Canada’s population is aging rapidly. According to Statistics Canada, 2.3% of our population is currently aged 85 and older. With advancements in health care and additional emphasis on caring for oneself, this segment is starting to grow. Over the next 25 years (by 2046), the number of those aged 85 and older could triple to almost 2.5 million people.
This means that every segment of society must begin to prepare for an older population, including us landscape professionals. Older people are healthier and more vital than ever and deserve to have numerous options available to them as they age in place. Landscaping for older people is becoming much more of a topic of interest for those in our field, and we’re happy to pass along a few of the things we have learned so far.
Creating options is important
Older people want options in their lives. When we design our landscapes we work to allow them to be multi-functional and require different levels of care, as according to the wishes of our customers. It may be that an older client will still want to be able to mow their own lawn, but does not want the responsibility of taking care of a perennial garden or pots of annuals. We can address this with our completely customizable landscape maintenance packages, allowing our you to take on exactly what you want, when you want. And when you go on vacation you can add mowing to their your list, which contributes to overall peace of mind.
Low-maintenance landscaping does not mean you have to sacrifice beauty. We can suggest a ton of hardy plants that don’t require a lot of pruning and trimming and that also provide excellent visual appeal. Ornamental grasses are a great choice, as are ground covers and succulents. Several smaller shrubs such as spirea, burning bush, and boxwood only require the occasional prune for shape and to remove deadwood.
Xeriscaping is also a great way to reduce maintenance time but also still have a yard full of growing and green things. Moving away from being a trend and more towards the actual norm, especially in drier areas of the world, xeriscaping refers to a landscape that is made for less maintenance and requires less water than traditional designs. Common elements of a xeriscaped property include drought-tolerant shrubs, trees, and perennials mulched in and then covered with a layer of rocks. Larger boulders provide focal points, and retaining walls provide architectural interest.
Landscaping for older people means meeting them where they are at. Herb and vegetable gardens are becoming more and more popular and are a healthy way to get outdoors while also using the earth’s energy to grow your own food. Rather than building your herb and vegetable beds close to the ground, they can be constructed higher so that the gardener doesn’t have to bend over all the time.
Lighting for safety
We can help design your landscape lighting so that trip-and-fall hazards are brightly illuminated. You’ll want to make sure your entire yard is well-lit so everyone can move around safely at all times of the day. Different options for lighting include fixed electrical, strung, and solar lamps.
More ramps, less steps
When landscaping for older people it’s vitally important to reduce the amount of steps. Our landscape construction professionals can install ramps where there are currently steps and position handrails so there is always something to hang on to.
Extremely sloped properties can be re-graded to reduce the angle or even completely flatten them out. Retaining walls are also extremely useful for helping to flatten out properties.
Don’t forget about snow removal
Mirage Landscaping is a full-service, year-round landscape maintenance, landscape construction, and snow removal company that takes pride in keeping your commercial or residential property well-maintained and clear of hazards. We have a large fleet of snow removal equipment and the human power and expertise necessary to ensure your parking lots, sidewalks, and pathways are cleared as soon as possible when the snow stops falling. Our crews operate snowplows, power brushes, snow blowers, and, of course, wield shovels and ice melter to leave your property free of snow and ice throughout the winter.
We specialize in serving the southeast area of the city, including the communities of Auburn Bay, Chaparral, Chaparral Valley, Copperfield, Cranston, Douglasdale, Heritage Pointe, Lake Bonavista, Mahogany, McKenzie Lake, Mackenzie Towne, Maple Ridge, New Brighton, Odgen/Lynwood/Millican, Parkland, Riverbend, Sundance, Walden, and Willow Park. Contact us for a free quote today.