How artificial grass can make your garden more wheelchair friendly.
For wheelchair users or those with mobility problems, artificial grass is becoming one of the best ways to enjoy a their garden with ease, safety and virtually no upkeep. 1.2 Million wheelchair users in the UK and millions more living with walking or mobility impairments. (NHS purchasing & supply agency 2000, 2014) it’s easy to see why there is a demand for a decent and stylish alternative to uneven, wet and sometimes dangerous real lawns. Artificial grass provides a practical, long term solution for those who are unable to take on the hassles of a high maintenance real lawn.
With a rapidly aging population, more solutions have been developed to suit a variety of care needs . As 40% of over 65’s have limiting long terms illnesses or disabilities meaning there is there is more than 750,000 over 65’s living in Assisted Living Facilities (ALF). For those living in a ALF or may require a little extra help with their daily tasks, gardening isn’t a priority, therefore an artificial lawn is a perfect substitute, still allowing those in sheltered accommodation or assisted living to enjoy their outdoor space, companies are under constant pressure to make sure they provide a more comfortable, safer and practical later life care. Having a beautiful, safe garden is a major part of this and allows those living in ALFs to have the best possible quality of life. For those who have at home help it's understandable Care Assistants may have limited time, and again gardening doesn’t take priority, highlights the common issue that are driving more and more people towards artificial grass. Artificial lawns come without the hard work but still allowing everybody the ability utilise their own space to its full capacity and enjoy their garden.
If you or someone you know is living with mobility restrictions here's how artificial grass can enhance yours or their living situation?
- It’s zero maintenance, meaning there is no upkeep or hassle of maintaining the grass regularly or sourcing someone else to do it
- It’s self draining - artificial grass is all weather so it can be used whenever and you won't get any mud trails indoor after you like you would with natural grass
- It’s cost effective long term, not having to pay for upkeep costs or paying someone externally to maintain
So now you’ve made your decision, artificial grass is the right choice. But the real question is which one should you get? Some the descriptions can sound like another languages so how do you know what's best for you. Here’s our top tips and some of that lingo explained:
Look out for a shorter 'pile height'
Pile height is the length of the grass, (total pile height includes the underlay) Therefore the more the pile height the longer the grass and understandably harder it is to move around. So we would recommend a maximum pile height of up to 30mm. A great option would be around 15mm or 25mm but for a natural lawn look and to be able to maneuver you should be ok on a 30mm pile.
You’ll need a good ‘stitch rate’
What’s a stitch rate I hear you say? It’s simply it’s how many stitches per square meter (psm). This provides the grass with it’s density - the higher the density the higher the quality. Anything with a stitch rate below 15,000 stitches/sqm keep well clear of as these are too sparse and aren’t durable enough for wheelchair usage .
Weight is important
The heavier the grass the more heavy duty it is. The total weight will depend on both stitch rate and pile length, however anything with a 30mm pile height shouldn't be less than 1,800g/psm in weight.
Order some samples and compare
You wouldn’t buy new clothes without trying them on right? Well artificial grass is a commitment, a bit like painting a wall. If you’re going to make the decision you need all the possible options. We always advise anyone to order some free samples and compare around before placing an order so you can see what we mean. Ideally order samples of multiple pile heights, e.g. 15mm, 25mm and 30m this allows you to see the difference for yourself and make an informed decision.
Once you have decided on your grass and have ordered or are ready to order, contact us to find a recommended landscaper in your area to install the artificial grass (unless of course you fancy a go yourself).