Moving, Downsizing, Upsizing for the Sandwich Generation Issues

This RCA big button remote DOES SAY dvr - I would have tried it next - how about youWell, the new and confusing "TV remotes" saga continues. As I wrote last week, my senior mom has been struggling with her new TV remote having too many buttons in too many different spots from her old remote. I ordered what looked to be a duplicate of our previous remote from our last two homes. Unfortunately, it arrived slightly different (though probably ok) and totally hardwired to an entirely different cable company.

After trying various codes and steps according to the paperwork, I called our cable company, explained the whole situation, and asked if they by any chance had suggestions for what codes to use to try to make the new remote work with our set-up. The wonderful tech helping me did not know how to fix that remote BUT he told me they had two other remotes that were simpler, including one with larger buttons. He offered to mail them to us or let me pick them up. As you can probably guess, I was down at the office an hour later.

I took both home and then tried out the one with the least AND biggest buttons and guess what! It WORKED! And because it was made to work with our particular system it could do more functions  than the others. There were only about 5 buttons my mom wouldn't use and, thanks to a great  hint from the cable company employee who helped me, I put stickers on those buttons to cover them so she would be less likely to punch the wrong thing. Now my senior mom is back to happily enjoying NCIS and her British dramas on TV. Hooray!

TVs are grand for elderly seniors when the remote is easy to use

I'm even seriously considering getting the same one for me. I am always hitting the wrong button on my own new remote – especially if it's late and I'm getting tired. However my new remote does have those two great buttons that let you jump forward and backward easily which I love, so I'm holding off for now. I learned a very Important life lesson in all this – CALL YOUR CABLE COMPANY FIRST to ask if they have different remote options for elderly senior citizens. Moving to another state is definitely NOT for the feint of heart, but it can be done successfully – even by all of us boomers and seniors – with plenty of help from the grand people who live in our new home towns! 🙂

P.S. The remote at top is yet another one I never tried. But since it has a specific button for DVR, I'd probably have tried it next. How about you and your senior parents' TV remotes? Any suggestions? We'd love to hear them.

Fun for grandparents whether at home or out and about at the Grand Social

My senior mom and I are settling in to our new surroundings. There are so many new things we are enjoying – gorgeous autumn leaves in new and equally vibrant colors, a single story house that has more even temperatures since we no longer have to deal with heat rising and the upstairs being really hot while the downstairs is pretty chilly, a lush yard full for beautiful new-to-us plants and more.

There are also new challenges – like a remote control so different my senior mom is having a hard time learning it.


We bought a big button remote for her at Walgreens and it worked great except I forgot to make sure it works with DVRs – which it didn't. So it is now sitting behind the TV in case the main one is ever misplaced.



Then I bought a big button one by RCA at Target. It was a bit trickier to program but once I got the codes right, it worked great – except for two little details.

If we selected MENU it opened the whole menu instead of just the DVR menu she was used to seeing. So I typed up directions to hit MENU, OK, OK which then put her in her fave menu page.

That helped a little but even though it was a bit easier than the one that came with our system it was still frustrating for her to remember the new keys. I would get mixed up too but could easily fix my mistakes. She had a much harder time doing that and if I was gone, she would often just give up.

Finally I headed for Amazon where I was relieved to see our old familiar remote pop up first thing when I typed in the words –  its brand name AND remote. It's due to arrive Monday and if it works with our set up she should be as happy as a clam! Me, too, for that matter!

How about you? Have you found any great multi-device remotes that are senior friendly? We'd love to hear about them!