Modern TV remotes can be frustrating to use, regardless of your age. The buttons can be finicky and difficult to read. That is why TV remotes designed for seniors make a huge difference in their relaxation habits and lives. It adds a whole lot of comfort during usage and makes watching television a more pleasing and hassle-free experience.
In this article we will go over some of the best TV remotes for seniors on the market right now, and which ones are right for you.
What Should I Look For?
Many people enjoy watching television, and for seniors, this is often especially true. It helps alleviate boredom and feelings of isolation and offers them access to news and entertainment they love. If TVs are such a consistently used product, it is important that they are as comfortable to use as possible.
This is where TV remotes come in. Regardless of age, using a TV remote with finicky small buttons, low sensitivity and hard to read letters is very frustrating.
There are many reasons remotes need to cater to seniors specially:
- Many seniors have arthritis, making objects like remotes hard to use and navigate. Regular remotes can be heavy and hard to hold for long durations, which makes them very difficult to use when you have hand tremors or pain in your hands.
- Some people have poor eyesight or other issues with their eyes that can make the small, hard to read buttons on regular remotes hard to use.
- Seniors should be able to enjoy the media they love without spending a long time trying to figure out the remote and read the small buttons. It is important that they get the best experience they can watching television. It can be disheartening to not be able to use a remote on your own to watch TV, which is an everyday activity.
- Many people suffer from dementia and other cognitive impairments that can make it harder to navigate complicated remotes. Simpler designs can overwhelm them much less.
Remotes for seniors need to cater to their needs by being easy to handle and read, and as responsive as possible.
Features to Look For
- Large, easy to read and use buttons
The button and the writing on it need to be large and easy to read even for seniors with poor eyesight. This is often done by removing buttons that are not necessary like the number pad, to make room for larger buttons, that can be easily pressed. It also makes it easy to remember their locations.
Having a backlight for the buttons also helps if a senior has poor eyesight, and makes the use of the remote easier at night.
Most people do not require a remote with tons of buttons that are difficult to understand and cause confusion. A remote with only the essential buttons, and a simplistic design can make a huge difference in senior comfort.
- Easy to program
Some remotes are difficult to set up with televisions, and make programming it to your devices time-consuming. Finding a remote that sets up quickly with minimal hassle can save a lot of time and frustration.
The remote should also be easy to program for your needs and preferences such as setting up favorite channels and custom commands.
- Multi-device compatibility
Many people have DVD players and other devices that they would like to be able to use with their television, without having to get a second remote. It can be greatly useful if the remote is compatible with multiple services and devices.
- Wrist strap
A wrist strap is helpful in many scenarios. Some seniors are forgetful, or may drop it often, both problems a wrist strap can fix.
- Lightweight and compact design
A heavy remote can make it impossible to use for those who have trouble holding heavy or large objects. It is important that the remote is as light as possible and does not cause pain upon using it.
Best TV Remotes for Seniors
Universal Big Button
This remote is one of the most senior-friendly on this list. It is very simplistic, with only six main buttons, making it one of the easiest to get used to. It is also a great option for the visually impaired with its backlit buttons.
- Big, backlit buttons with unique shapes that make them easy to identify even by tactile feel
- The remote syncs easily with the TV
- Wrist strap included
- Comes in white and black
- 90-day warranty
- Can only connect to one device
Read more about the product here.
Flipper Big Button
The Flipper Big Button is a slightly more programmable version of the Universal Big Button, allowing for more customization.
- Can connect with multiple devices
- You can set up 25 favorite channels, making it easy to switch to them as soon as you turn your TV on
- Hidden number pad that can be revealed when needed. The option to cover them can prevent them from overwhelming a senior by a large number of buttons
- Lock feature that helps prevent accidental reprogramming that can change your setup and preferences
- Simple interface with 6 buttons that have different colors, making them easily recognizable
- Universally compatible
- Horizontal orientation for the volume and channel buttons, instead of the more common vertical orientation
You can find the product here.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
The Fire TV stick is extremely popular among people of all ages, for its new-age compatibility and simplistic look. It is a straightforward remote that does not have too many buttons, making it a good choice for seniors too.
- Compatible with most major streaming services like Prime, Netflix, Hulu and Disney+
- Alexa compatibility. Voice activated remotes could greatly help seniors with visual impairments
- Easy to set up, almost fully ready upon arrival, unlike other remotes that require more time to setup and program to your TV
- Can check the weather, news and listen to music
- All-black, and small buttons which can make it difficult to see and use at times
- No wrist strap
There are other models that cost less and more, based on the features they offer.
You can find the product and more here.
GE 2 Device Universal Remote
This is one of the most affordable options on our list, and provides value for the money with its great features.
- Can connect to two devices
- Curved back
- Option for auto programming (although you may have to manually put in a code for full compatibility and for all buttons to work the way you would like them to)
- Buttons for sleep and input
- ‘Last channel’ button
- Works with smart TVs
- Budget friendly, in comparison to the other remotes on the list
- Number pad is on the front interface, which may make it overwhelming and confusing for some seniors
- Power button turns on one device at a time
The product is available here.
Watching television is a universally enjoyed activity for people of all ages. The remotes that go along with the televisions do not always make it easy for seniors to use. Deciding to purchase a senior-friendly remote for your loved one can make everyday life more comfortable, and make watching TV an enjoyable experience that does not cause frustration or discomfort.
- Do Seniors Need a Special TV Remote Control?, Easy Tech Seniors, https://www.easytechseniors.com/do-seniors-need-a-special-tv-remote-control/
- What’s the Best Simple Universal Remote for Seniors?, The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/universal-remote-seniors/