Fast Forward to the Past
Television. For so many of our beloved elderly seniors, it's a lifeline to the outside world. It's also becoming more and more of a challenge for many of them to actually use the TV. It's definitely a necessary aging in place option! What's a caregiver to do?
My senior mom and I just recently switched to Comcast. So far it seems to be meeting our needs, but we definitely had to make some major changes to help my mom with it. We had managed to stave off massive technology changes for one extra year by having the fairly simple DVR she had been used to for four years. But lately, I've noticed she rarely watched the shows that were taped for her, preferring instead to just punch the channel up/channel down button on her remote control to look at what shows were actually on.
Because of that, I felt that the change to Comcast might work OK. We opted for a smart box for myself with the DVR and all the controls.
We then went with a tiny little box (a DTA, I think) for my senior mom that gives her TV just the channels.
No confusing menus or directions. Her current remote control does have several buttons she can't use, but so did her last one. As I explained it to her, she just needs to think back to when she first started using TV and just had the basic TV channels and she can either scroll through with channel up and down, or punch in the channel number she wants.
Aging In Place Options For Those TV Challenges
Even better, I found out that Comcast also has an accessibility department with several items to help anyone with any kind of special needs, including our elderly parents. AND not all employees are aware of all it offers. I had specifically asked a couple of different people if they offered a big button remote like our last wonderful company and was told no. Later though, when exploring their site, I found they DO offer one and I immediately went online to request one, along with print-outs of the channel line-up. They provide the big button remote at no charge.
As it turned out, they sent a couple of options and my senior mom preferred a smaller remote that was almost identical to her old one which helped her figure it out easier. If she starts having trouble with that one, I discovered this option at Amazon that looks even easier, because there are fewer buttons.
This could definitely be worth trying for aging parents with memory issues, I am thinking.
In addition, by my having the bigger Xfinity box, we also have access to shows on our iPhone and iPad with their Xfinity apps. So when my senior mom is in another room and wants to watch TV, I can easily take it to her to watch on her iPad. This will be handy when she feels up to walking on the treadmill or is working in the kitchen. Plus, we've got her older TV and VCR with tons of good old family movies and sweet romance musicals never to be forgotten for her to enjoy from years gone by. (The grandkids and she had a lovely time watching part of The Sound of Music together on it recently.)
The constantly advancing tech changes that have impacted TV, cell phones, etc., can make it more challenging for our senior parents. But, once again, thinking outside the box can help them with their aging in place needs, including keeping current with the local news or enjoying fun old movies of days of yore.