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Gardening after stroke

I used to be an avid gardener but unfortunately I had a stroke 3 years ago. I still weed when the weather is ok, but now have to do a lot of supervising, I  have a tremor on my right hand so I cannot prune and weed with my left hand. Just wondering if any other gardeners have coped with serious illness and still get out in their gardens.



  • LesleyKLesleyK Posts: 4,029

    Hello Horlicks and welcome to the forum.  Sorry to hear of you health problems, but pleased that you are able to do a bit to keep you sane, interested, active and a good supervisorimage.  

    I'm sure there are other people on here who are overcoming health issues who will give you first hand accounts of how they manage.  I just ache - everywhere - when I've been gardening.  

    Best of luck and carry onimage.

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,995

    You're an inspiration for us 'able body' types.  Something like that would set most people back.. it's fantastic you're out there still doing what you're able despite your troubles.  

    What sort of things have you found helpful in your situation?

    Utah, USA.
  • Hi Horlicks

    my husband also suffered a stroke 3 years ago . before then was an avid gardener growing veg at our allotment. he is a full time wheelchair user now and has lost the use of his left side . I recently purchased some long handled easy grip gardening tools which have a support cuff to steady them . weve also had to raise the beds .then he can reach the plants from his wheelchair .we are determined to try different ways of still being able to enjoy our allotment although with his limitations he does find it very frustrating . I hope you continue to enjoy your garden and wish you all the best in your efforts .kind regards .

  • HorlicksHorlicks Posts: 50

    I now sit on my backside!  Am able to weed with a long handled fork and can fortunately move myself backwards and forwards with my left hand. I sit on a long piece of plastic which is easier as it helps me to lift and slide much easier. The weather plays a vital part of my gardening now. It has to be dry and reasonably warm! I am unable to stand and sit on my own now so the OH has to be within shouting distance. I used to do 90pc of the gardening but my O/H has taken over considerably. He loves dahlias so has made a bed for those to look after himself. I look after my pots myself. I can deadhead my pansies using my fingers! I go to keep fit and balance twice a week which is helping to strengthen my right side and improve my balance.  I must say a couple of hours weeding does me the world of good, out in the fresh air and a walk round (with my stick). Just gave to get used to living with a few annual weeds!

  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    Didn't Monty have a stroke about 5 years ago?  He's made very good recovery.  Of course every person and every stroke is different. I'm glad you are still out there.  It's good for all of us--especially mentally!

  • richhondacrichhondac Posts: 222
    I took ill two years ago and gardening has really helped me get a it better
  • HorlicksHorlicks Posts: 50

    Thanks for all the good wishes. It's pouring with rain today and windy. A keep fit day with the boys and girls at the leisure centre, with a coffee and chat afterwards. Hope those sweet peas are ok, left out all night for the first time!

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    Morning Horlicks. There are several of us on here with varying different issues: for instance I have weakness down my left side, a badly damaged spine, and a memory issue which makes things rather more complicated (does result in nice surprisees when bulbs appear indifferent pots though!)

    All I can suggest is look at what you want from your garden: if it is easier to have pots so you don't need to bend over or stretch or can arrange from the safety of a chair and table and have someone else put in the final location,  or even raised beds to save you struggling to get up and down, than play with ideas. Visit other gardens and imagine yourself working there and see if anything sparks as a good idea. 

  • Blue DragonBlue Dragon Posts: 74

    I have health issues too. I have a condition known as M.E. (an auto-immune disease), meaning I have a lot of chronic pain and weakness in my joints and muscles. I also have a weak back and so I'm not meant to do any heavy lifting etc. I get tired very easy and need to know when to quit so I don't make myself ill. I have a similar plan to Pauline 7, where I'll do something for an hour or so and then stop to feel how I'm doing. It can be very frustrating 'cause I'm a determined kind of person that wants to finish a job once started, but it's just not possible for me these days.

    Despite being 26, I also now have psyatic arthritis, which effects mainly my hips, knees and fingers, but is spreading into my neck and back. My fingers can swell so much that the skin will start to crack and bleed. My hip has been bad for years and is often painful to walk on and I can't stand my weight on it, so end up standing a bit like a Crane : /

    I use a kneeling mat for low jobs, either to kneel or sit on, a stool for sitting and I just take it slow and steady if I need to stand (for digging etc), and take plenty of little breaks. And I never stay in one position for too long, I keep shifting. Little and as often as I can, but these days it has to be good weather for me too.

    I do what I can when I can, and I guess that's probably the same for everyone, just not as limited.

    If you can, do. And if you can't, try to find another way : )

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,336
    Hello Horlicks

    Have just picked up this thread. Sorry to hear of your (& all other peeps) health issues.

    Would you find adapted tools a help? I found this website (dont know how good it is)

    which seems to offer general advice & tools & I think there are several others out there if you Google 'disabled gardening' (sorry, I know that's not a very PC way of putting it image )

    Can your OT or The Stroke Association offer any helpful suggestions?
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
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