Unable to use television remote

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Red marmalade, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. Red marmalade

    Red marmalade Registered User

    Apr 5, 2017
    My dad has been diagnosed with Alziemers and has just recently taken a dip for the worse.

    This has meant that amongst other things he no longer seems to be able to work out the tv remote control.
    This has impacted hugely as he loves to watch sport on tv and would spend a good amount of time doing this.

    My step mum has tried to leave it all turned on and set up for him to watch something but then when she comes home after a few hours he is in a pickle and very cross because he's pressed something and it's not on anymore.

    It's particularly pertinant at the moment as he's been trying to watch the world cup. Obviously this is ok if someone is with him but not if he's on his own.

    Has anyone come across the same and do you have any advice on any strategy/piece of equipment that has helped?

  2. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    I'm sorry to hear about this problem. When my mum became unable to use the remote, I got her one of these:


    It seemed very efficient, but I'm afraid by the time I realised she needed it, she could no longer learn how to use it:(. So please don't spend out on it without giving it some thought....

    Good luck and I hope your dad is able to continue to enjoy watching sport.

    Lindy x
  3. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    Oh yes, dad is completely unable to use the guide button and I am not going to show him again because he cannot learn new things. Don't waste time trying to teach him as it will not go in.

    I had some success for a while with writing down the number of the channel he wished to use on a sheet of paper with the name of the channel. He can find channels 1 2 3 and 4 but others are difficult. I think I have written down the numbers for Yesterday and Movies for Men and some others but he does not use them any more.

    It is hard but i think that once these things are lost then there is no getting them back. My dad had to write two birthday cards recently and I think they were probably his last. He stood with pen in hand and did not know what to do. I had to write one and he managed the other with a lot of prompting from me. I will write them in future.

    It is very sad when these little things hit us. It's like a punch in the stomach each time to me.
  4. try again

    try again Registered User

    Jun 21, 2018
    My mum is the same. I prepared a list of channels that I laminated for her but don't think she uses. She complains that she can't get channels or the tv guide is wrong. When I'm with her she often puts the wrong numbers in. She just as bad on the phone and finds her washing machine hard and also the central heating thermostat
  5. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    Same here, washing machine is a no no and the CD and DVD players are a complete mystery to him. Central heating boiler is down to me now. He can still answer his phone though.
  6. try again

    try again Registered User

    Jun 21, 2018
    It's sometimes a surprise what she can't do. Also things she doesn't remember. I thought we were on safe ground talking about some of the holidays we have been on. I drove her, sister and niece to lourds many years ago and we were talking. She laughed at me and I asked why. She said you can't drive..I asked her how she thought I'd got to her house that day...I haven't yet learnt how to cope well with sudden surprises.
  7. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    On most TVs you can remove all the channels you don't want. Once you've got down to 5 or 6, the PWD might be able to find the one they want just using up and down arrows. I realise this won't work for everyone.
  8. emp

    emp Registered User

    Jun 27, 2018
    Hi @Red marmalade do you think it would help if your step mum leaves the TV set up as she has been doing when she goes out, but gives your dad a dummy remote so he can't alter the settings? Or do you think that would upset him further?
  9. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    I have to be honest here. I've never had a tv, but I can see from my mum's how complicated they seem to be these days. And as for my dau's! When I was there one evening, she casually threw over her shoulder as she was leaving "If you want to watch tv, go ahead. Or netflix is on the tablet, and you just put it through the chrome cast to the tv." What??? I don't even know how to switch the tv on! :D Increasingly though, I can see mum getting frustrated with her remote (she's actually got three. Says the tv needs them? Or is having three why she's finding it so frustrating?) What I can't understand is, if manufacturers can make tv's so very hi tech and "smart" for those that want that, why can't they also make a "simple" tv, for older people, or those who dno't want all that hi tech stuff? :rolleyes:
  10. lemonjuice

    lemonjuice Registered User

    Jun 15, 2016
    I was going to suggest this.
    My mother lost the ability to use anything with a button/switch fairly early on and so I just set things off and put the remotes away. later on though with her inability to differentiate reality and 'tv' and she had hallucinations & nightmares, I decided tos witch the tv off at the wall and do you know she never questioned why it didn't work or eve what 'the thing was'? I switched to a local radio station alternating with her CDs and that gave her some 'company'
  11. Fullticket

    Fullticket Registered User

    Apr 19, 2016
    Chard, Somerset
    When the remote got a bit too complicated and in her head mum was living in the days when there were two or three TV channels and a stonking great big dial on the front of the tele, she would get up to attempt to change the channels. Add to that the new chair we bought her that had a remote that reclined and helped her up when she stood and we had a complete confused mess. Mum fell off the chair twice (fortunately no injuries) before we gave up, switched off the chair and she just watched what I programmed in. On the plus side, travel programmes, especially safari type things, and she thought she had been there in person - nice cheap holiday. Eventually all we watched was comedies like QI as she could not follow the plot of dramas, soaps, etc. As far as our family was concerned it was all about adapting and constantly rethinking where you go from here rather than trying to learn or use things differently.
  12. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    You can also get a 'simple' remote. RNIB sell one that just has on and off, up and down for channels, and up and down for volume.
  13. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    My dad has been everywhere he sees on TV
  14. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    So has mine! He also knows all the newsreaders :D:rolleyes:
  15. malomm

    malomm Registered User

    Mrs.M lost the ability to switch on or off anything with complicated remotes or dials like a TV or microwave washing machine etc. On the other hand is dangerously fascinated by them, including wall switches. One of her favourite pastimes is trying to dismantle the wall switches, or get hold of anything like a cordless phone or TV remote that she can hide in one of her many 'stuff' bags.
    As far as TV is concerned, sometimes she likes to watch it sometimes not. She is currently fascinated by World Cup football, so my solution is to just tune in, and then hide the remote out of reach.
    Keep smiling,
  16. Red marmalade

    Red marmalade Registered User

    Apr 5, 2017
    Thanks everyone- i think hiding the remotes may be the way to go for us or possibly removing the batteries.

    I'll have a look at the simplified one as well although have become loath to buy anything more.

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