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Sweeping and raking sitting down and from a wheelchair


Sweeping

Sweeping garden paths and paved areas keeps them clear and safe.  Sweep regularly, especially at leaf-fall, or when you’ve been weeding or doing other work.


Top tips to make sweeping easier

  •     Sweeping with long handled dustpan and brush
    To make sweeping as easy as possible from your chair or wheelchair, sweep towards you.
  • Reduce the amount of sweeping that you need to do by gathering up weeds as you go, or spread a plastic sheet on the ground when weeding or hedge cutting to collect the debris.
  • Replace your broom regularly to ensure it has good strong bristles or buy a broom with plastic or nylon bristles which are almost impossible to wear out.

Taking care

  • Sweeping can strain the arms and back, and it’s important to choose a broom of the right length and weight for you – some people who sit to garden use a light indoor broom but see what works best for you.
  • Always ‘warm up’ with a few gentle stretches and only work for short periods, to avoid strain.

Equipment and tools

  • Some people prefer to use a shorter ‘besom’ broom. This can be used more easily if you garden sitting down.

  • A long-handled dustpan and brush can take less effort to use and can mean less bending.
  • You can also reduce the need to bend by using a long-handled debris ‘grabber’ to collect up the sweepings. 
  • The lightest larger brooms are in the interchangeable head, multi-change ranges and have aluminium handles.

Have a look at the list of equipment and tools at the end of this page, after the information on raking.



Raking

Raking breaks up and levels the soil, helps to remove stones, and prepares the soil surface for planting and seed sowing. A garden rake with short, strong prongs is used for this job.

You also need to rake the lawn using a spring-tined lawn rake to clear ‘thatch’ – the build-up of dead grass and moss, etc, that can stifle the lawn. Leaf rakes, also with springy tines, are used to gather grass cuttings and leaves from the lawn. 


Top tips to make raking easier
      

  • Peta arm support and grip
    When raking soil, lift the rake towards the end of each sweep, this action will help break up the soil.
  • A fist grip and arm support can be fitted to a rake to help you to lift it and is useful if you use one hand. Choose a rake of the right length and weight for you to use comfortably sitting down and avoid excessive bending and strain.
  • If you need a shorter rake, the multi-change ranges offer various handle lengths that can be used with a rake head attachment. There are also
    Multi-change tools
    some very good children's rakes and other tools that are shorter length.
  • You can avoid having to rake your lawn by using a mower with a grass box. This will reduce the cuttings that collect on the lawn and reduce the need to rake the lawn to remove moss and thatch.


Taking care

  • Lifting, dropping and dragging the rake can jolt the arms and strain the back and it can take strength to draw the rake towards you. Raking can be surprisingly strenuous work so take lots of breaks.
  • Always ‘warm up’ with a few gentle stretches and only work for short periods, to avoid strain.


Equipment and tools

  •     Using a lightweight leaf rake
    If you need a shorter rake, there are various handle options in the multi-change ranges that can be used with a rake head attachment.

  • If you can use a low seat or kneeler, use a short hand rake at ground level.
  • An adjustable lawn rake can be used to gather up weeds or other debris, especially from a wheelchair.
  • The lightest rakes have plastic heads and aluminium handles. However, you may find it easier to use a rake with a heavier head as the weight helps to push it into the soil.
  • To save bending when collecting raked leaves, try a grab and lift rake that collects leaves as you go.
  • The garden gripper is a long-handled grabbing tool for picking up small amounts of hard-to-reach debris in the garden.  It is used with one hand.  


Short-handled 'witches' broom  

Short-handled 'witches' broom

This child's version of a classic-style broom is ideal if you sit to garden or need a shorter handle length.

Find out more about short-handled 'witches' broom


Long-handled dustpan and brush  

Long-handled dustpan and brush

This version of the standard household tool has long handles on the dustpan and the brush to save you bending, or for use when sitting down to garden.

Find out more about long-handled dustpan and brush


Small hand rake  

Small hand rake

Light and easy to handle, this rake tool head fits on different length handles, or a telescopic handle, and is ideal if you sit or stand to garden.

Find out more about small hand rake


Grab and lift debris collector  

Grab and lift debris collector

Similar to the debris collectors with metal scoops, this model has plastic blades which make less noise when used on paving and other hard surfaces.

Find out more about grab and lift debris collector