We all know that fake grass is a tough outdoor surface for school grounds, sports pitches and playing fields, but is it a durable surface for wheelchair users? There are as many as 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK, according to statistics from the NHS purchasing and supply agency 2000. In addition to this figure, there are many more people in the UK who have walking difficulties.
Out of the 2 per cent of the population who are wheelchair users, two thirds are over the age of 60 years; and a number of these are keen gardeners. Regardless of age there is a lot to be said for having access to a garden with a robust, even surface, so as to enjoy a hassle free time outdoors: whether that is for sport, gardening, commercial or home use, or for outdoor events.
Here substitute lawn installers Dayco, who provide artificial grass in London and Hertfordshire, including St Albans, looks at fake grass as an alternative to natural grass for people with disabilities.
Artificial Lawns for Wheelchair Users
Natural grass has a number of disadvantages for wheelchair users and people who have difficulty walking.
- One of the primary concerns of a grassed lawn is that it is difficult and time consuming to maintain.
- Not only this, if you have natural turf, crossing the grass in a manual wheelchair or walker can take a great deal of effort and can even be dangerous, particularly if the grounds are wet, slippery or uneven.
- Some outdoor surfaces can be too soft for wheelchair use, and the wheels are in danger of getting stuck and grinding to a halt.
As a result, fake grass is becoming a more appealing alternative to natural grass for people with mobility difficulties. Here are some of the reasons why it is such an ideal choice for outdoor spaces, not only for wheelchair users, but also for those who use a cane or a walker to get about.
- Artificial grass doesn’t need any mowing, weeding or watering and it will keep its ‘healthy’ appearance regardless of the season.
- Although artificial grass requires an initial outlay, there are savings to be made in the long-term because it needs very little maintenance.
- Professional substitute lawn installers will ensure the grass is levelled before installing artificial grass, which reduces hazards such as tripping and provides a smooth surface for wheelchair users.
- Artificial grass is extremely robust, so it can withstand frequent use including wheelchair use.
- As fake turf is like a carpet, it provides a smooth surface to glide across.
- As artificial grass requires virtually no upkeep, substitute lawn installers can be more creative in their design – including designing areas for containers or raised flower beds which are more accessible for wheelchair users, particularly those who are also keen gardeners.
If you have a relative with disabilities and are designing a garden from scratch there are all sorts of factors to keep in mind to ensure that your outdoor space is one that the whole family can enjoy. Here are some factors to consider when designing the ideal garden for people with mobility problems:
Ramps – If the garden has one or more different levels, consider installing ramps with handrails, so that the whole garden is accessible.
Seating – If your relative uses a stick or walker make sure there is enough seating in the garden, so there are places to sit for rest breaks.
Ponds – As garden ponds are difficult to maintain, a water feature is a good alternative and is not only beautiful, but you can enjoy the soothing sound of moving water.
Paths – Garden paths should be at least one metre wide for wheelchair users and need to include enough space for turning.
Substitute Lawn Installers St Albans Dayco are committed to providing high quality fake turf, combined with excellent standards of customer care. For more information on our artificial grass for homes and businesses, click on the link above.