A TV remote can become difficult for the person with dementia to use, and the person might even tell you the TV is broken. In this Teaching Dementia Care post, we offer some tips to make accessing the TV easier for the person.
- Consider limiting the number of channels the person gets, so there are less channels to 'surf' through or get lost in.
- If there is 1 or 2 shows the person likes to view, make a very simple note to remind them. For example, "News - Channel 5 - 6:00pm"
- Have a very basic remote that has only needed functions, such as volume and channel switching buttons.
- Adapt the remote. In the past, I have painted the appropriate buttons red with nail polish or paint, but I also love this idea found through the MindStart Pinterest board. Tape off the buttons that are not needed and leave only the ones remaining. The test will be to see if the person leaves the tape on or not!
- For individuals beyond the early stage of dementia, your or other caregiver can turn on the tv for the person at the appropriate times for a tv show that they like. Managing the remote and tv controls generally becomes too difficult for the person at the middle stage.
- As a caveat to this article, tv viewing is not always the best activity for the person with dementia. This will depend on the person and the stage of dementia. See what works best for the person you care for.
Looking for activity items that can be an alternative to tv? MindStart puzzles offer the person a wonderful way to spend time, be cognitively stimulated, and feel pride in their accomplishment.