Physical Labor Jobs Challenge Senior Citizens
I find that everything is getting heavier as I get older. A bag of groceries seems to weigh a ton. I swear that somehow my hammer puts on weight year to year. Like many seniors, I am experiencing some loss of strength and mobility. For some reason, I still think I am 30. When is comes to physical labor jobs around the house, this is a bad combination.
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Physical Labor Jobs are a Challenge
Last year I dug a trench for a gas line to our barbecue. In total, it was about 50 feet long and 18 inches deep. I took a week to dig the trench. It would be great to say the heat or rain or broken shovels slowed me down. But, in fact, I am not used to physical labor anymore and not as strong as I used to be. Even 10 years ago, I would have dug the trench in a day. Stopping to ease my back and catch my breath took time.
The list of things to do around the house is endless. From changing light bulbs to rearranging furniture. Of course, physical labor jobs are more difficult and often more dangerous. Home Advisor lists the most common household injuries and how to prevent them.
Think about the Job
When we have any job to do around the house, there are a few things we consider as we plan.
- How important is the job compared to everything else that needs to be done?
- Can we do it ourselves?
- Does the job fit into our budget?
- What tools do we need to do the job?
- How long will it take?
- What will be interrupted as we do the job?
- What do we want to achieve?
For example, we have solar panels. They need to be cleaned periodically for maxim efficiency. We know we will use a ladder, a hose and a pressure washer. The big question is who will do the job. Because my wife does not trust me on a ladder anymore, she washes the solar while I prepare to catch her if necessary. We realize the day will come when we need to have help doing this job.
Know Your Limits
Difficulty for most jobs around the house difficulty is relative term. Some things are easier for me to do than for my wife. As well, she has more experience doing some things than I do so she does them better and visa versa.
Recently, I decided to do a job and scared my wife. We had a very large tree in our yard near the house and electrical service wires. The trunk has cracked. I suggested that I cut it down before the wind in the canopy brought the tree down on the house. My wife suggested that we hire someone in the interest of preserving my life. Through a bit of research, we found that removal of the tree would cost $2500 – $3000. As it happens, when I was younger, I cut down dozens of trees. Many of them we close to buildings.
So, I went through the check list. Professional removal was too costly. All I needed to do the job was a ladder, a chain saw and some rope. I had all these things. Having cut lots of trees, I knew how to do the job, but I had to do it in stages. Only about a quarter of the tree would fit into our yard waste bins. They were picked up weekly so the whole job would take a least 4 weeks. This would give me plenty of time to rest. Rather than cut the whole tree, we decided to attempt to train it to grow into a large bush.
My wife was scared by two words that went together during this job…. ladder and chain saw. I reassured her. What could go wrong. My plan was to type a rope as far up in each trunk of the tree as I could. I would cut each trunk almost completely through and pull it down with the rope. Each trunk was tall but not thick. There were 9 small trunks like these. My plan worked. As I pulled each trunk, it dropped where I wanted it.
Enjoy Your Work
Unfortunately, I fell as I pulled down the last trunk. Even more unfortunately, my wife was watching. My using a chain saw while on a ladder days are over.
When I was done, the tree wasn’t beautiful anymore, but all the
literature says it will look like this in 2 years. So, I am happy with the results.
This project although one of the most demanding physical labor jobs around the house was well thought out. Lots of things could have gone wrong, but with planning, it all went well. Now I just have to explain to family and neighbors why that beautiful, big tree looks so bad.
Don’t be afraid of home projects, but be realistic. Plan well and don’t push yourself. The satisfaction of a project done well will last for years.
I totally agree with you physical labor jobs are the worst… before I discovered that I could start to make online I used to do some physical labor jobs and I must tell you those time were the worst as I struggle to meet up as the jobs were really hard..
I know what you mean. My online business made it a lot easier for me to retire. Now I only do the physical jobs at home that I want to tackle. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
To be honest, I feel my heart pounding while reading how you go through your project. I cannot imagine a Senior doing that heavy work. It was just the other day that a Senior woman in our neighborhood slipped in concrete while watering their plants and it is not as heavy as what you did.
I agree with you that one should not be afraid of doing home projects as long as you planned it so well. But I must say, accidents are everywhere and Seniors are more prone to that. So it is planning and extra care.
I was thinking of documenting the whole process for Youtube, but then my wife would have seen what I did so I decided to just write the blog instead. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Right now I am able to do works so easy. Atleast easier than you who is a senior but I understand that one gets weaker as one grows older and it is very understandable. This is something that I should also brace myself for as when I grow older I won’t be able to get engaged in physical labor anymore.
Sooner or later it happens to everyone. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Great article and very insightful about aging life management. Although it’s something I don’t have to implement quite yet it will be something to remember for future and for my aging friends and family. Maybe I can direct them to your article so it’s coming from a more authoritative figure lol.
For sure, I have the experience. When I say that’s not a good thing, my wife always says that its better than the alternative. Thanks for you comment.
Hello, I loved your web page on Physical Labour Jobs. I’m a senior too, and I have a hubby who can no longer do hard physical jobs like what you have described in your story. It is so true as we age everything seems more massive.
I loved reading your story and how the tasks that take much longer to complete than it did when you were younger.
I linked into some of your other stories but found I was heading off the beaten track.
I actually like how you have done your Affiliate Disclaimer label. I thought that was cool.
You write with feeling, and many people who read your topic will relate to you and what you have to say. It is well written.
I wish you all the best success
Thanks for your comment. All the best.