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Sweeping and raking when you can't bend easily

Long handled dustpan and brush
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

  • A lightweight long handled dustpan and brush might be the best option to save you bending. Products from the multi-change range allow you to change the handle length depending on the job you are doing.
  • Replace your broom regularly to keep good strong bristles or buy a broom with plastic or nylon bristles which are almost impossible to wear out.
  • Gather up weeds as you go, or spread a plastic sheet down when weeding or hedge cutting to reduce the debris that you need to sweep.  

Taking care

  • Sweeping can strain the arms, back and hands. Always 'warm up' with a few gentle stretches and only work for short periods. 

Equipment and tools

  • Garden grabber
    The lightest larger brooms are from the multi-change ranges. The handles are made of aluminium and there are various handle lengths which are used with a brush attachment.
  • The garden grabber is a lightweight long handled tool for picking up debris without bending.
  • Use a twin wheeled wheelbarrow with a bar style handle to carry debris to the compost heap and you should avoid some bending. An upright garden trolley with a refuse bag attached can also be used from an upright position.

Have a look at the list of equipment and tools 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. This can be hard work as it requires alot of strength. Leaf rakes, also with springy tines, are used to gather grass cuttings and leaves from the lawn.   

Top tips to make raking easier

  • Choose a rake of the right length and weight for you to use comfortably without bending. A fist grip and arm support can be fitted to a rake to help you to lift it.
  • If you need a shorter or longer rake handle, the multi-change ranges offer various handle lengths that can be used with a rake head attachment.
  • Try to only rake beds which are narrow, that can be reached from all sides, and that have paving all round.
  • 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.
  • When raking soil, lift the rake towards the end of each sweep, this action will help break up the soil.

Taking care

  • Grabber rake
    Lifting, dropping and dragging the rake can jolt the arms and strain the back. Use a lighter rake and work in very short bursts, to reduce back strain.
  • Always 'warm up' with a few gentle stretches, only work for short periods and take lots of breaks.        

Equipment and tools

  • You might find it easier to sit down when raking. A shorter-length garden rake on a fixed handle can be used sitting down. There are various short handle options in the multi-change ranges that can be used with a rake head attachment.
  • 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.
  • The grabber rake collects up leaves and debris and the scooping action picks it up for transfer to a barrow or collection sheet. 
  • The garden grabber is a lightweight long handled tool for picking up debris without bending.


Grab and lift rake  

Grab and lift rake

This tool rakes up leaves like a conventional rake but when you push the handle mecahnism the large scoops close together and lift the debris.

Find out more about grab and lift 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


Large lightweight broom  

Large lightweight broom

The lightest brooms for outdoor use are from the multi-change ranges. The lightweight brush head fits onto a handle long enough to prevent too much bending.

Find out more about Large lightweight 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