

5. Long Weed Grabber:

Pulling weeds is tedious and straining for individuals both with or without disabilities. Fortunately, there are several handy tools such as the Fiskars Uproot Weed Remover to simplify this task. Its 40″ long handle makes weeding easier for anyone who has trouble bending over or kneeling. It features a lightweight, aluminum shaft and an easy-eject mechanism on the handle, eliminating any need for bending over.

6. Rake with adjustable tines:

Rakes come in handy for all sorts of things like grading soil for seed beds and planting, or lifting and clearing debris from lawns and more. The standard leaf rake has a wide head perfect for clearing leaves from the lawn, but its large fan of tines doesn’t help in smaller areas. A rake with adjustable tines can accomplish several lawn tasks, from raking leaves to leveling smaller plant beds.

7. Extendable Lopper:

Yet another tedious task includes cutting down branches. Oftentimes the branches are too high making them unattainable without the use of a ladder (which is obviously a bad idea for someone with a disability.) Extendable loppers, such as the Fiskars Extendable Handles Bypass Lopper, offer an extension between 24.5 to 37 inches, making those unreachable places, reachable. This particular lopper offers a twist-lock mechanism making it easy to lock the blades while reaching. It also features cushioned grips making it easier to hold, and a shock-absorbing bumper for a more comfortable grip.

8. Bright Duct Tape:

Duct tape is an affordable tool with a myriad of possibilities. Further, bright duct tape is especially useful for individuals with low-vision who love to garden. Oftentimes gardening tools can blend in on the ground making them hard to find, becoming a potential hazard for stepping and more. A simple solution for this problem involves wrapping the handle of a tool with fluorescent duct tape.

Adaptive Gardening Tools: Tools That Make Gardening With Limitations Easy

Gardening is a healthy and fun hobby for any person, including those with physical disabilities. Gardeners with limitations can still enjoy planting and growing their own crops and brighten their home interior with interesting selections. Those with mobility problems can use adaptive garden tools to help them successfully tend their landscape. The industry is responding by making garden tools easier to use.

Adaptive Gardening at Home

There is no reason why a person with some limitations cannot enjoy gardening. The hobby is a healthy way to get moderate exercise, enjoy the outdoors and engage in an activity that produces pride and a sense of accomplishment. Adaptive gardening utilizes new, innovative lightweight tools for disabled persons.

Many garden tools can be adapted at home to save you money and allow you to use a favorite item with ease. For instance, if you have trouble bending to plant your garden, mix seed in a jar with small holes punched in the lid and sprinkle them on the soil from a standing position. You can also mix them in gelatin blocks and allow the sun to melt them into the ground.

Simple additions of old broom handles or PVC pipe to existing tools will extend your reach. You can also use bike tape or foam to increase grips on handles or help conform to a prosthetic limb.

Making garden tools easier to use in the home is relatively easy and only limited by your imagination.

Adaptive Garden Tools

The health benefits of fresh air, new sites and sounds and moderate exercise are all found in gardening. Those gardening with limitations can experience the same benefits if they use adaptive garden tools.

Tools for disabled gardeners can also be found online and in flower and garden centers. Some examples of adaptive garden tools are attachable extension rods, quick release tools, cushioned handles and a variety of “grabbers.”

A garden seat with wheels makes mobility easier for some gardeners, providing movement assistance on firm soil and paths.

Arm cuffs go around your forearm and attach to a variety of tools to help extend reach and increase leverage and grip. The tools available for attachment are trowels, forks and cultivators.

Gardening with Limitations

Gardeners with mobility problems may find that a garden seat is a valuable tool. A raised table garden bed also makes reaching the plants easier on some gardeners. Make a plan to ensure that the final design will be something you can care for with your specific limitations.

A container garden is an excellent way to enjoy gardening and may be done indoors or on your patio. Create a system where you can spend shorter sessions working when gardening with limitations. Listen to your body and use adaptive garden tools to make projects safe and accessible.

Preparation can go a long way to a lifelong enjoyment of your garden, no matter what your limitations may be. Get help, if necessary, putting in paths, seating areas for resting and a good irrigation or drip system.

As a disabled gardener, I thought finding products I can use should be easy – but how wrong could I be? Products are hard to locate, and if you are lucky enough to find some, they are extremely overpriced. Ordinary tools can be too heavy, too big and unusable for me. Companies need a disabled gardening advisor at the design stage. Products that are accessible are often better, and will work equally well for all gardeners. But I have realised that a lot of garden tools are already disabled-gardener friendly, with a little creative thinking and a few tweaks.

The first product I tested was the SeedSava designed by engineer John Hoare to make his life easier. Although it’s not specifically designed with disability in mind, it was a huge boon to me and has encouraged me to have a bigger veg garden this year. Seed sowing has always been a struggle for me: only having two fingers and very short arms I had a little panic initially as I thought I wouldn’t be able to press the release lever and remove the hopper at the same time, but it was a simple task that posed no problem. The SeedSava is lightweight, making it easy to carry around the garden. It comes with four hoppers in different colours, each with different-sized holes, so you can sow a wide variety of seeds, veg and flowers. The bright colours would also be useful for people with impaired vision. It’s a great tool that makes sowing fun and easy, with less seed waste and much less need for thinning out: and at £17.50 (£20 with P&P) it is not overpriced, either.

Niki tests a digging tool made by Peta. Photograph: Niki Preston

Digging with one hand or reaching to the back of raised beds to get those pesky weeds has been left to my husband James in the past. So I tried these accessible tools by PETA-uk designed for disabled people after the designer Lionel Crockett realised that such products were few and far between. The Peta tools have given me a new lease of digging life. The ergonomic handle and excellent crutch-style arm cuff aid stability, and that little bit of extra reach for me means I can go further to get hold of weeds. The handles can be bought separately, meaning you can utilise tools you may already have. James also gave these a try; he does not have a disability but the angle of the handle reduces any twisting action, which reduces stress on your wrists.

Niki tries out the Activehands gripping aid. Photograph: Niki Preston

Then I stumbled across a great device called Activehands. These gripping aids were born out of the frustration their designer Rob Smith felt when he was partially paralysed after a spinal cord injury. Initially, Rob thought I may not get on with Activehands, as they are designed to pull your fingers and hand into a stronger gripping position, but creative as ever, I’ve managed with a few alterations to make these work brilliantly for me. It was as if I had two hands; for the first time ever I could have a garden tool in my left hand, which is just a short arm with no hand at all. I had to wear the right-handed aid on my left arm as I couldn’t grab the Velcro to fasten it as it was back to front for me. Once I had done that, I was able to attach my tools to the front Velcro piece. Digging and planting is now a real treat with two hands.

• Read more from garden writer Niki Preston on her blog, News From the Potting Shed

Gardening

Gardening Aids for the disabled or elderly. This section features adapted trowels, forks, hoes and other long handled tools. Our aids put the fun back into gardening.

22 Items

Sort ByShow per page


  • Easi-Grip Arm Support Cuff

    This support cuff is compatible with any tool in the Easi-Grip range.

    Excl. Tax: £5.99 ( £7.19 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy


  • Easi-Grip Garden Cultivator

    This cultivator has the special ‘Easi-Grip’ handle, making it comfortable and easier to use than standard gardening tools.

    Excl. Tax: £14.99 ( £17.99 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy


  • Easi-Grip Garden Fork

    Specially designed to take the strain out of gardening

    Excl. Tax: £14.99 ( £17.99 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy


  • Easi-Grip Garden Trowel

    Digging garden trowel is much easier than with a standard garden tool.

    Excl. Tax: £14.99 ( £17.99 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy


  • Garden Kneeler

    Simple but effective device to assist with everyday gardening tasks.

    Excl. Tax: £27.99 ( £33.59 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy


  • Long Reach Cultivator

    A long handled gardening tool to allow use whilst in a seated position if required.

    Price From: Excl. Tax: £29.99 ( £35.99 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy


  • Long Reach Hoe

    A long reach garden hoe with ergonomic handle to allow for easier gardening.

    Price From: Excl. Tax: £29.99 ( £35.99 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Long Reach Fork

    A gardening fork with a long stem to allow for use without bending over or from a seated position.

    Price From: Excl. Tax: £29.99 ( £35.99 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Long Reach Trowel

    A long reach gardening trowel for use when bending down is difficult.

    Price From: Excl. Tax: £29.99 ( £35.99 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Add-On Handles (pack of two)

    Can be fitted to regular garden tools to convert to ergonomic grip.

    Excl. Tax: £17.99 ( £21.59 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Set of 4 Easi-Grip Long Reach Tools

    A set of four gardening tools with extra long stems and pistol-grip handles.

    Excl. Tax: £99.99 ( £119.99 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Add On Handles

    This add-on handles enable work to be carried out in a more comfortable position.

    Excl. Tax: £27.90 ( £33.48 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Arm Support Cuff

    The support enables the full strength of the forearm to be used.

    Excl. Tax: £12.75 ( £15.30 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Kneeling Aid for Gardening

    This simple aid makes it easier to bend down to weed the garden.

    Excl. Tax: £31.99 ( £38.39 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Easi-Grip Long Reach Garden Tools

    The long shafts of these garden tools make it possible to do your gardening from a seated or standing position.

    Price From: Excl. Tax: £47.99 ( £57.59 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Easi-Grip Garden Tools with Arm Support Cuff

    These garden tools have an innovative design which is perfect for those with reduced grip strength or wrist flexibility.

    Excl. Tax: £21.99 ( £26.39 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Rolling Garden Seat

    A gardening seat that has four large wheels to allow movement.

    Excl. Tax: £45.99 ( £55.19 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Ergonomic Scooper

    This garden scooper has an easy to grip handle.

    Excl. Tax: £22.96 ( £27.55 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Ergonomic Trowel

    This garden trowel has a thick, easy to grip handle.

    Excl. Tax: £18.16 ( £21.79 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Ergonomic Cultivator

    This garden cultivator tool is designed to be easy to grasp.

    Excl. Tax: £18.16 ( £21.79 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Ergonomic Hand Fork

    This garden fork has a thick, easy to grip handle.

    Excl. Tax: £20.65 ( £24.78 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

  • Ergonomic Bypass Style Pruner

    These pruners are adapted to make them easier to close.

    Excl. Tax: £25.27 ( £30.32 inc VAT ) More Info & Buy

When products are listed on our website we give them a rating. This is based on the standards a supplier meets and the quality of product information provided (see below).

Products have not been tested by DLF, therefore the rating is not an indication of the quality of the product. We encourage those who have used the products listed to post a review on Living made easy. Supplier standards

This rating focuses on the suppliers of the product. It takes into account criteria such as suppliers’ membership of a trade association with a code of practice that governs customer service.

We give greater weighting to trade associations with codes of practice which are approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) (e.g. the British Healthcare Trade Association’s Code of Practice) or governed by an audit scheme which meets the requirements of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) (e.g. The Telecare Services’ Association (TSA)).

The suppliers’ adherence to the ISO 13485 or 9000 series of standards is also considered and how recently they have updated their product details on our database. Information quality

This rating indicates the comprehensiveness of the information supplied to us on each product. This includes the provision of an image of the product, whether the supplier has told us who manufactures the product, whether the manufacturer has provided a description and whether a price has been provided. The rating is increased if the supplier regularly checks their product details on our self serve system, if they provide a web address to their website and their web address specific to the product.

We feel that those companies who provide the most information about their products should be rewarded for their transparency. We particularly hope to encourage suppliers to be more up-front about their pricing.

Assistive Devices and Tools for People with Disabilities

For many adults with disabilities, the common, everyday tasks that most of us perform without a second thought present difficulties and challenges.

To relieve some of these struggles, there are assistive devices and tools that can help people with disabilities perform routine tasks. Some of the assistive devices that we commonly see and think of include mobility devices such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, crutches, and prosthetic devices. Also common are hearing aids, hearing implants, and wheelchair ramps.

There are, however, many other devices and technologies available that can make the things we do each day much easier for someone with a disability.

Some of the assistive devices and tools that are available for people with disabilities include:

Cognitive aids

Cognitive aids are devices that help people who struggle with memory, attention, or other challenges that affect their thinking skills. Smartphones and smartwatches such as the Apple Watch can provide assistance for those who have visual, hearing, physical, or intellectual disabilities. Built-in programs on these devices, such as timers, help disabled individuals to stay on their daily schedule and remind them to take medications, eat, exercise, go to appointments, and other things they may have trouble remembering. Voice-to-text software on smartwatches can also help a disabled person with communication.

Computer software and hardware

Computer software and hardware have done so much for those with disabilities. There are numerous technological devices and programs readily available to help with those with physical, intellectual, speech, hearing, and vision impairments. These include voice recognition programs, screen readers, and screen enlargement applications to help people with mobility and sensory impairments use computers and mobile devices. Closed captioning technology also allows people with hearing problems to watch movies, television programs, and other digital media.

Some specific devices and applications include:

Talkitt – Talkitt is an innovative application to help people with speech and language disorders to communicate. Talkitt translates unintelligible pronunciation into understandable speech. It works by learning the user’s speech patterns, creating a personal speech dictionary, and identifying, recognizing, and translating the person’s speech so the individual is more easily understood.

Open Sesame – Mobile phones have become a common need for everyone, including people with disabilities. Millions of people have limited use of their hands, which prevents them from doing activities that most of us take for granted, and regular phones are not equipped for the needs of people with limited mobility. Open Sesame uses the front-facing camera of any Android device to track head movement and unlock a touch-free smartphone.

assist-Mi -assist-Mi is an app that offers comprehensive assistance to disabled users on the go, empowering them to have greater independence while accessing everyday services. It uses location-based technologies and two-way messaging to connect disabled people with service providers and caregivers at the touch of a button.

Google Home and Amazon Echo and Alexa – Devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo and Alexa can make the lives of people with disabilities a little bit easier by taking over the technology controls in a household. Users can employ voice-commands to control things such as music, lights, weather reports, and even updating digital calendars – all of which can be challenging for those with disabilities.

Tools

Practical tools which can help people with disabilities complete everyday tasks include devices which help with reading and learning, such as automatic page turners, book holders, and adapted pencil grips; adaptive switches and utensils to allow those with limited motor skills to eat, play games, and participate in other activities; devices and features that help with performing tasks such as cooking, dressing, and grooming; and specialized handles and grips.

Specific tools for helping with everyday tasks include:

Liftware – Liftware is a brand of stabilizing and leveling handles and attachments designed to help people with hand tremors or limited hand and arm mobility retain dignity, confidence, and independence. Liftware stabilizes up to 70% of the motion and helps reduce spills.

Lucy 4 Keyboard – Lucy is a hands-free keyboard designed especially for people with limited or no hand function. It is operated by a small laser lamp which is usually fixed on a pair of glasses and controlled with head movement, although it can also be controlled manually. When the laser beam is pointed at the letters on the Lucy panel, the key is activated without having to push anything.

iRobot Home Robots – iRobot’s series of home robots are very helpful for people who cannot easily clean their homes with traditional equipment. These robots use localized navigation to clean their environments thoroughly.

Good Grips Button Hook – The Good Grips Button Hook is an easy-to-use dressing aid that is great for people with limited hand mobility or weak hand strength. The cushioned handle is comfortable to grip and easy to use for quick buttoning.

Vive Health Foam Tube Grips – Vive foam tube grips can be attached to toothbrushes, hairbrushes, eating utensils, and writing utensils. They provide a wide, secure grip for unsteady hands or for those with weak hand strength or limited hand mobility. The soft, non-slip foam can be trimmed to any size, making it very versatile.

One-Handed Can Openers – Aidacare offers a range of one-handed can openers to simplify the task of opening cans for those with the use of only one hand or who have reduced grip or hand strength. By locking into place for easy use with a single hand, they allow users to easily open cans with minimal effort, reducing frustration and strain and preventing injury while affording the user more independence in the kitchen.

Carex Sock Aid – The Carex Sock Aid is ideal for helping those who have trouble bending and reaching to put their socks on. It grips the sock so the user can easily slide it over the foot and includes large loop handles that provide additional support for those with a weakened grip.

Adaptive Shoes and Clothing – Zappos.com carries a wide range of adaptive shoes and clothing designed for disabled individuals, including sensory-friendly clothing, clothing with magnet closures, orthotic-friendly shoes, and easy on/off shoes.

Shower Accessories – Shower accessories like grab bars, handheld shower heads, and shower chairs help people with disabilities to care for themselves and maintain independence, health, and hygiene.

Mobility devices

For many people with disabilities, mobility issues are a major concern. Through technology, the creation of mobility aids like electric wheelchairs, lift vans, and rollators make it easier for disabled individuals to get around and be active. Walkers, canes, crutches, braces, prosthetic devices, and orthotic devices allow some people to be able to walk while some use manual or power wheelchairs or electric scooters. Ramps, grab bars, automatic doors, and wider doorways that accommodate wheelchairs can be used to modify a building to make it more accessible.

Other devices which aid with mobility:

Stair lifts – Stair lifts make your home fully accessible. Varieties include custom curved stair lifts, straight stair lifts, stair climbers, and outdoor stair lifts.

Lift chairs – Lift chairs can help a person go from sitting to standing, and safely lower to a sitting position, with the touch of a button. You can choose from a two-position, three-position, or an infinite-position lift chair, depending on the individual’s needs.

Gait trainers – Gait trainers are adaptive mobility equipment designed for a wide range of people with varying abilities. They provide support in learning to walk, maintaining momentum, and building muscle skills.

The Best Assistive Devices for People With Disabilities

Our day-to-day lives all have repetitious tasks and challenges. Thankfully, most of these are mundane; chores like cleaning the dishes, taking out the trash, personal hygiene and so forth. But for some wheelchair users, these mundane, but instrumental tasks of daily living are outright struggles that require time, patience and occasionally a little bit of help. Luckily, technology innovations continually progress, and alongside the advancements are a lot of unique assistive devices to give us that helping hand.

Slightly more than 6.8 million Americans with physical disabilities use assistive devices to help them become more independent and perform daily tasks they may have had trouble with before. A wheelchair van helps bring a newfound sense of freedom, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to assistive devices.

The most transformative technologies are still being refined, such as self-driving cars and prosthetic limbs powered by mind control, there are plenty of available assistive technologies for people with disabilities that can make life a little easier.

Here are a few of our favorites.

Assistive Computer Gadgets

Using a computer may not be easy if you have limited use of your hands or arms, but there are plenty of gadgets and accessibility options that help. If you’re using a touch screen computer or tablet, a few different companies make computer mounts that attach to your wheelchair and allow you to handle the device at any height you’re comfortable with. Many apps themselves will have accessibility options that refine the user experience specifically for people with disabilities. You also have standard options like voice-to-text typing, digital readers, oversized mice and keyboards, and eye-tracking computer systems that control the computer with your eye movements.

Cleaning Robots

Trying to clean the house when you sit in a wheelchair or have limited mobility is a pain. Using a vacuum efficiently when you’re in the chair is difficult, and vacuuming under chairs, beds or couches is nearly impossible without a few fancy attachments. Hiring a cleaning service is always an option—albeit, an expensive one. While there aren’t gadgets available to perform every cleaning task, there are a few that can take care of the basic jobs, so you can spend your time doing what you enjoy most. The most popular cleaning technologies include:

Vacuum Robot: This is the classic home-cleaning robot option. Most models work quite well on carpets and swerve their little dirt-munching bodies under every available surface. Newer models from a few brands even have sensors that detect what area of the house the cleaning bot has visited, so it won’t get stuck cleaning just one area. Most modern models also let you set a cleaning schedule, and a few fancier options even let you program the robot to return to its dock after cleaning and stay there until its next scheduled session.

Floor Mopping Robot: These ferocious scrubbers are nearly identical in operation to the vacuum robot, but they have a water reservoir to scrub clean your hardwood, linoleum or tile floors.

Personal Emergency Response System

This assistive technology for people with disabilities is a must-have — no matter what your level of mobility. Whether you live alone or have a caregiver or family member who helps you, this can you’re your life in the event of an emergency. These devices often come as a wearable pendant, bracelet or pin that you can clip onto clothes. Pressing a small button can alert the best person if you’re seriously injured or have any sort of emergency.

Smart Home Assistants

At-home digital assistants like Google Home and Amazon’s Echo can make your significantly more wireless and decrease the amount of time you spend fidgeting with your phone or computer. For people who have limited use of their arms or hands, this technology is surprisingly useful. You can talk with the virtual assistants like a real person and for the most part, they’ll respond like a normal person. The assistants can do handle routine tasks like making a calendar appointment and telling you the weather, to more sophisticated tasks like playing a particular song, ordering a product online or making movie recommendations.

Stair Climbing Power Chairs

About half of wheelchair users must use steps to enter or exit their home or work, and roughly the same number of people report struggling to enter or leave the home. Unfortunately, not every property is as handicap accessible as it should be. Wheelchair ramps might not get you where you need to go, or elevators may be out of service. These challenges put wheelchair users at the mercy of their environment and often require help from others.

Technology has changed this significantly.

Several companies and academic organizations have created power chairs that can literally climb stairs. Take this prototype by a group of university students in Zurich, Switzerland, as an example. The designers have developed a chair that uses tank-like treads and a Segway balance system to climb stairs in reverse, all while keeping the wheelchair user level and safe. They estimate the cost will be roughly comparable to a normal power chair, and give users unparalleled mobility.

Smart Watches

When people have disabilities, often times they need to stick to certain schedules when it comes to things like medication or exercises. Smart watches can synchronize with your smartphone and keep track of these schedules to automatically let you know when it’s time to do something – wherever you are. Plus, because they sync up with your phone, you can screen calls, emails and messages without having to fumble through your pockets or wheelchair pouches when you get a phone call or text.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *