Finding the Right String Trimmer for Seniors
With more and more seniors living on their own these days, it’s important to help them retain as much of their independence as possible. One way to do this is by helping them care for their homes themselves, specifically in terms of tasks such as yard work. String trimmers can aid in this process immensely, but some models are not suitable for seniors. Here’s how to tell if a specific string trimmer is right for the senior in your life.
Create a List of Possible Complications
Before you start to look at any string trimmers, you need to create a list of any possible complications that might come up with them using a model. This list should include all ailments or illnesses, such as arthritis, poor balance, or a bad knee from a recent surgery. Understand what actions they can and cannot do will help you eliminate certain models and make sure they can properly operate a string trimmer in the first place.
Aim for Smaller and Lighter
Even the fittest of seniors can sometimes find themselves overwhelmed with heaver appliances and objects, so it’s always a good idea to keep the weight and size of the string trimmer as low as possible. This will ensure that the senior can both handle the power of the trimmer and avoid any mobility issues that can arise with larger, bulkier models. If you feel like the senior’s yard is too big for a smaller trimmer to handle, then it may actually be better for someone else to do the work to avoid any health issues.
Keep Everything Automatic
Some types of string trimmers feature what’s called a bump feed system, where you must hit the guard on the trimmer’s head against the ground to extend the feed line. This can be difficult for some seniors because it requires additional force to make the bump, and can end up causing the senior to hurt themselves or the trimmer in the process. Stick with models that have an auto feed system, as they are much easier to use and won’t require any potentially stressful or difficult actions to keep the use going.
Electric All the Way
Electric string trimmers are definitely a better choice for seniors over gas-powered models for several reasons, starting with the fact that they are significantly easier to use. Gas models require a great deal of effort to start the motor, while electric models start at the push of a button. Since electric models only require you to charge a battery or plug into an outlet, there is also less to do to start using them. They are also easier to maintain, since gas engines require a lot of special care to avoid causing damage.
A Note on General Safety
While most string trimmers are have a good amount of safety features, seniors may be more likely to hurt themselves on any model, so you should also look for units with a larger safety guard over the head. Wheels can also help avoid issues, especially if the senior plans on using a model with an edger mode.