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simple TV remote control for elderly

Finding a Simple TV Remote Control for the Elderly

Watching a favorite TV program can be challenging task for many seniors. They sometimes get puzzled by the complicated remote controls that come with today's technology. This often leads to calls to family members when they can't get the TV show on that they want. Or, maybe they just give up and don't even try. Most remotes have hundreds of small, hard-to-press buttons and are confusing for seniors to use. Finding a simple TV remote control for elderly people will put them back in control.

Comparison Chart: Simple Remote Controls for TVs

Photo
Tek Pal - Large Button TV Remote Control
AMAZSHOP247 A-TV10 Large Button Universal Waterproof Remote Control Vizio LG Sharp
Flipper Big Button Universal Remote for 2 Devices
Sony RM-EZ4 2-Device Universal Remote with Big Buttons
Product
Tek Pal - Large Button TV Remote Control
AMAZSHOP247 A-TV10 Large Button Universal Waterproof Remote Control Vizio LG Sharp
Flipper Big Button Universal Remote for 2 Devices
Sony RM-EZ4 2-Device Universal Remote with Big Buttons
Mini-Review
Very easy to use remote with only 6 big sized buttons. Can't be used with cable box or satellite.
Basic 8 button remote control with buttons that light up. Will not work with cable or satellite boxes.
Simple 6 button remote control that can control 2 devices including cable or satellite boxes.
Basic remote control that controls 2 devices but has more buttons & only works with certain brands.
Photo
Tek Pal - Large Button TV Remote Control
Product
Tek Pal - Large Button TV Remote Control
Mini-Review
Very easy to use remote with only 6 big sized buttons. Can't be used with cable box or satellite.
Photo
AMAZSHOP247 A-TV10 Large Button Universal Waterproof Remote Control Vizio LG Sharp
Product
AMAZSHOP247 A-TV10 Large Button Universal Waterproof Remote Control Vizio LG Sharp
Mini-Review
Basic 8 button remote control with buttons that light up. Will not work with cable or satellite boxes.
Photo
Flipper Big Button Universal Remote for 2 Devices
Product
Flipper Big Button Universal Remote for 2 Devices
Mini-Review
Simple 6 button remote control that can control 2 devices including cable or satellite boxes.
Photo
Sony RM-EZ4 2-Device Universal Remote with Big Buttons
Product
Sony RM-EZ4 2-Device Universal Remote with Big Buttons
Mini-Review
Basic remote control that controls 2 devices but has more buttons & only works with certain brands.

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Problems with Standard Remote Controls

One day the TV remote is working just fine. Then it suddenly seems like it is hard to understand and control. Wrong buttons are pushed. Programming is lost. And, the senior is left without control of their TV until someone comes to fix it. This seemingly sudden loss of control is especially common for those suffering from failing eyesight, weakening strength or early dementia.

Using a remote seems like a small matter for most of us. But, not being able to use a remote to control a TV is very frustrating for seniors. It even undermines their ability to function independently. For seniors with dementia, I have even heard of confusing a remote control with a cordless phone!

For many elders and seniors, the television is their link to the outside world. The evening news is heir primary source of news and information. Often, the TV us their primary source of entertainment. So, you can see why not beng able to control the TV is such a big deal for them.

But, there are very simple, easy to use remote controls for TV's out there. First, we will look at the features to look for in an easy to control remote. Then I have a few recommended products as examples.

power button on a TV remote control

Basic Features to Look For in an Easy to Use Remote Control

There is a lot to consider when shopping for an easy to use remote control for elderly and seniors. Keep the following points in mind to get the best easy to use TV remote for yourself or your loved ones:

  • Most seniors are only looking for the most basic features in a remote. i.e. On / Off; Channel Up / Channel Down; Volume Up / Down; and Mute. Many seniors would generally prefer a remote control that eliminates all other buttons.
  • The benefit of having only 4 to 5 big buttons on the remote is that elders with failing eyesight can clearly see the buttons and their functions.
  • Easy to use remotes for the elderly must be designed in a way that makes them easy to hold and reduces stress on the fingers and palm as much as possible.
  • People who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or other ailments that reduce the strength of their grip must also be able to hold onto the remote easily
  • In order to be truly easy to use, remotes for seniors should also be compatible with a large number of TV’s and easy to program. Also, they should keep their programming through battery changes.

My Recommended Simple Remote Controls for TV's

So, using the criteria above, I have come up with the following list of TV remotes that are simple to use.

Tek Pal Large Button TV Remote Control

Tek Pal - Large Button TV Remote Control

The Tek Pal is probably the most basic and easiest to use TV remote that you can get. It has 6 large buttons to power the TV on and off, browse the channels, adjust the volume and put the TV on mute.

  • Very large button remote, specifically designed to make working a TV easy
  • For use with a TV or a TV with a direct cable line into the set.
  • Perfect gift for anybody who is unable to read or press the standard sized buttons on regular remotes
  • Requires 2 AA batteries to operate
  • Not for use with satellite boxes and DVD players.

My Overall Rating:

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

AMAZSHOP 247 A-TV10 Large Button Universal Waterproof Remote Control

AMAZSHOP247 A-TV10 Large Button Universal Waterproof Remote Control Vizio LG Sharp

The Amazshop 247 A-TV10 Large Button Universal Waterproof Remote Control is a popular choice for many seniors. It's a truly simple remote with easy-to-see and easy-to-press oversized buttons. In addition to the power On / Off button and the programming button, it has only 6 other buttons (change channel, change volume, mute, and AV mode). Overall, it’s an ideal replacement for standard remotes.

  • Large buttons that light up when pressed for easy use at night
  • Works with standard television or television with an inserted direct line cable.
  • Waterproof remote, so you don’t have to worry about water spills all over the remote
  • Text on the remote's buttons is large enough to see without reading glasses on
  • Does not work with separate cable boxes or satellite receivers

My Overall Rating:

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Flipper Big Button Universal Remote for 2 Devices

Flipper Big Button Universal Remote for 2 Devices

The Flipper Remote is an easy to use universal remote control with large buttons designed for seniors or people with poor vision. It makes using a remote control easy. And, it works with almost any television, cable or satellite box. Set up only takes about 10 - 15 minutes. It also has a convenient lock feature which prevents accidental re-programming of the remote!

  • Large, clearly labeled buttons for ease of use
  • Compatible with multiple devices, including TV and Cable, Satellite or DTV box.
  • Easy setup procedure
  • Program up to 25 favorite channels to access them easily
  • Color coded buttons for easy identification: Green for power, Blue for Channel selection, Orange for Volume adjustment and Grey for mute.

My Overall Rating:

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sony RM-EZ4 2-Device Universal Remote with Big Buttons

Sony RM-EZ4 2-Device Universal Remote with Big Buttons

Sony’s RM-EZ4 is a large, slightly over-sized remote that can operate a television as well as a cable or satellite box. While it has more buttons than the other remotes listed in this article,the buttons are quite large, easy to read and well spaced out. It has two separate buttons for selecting the device to be controlled: either TV or the cable/satellite box.

  • Large buttons, with easy to use labels, for easy operations
  • It can be used to control 2 devices, so it works with regular television as well as cable/satellite boxes
  • Commonly used buttons like Volume and Power On buttons are color coded, for easyidentification.
  • Large battery latch that comes off easily to replace used batteries
  • One limitation of this remote is that it is a pre-programmed remote and if your TV or device is not programmed in the device, it won’t work. So, you will need to check whether your TV is compatible with this remote before selecting this one. But this may be an off chance, as it is programmed with tons of device code already.

My Overall Rating:

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:41 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Summary and Recommendations

Finding a simple TV remote control for elderly people will help re-establish independence. It also allows them to stay up to date with news and entertainment. When shopping for basic, easy to use remotes, look for big buttons that are well labeled. The fewer buttons the better!

With an easier to use remote, you can say goodbye to the frustrating experiences of using standard TV remotes. Elders with dexterity or sight issues will love the simple designs and easy to press buttons on these remotes. They make a great gift for seniors as well. 

For other simple technology products for seniors and the elderly, check out my article on easy to use microwaves, simple laptops, and basic radios that seniors will use and enjoy

Please share your experiences with TV remotes in the comments below. Do you know of other remotes that are easy to use? Which of these TV remotes did you choose? 

About the Author Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.

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