old fingers and tough "safety" triggers

the elderly lady who loves nearby has fingers that are gnarled with rheumatoid arthritis. Meanwhile, electric hedge clippers these days are made with triggers that take a lot more force than years ago - and so does the thumb-operated catch that lets you lock the clipper into the 'on' position.
Is there any way to make it easier for her?
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Have her check in with her rheumatologist, her physical therapist (if she has one) or the local council on aging (in the US). They should have information on assistive devices, if any.
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On 6/30/2011 2:13 PM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

thank you, good idea. maybe I'll check the council on aging for her. I doubt she will do any checking herself, so the other two are unfortunately out.
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Later I thought that there is likely a chapter of the Arthritis Foundation nearby (arthritis.org) that might be able to help. Check in, too, with the maker of the clippers.
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On 6/30/2011 1:47 PM, Tom wrote:

oops, "lives" before any jokes fly :)
my I and O keys are worn off, so much for Dell.
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Marker pen??? Draw the I & O on the keys. WW
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I know you're trying to help, but go a step further, and "borrow" her hedge clippers. Cut a little of your hedge, then all of hers ...
(Easily said, since I don't think I live close to you)
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On 6/30/2011 2:47 PM, Han wrote:

But she loves doing it, almost as much as using her weed whacker - which she uses twice a week or so. She also believes the activity is good for her health, and is almost certainly right.
All these had nothing: National Council on Aging the local office Lowes retailers of assistance devices, like wrightstuff.biz & enablingdevices.com
(The senior-related ones don't have the irritating phone menu navigations.)
Black & Decker does have the menus, then played a recording about how they strive for quality in customer service... then ironically disconnected me - their system is broken since yesterday.
With the Arthritis Foundation, I ended up in India, then realized they were the first one. (Maybe the tide has turned in outsourcing.) But also no help.
I'd thought of an inline power switch and rigging the trimmer's mechanical triggers to be always on, but that wouldn't be safe. It's probably theoretically possible to use levers on the triggers, but not practical to fashion anything.
So I guess there's no solution for the poor dear. Thanks for the replies.
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couple of other places have arthritis-related forums. You might try there. This is where you might find the ingenious person with the same problem that solved it with a small bit of chewing gum and bailing wire (grin).
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On 7/1/2011 12:59 PM, Smitty Two wrote:

haha! There's always a dope what comes up with a dope answer.
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On 7/3/2011 11:27 AM, Smitty Two wrote:

you sound like a pompous little doofus, smitty boy
but you hear that all the time, don't you
notice that I charitably refrained from calling you 'asshole'
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On 7/4/2011 4:15 AM, Smitty Two wrote:

haha, you are such a pathetic little douchebag, smitty boy
first, you are the pompous doofus who suggests that you are superior (always the sign of an insecure weasel)
then you elaborate your dopey theory that the safety features be tampered with on a neighbor's hedge trimmer... "ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the defendant willfully and recklessly altered the safety mechanisms mandated by the government on a powerful electric device with sharp teeth, used by a trusting senior citizen... and so was the actual cause and proximal cause of the injuries that followed. His only defense is that a witless talking piece of shit on the internet named 'smitty boy' said it was a good idea..."
haha, you are such a pompous dope. Now crawl back in your little hole like a good weasel... unless you want to do a tantrum dance for our entertainment.
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Tom-
How do you realistically expect to address >>>>>
Is there any way to make it easier for her?
without >>>>>>>
the safety features be tampered with on a neighbor's hedge trimmer
you want to change how the thing works but not "tamper with it"
magic?
buy her an older model that, according to you, requires less force?
cheers Bob
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On 7/4/2011 10:40 PM, DD_BobK wrote:

not magic at all, there is a big difference between an approved addon device (at least one that is commercially available and has been somewhat tested), and just removing material
P.S. where would you suppose that older model (used) hedge trimmers are available? I have checked the classifieds.
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"an approved add-on device", approved by whom?
I'd be very surprised if the "reduced force to activate" tool market is large enough to warrant the design & development costs.
"there is a big difference between an approved addon device (at least one that is commercially available and has been somewhat tested)"
You're dreaming..... I think magic is your best bet.
I await your design & working model.......
http://www.dimensionprinting.com / http://i.materialise.com /
cheers Bob
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Tom wrote:

Take the hedge clippers apart. There might be a way to defeat the safety lock.
Of course if you're in California, there might be a law prohibiting the defeating of safety locks.
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Tom wrote:

The problem here is that if the person lacks the hand strength to operate the safety device, they probably also lack the hand strength to safely operate the device.
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I'll bet it would be easier for her if *you* trimmed her bushes...right after you mowed her lawn.
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Tom-
How elderly? Should she really be using a hedge clipper in her condition?
Of course if she's an independent / determined person it will be very difficult to get her to give up these sorts of activities.
I "borrowed" my mom's 6' step ladder when she was in her early 80's..... I always told her "I'm not done with it, what do you need me to get down for you?" When she asked for it back.
Her solution, drive to Home Depot, buy a ladder, use it, return it.
Like I said, hard to stop some people.
Possible to make it easier to use the clipper but I'd be worried about compromising the safety.
cheers Bob
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If yuou take it apart, youmaybe able to replace a srping with a slightly weaker one. I too have a few appliances with hard to hold switches, but have not had to take drastic action yet.
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