With the elder population growing, living longer and living on their own now days, retaining their independence is important should they choose that route.
There’s no doubt the elder are staying fitter and stronger than previous generations and want to continue being self-sustained and sufficient without the assistance of others.
However, when it comes to the home and yard work, things can get a little overwhelming and physical.
One of the must have tools is a weed trimmer. It’s light, easy to use and can greatly assist with a good chunk of the garden. However, not all weed trimmers are suited for seniors and there are a few things to look out for to tell it’s right for the senior in your life.
Always Go Electric
Electric trimmers are a lot lighter than their gas powered counterparts and are easy to start with a push of the button. This also gives senior users more control over the machine without putting too much strain on the arms.
Gas models are often more temperamental and difficult to start up. This requires sudden tugs of the string and can be painful to joints, especially for suffers of arthritis.
Did You Know?
Electric string trimmers weigh between 5 to 12 lb, while gas ones can reach 20 lb in weight. To put this in context, a lightweight gas string trimmer comes in at around 10 lb.
Lastly, electric trimmers require a lot less maintenance. Gas motors have more working parts that may need maintaining or replacing. With this, there’s other factors to consider, such as emptying and preserving the fuel during winter months.
Smaller & Lighter Trimmers
There are two reasons to keep the weight low for seniors. One is the obvious, the lighter it is, the longer they can carry it without too much stress or strain on the body (avoiding mobility issues). The second reason, lighter trimmers generally have less power, which the senior has a better handle of the machine over the more powerful versions.
If the less powerful machine is not capable of handling the senior’s yard as it’s too big, then asking for someone else to do the work might be a better option to prevent any potential health issues.
Strap For Additional Support
Although an effort has been made to find the lightest trimmer, there’s still the risk of your arm muscles absorbing the weight, tensing up and causing discomfort.
But there is a way to redistribute that weight to the core of your body making the trimmer feel up to 70% lighter. The simple solution is to use a shoulder strap system with a large surface area to allow your shoulders (not your arms) to take the strain.
Having a well balance trimmer will give your more control over the machine with less bending of the back area. By keeping the trimmer steady, there is also less chance of lawn scalping!
* Some brands have a double strap system that further distributes the weight evenly.
Auto Feed System Is A Must
Most modern trimmers automatically feed the line out using centrifugal force when it breaks. The user doesn’t have to stop what he/she is doing while the machine fixes itself.
It’s important to know that not all machines work in this manner. For example, some machines require tapping the bottom of the trimmer with some force to release the line.
So be sure to check before making your purchase as this will save you time and limit the need of exerting force that seniors may struggle with… keep is plain and simple.
* There is a caveat, although many automatic line feeder work well, some models can be temperamental and fiddly. Be sure to check the reviews for potential line feeder problems.
Safety is paramount, especially for seniors operation machinery. It’s vital to get a trimmer that has a large enough guard to prevent placing a hand on the moving head.
Other safety gear such as protective gloves and eye goggles is important. Stones can easily fly upwards (even with a guard in place) towards the face area. You will want to protect your eyes at all times even if it means wearing your shades!