A decline in hearing and eyesight is a natural effect of growing old. This can complicate tasks as simple as watching television, leaving elders and caregivers looking for the best TV remotes for seniors.
Declining mobility and restricted activities also mean seniors look for more sedentary forms of entertainment. One of the most common leisure time activities is television watching. Individuals between the ages of 55 to 65 watch over three hours of television every day. Those over the age of 65 watch over four hours a day.
Studies have shown that regular TV viewing maintains everyday routines, provides a distraction, and even allows the elderly to feel connected to the community through news and local programming.
Even with reduced entertainment options due to health problems or mobility issues, seniors wish to be independent as long as possible. Being able to relax and enjoy their favorite TV shows without complicated procedures will help maintain that independence. The right remote control can take the frustration out of TV viewing.
TV Remote Features
Not just any remote will do when looking for a remote control for elderly individuals. Finding the appropriate control device that meets your needs is vital. Let’s look at some features that you may want to look for in your next remote control.
The most important feature to consider is if the remote is compatible with the devices you want to use it with. There’s nothing more frustrating than setting up the device with your TV only to find out that it won’t work with the cable box. Check the product’s listing carefully or contact the manufacturer to determine what brands the remote is compatible with.
Along the same lines, you should consider the number of devices the remote can manage. Because these are simplified remotes, most are only able to handle one or two devices. This limitation might mean you’ll need a second remote for the cable box or streaming service, which complicates the very thing you want to simplify.
The buttons on a remote control designed for the elderly should be large and easy to press. Remotes with contrasting colors between the base and the buttons are best since they are easier to use by those with low vision. Buttons with backlighting are also excellent choices, especially if your loved one likes to watch evening programs. Since the fewer options, the easier a remote control is to use, look for a model that has under ten buttons. If your loved one tends to lose the remote often, consider a device that has a wrist strap.
Recommended TV Remotes for Seniors
Let’s take a look at a few models that we found in our quest for the best TV remotes for seniors. Remember to check compatibility with the TV you own and the devices, like a DVD player or cable box, that you wish to use the remote for.
Flipper Big Button TV Remote
- ✅ BEST SELLING BIG BUTTON REMOTE - The Flipper Remote is designed Senior Friendly with large color-coded tactile buttons for easy use. Only 3 Functions; On/Off, Channel Up, Channel Down, Volume Up, Volume Down and Mute. It’s the perfect for gift for caregivers, elderly loved ones with Dementia or Alzheimer's or someone with low and impaired vision.
- ✅ COMBINE multiple remotes into ONE - The only remote you’ll need for both your TV and Cable, Satellite or DTV box. Works for all major TVs and STB’s (Set-top Box) available on the market like Xfinity, Spectrum, Dish, Durect TV, Tivo. Two remotes combined into one to make your viewing
In our opinion, the Flipper Big Button TV Remote has the best programming features for multiple devices. It works with all infrared TVs, cable boxes, Comcast, Dish, Direct TV, Spectrum, Bose, and Xfinity.
This large button remote had three functions, on/off, channel, and volume for simplicity. The number pad allows you to program and lock up to 25 favorite channels and then hides beneath a solid cover, so there’s not an overwhelming amount of buttons to choose from. The bright button colors are ideal for seniors with low vision. One drawback is that the controls are oriented horizontally rather than vertically, as on most remotes.
Universal Big Button TV Remote from EasyMote
- ✔ TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HOME ENTERTAINMENT – Controls both your TV and Cable Box (IR) with the same remote. The EasyMote is all you need for a stress free, easy to navigate experience with your Television. No more complicated remotes! Works with all major IR (infrared) TVs and Set Top Boxes. (Make sure to activate IR in Xfinity and Dish!).
- ✔ SLEEK HANDHELD DESIGN – 6 Large, Bright, Backlit buttons for basic TV control with CLEAR and BIG button text for easy-to-see use, even in the dark. Including a STRONG WRIST STRAP, which is made from a strong, comfortable-to-wear material, which prevents misplacement.
The Universal Big Button TV Remote from EasyMote is another large button infrared compatible device. It works on all major IR TVs and cable boxes. However, you’ll need one for the TV and another for the cable box or DVD player because it only can interact with a single device.
It has six large backlit buttons, on/off, mute, volume, and channel. The remote comes in white or black with contrasting buttons making them easier to see. Additionally, it has a wrist strap to help reduce the occurrences of misplacement.
After programming, the control can be locked so that no accidental reprogramming will happen. Each button can be programmed to a custom command. However, users have indicated that the programming process is tricky. The EasyMote remote has a 90-day warranty as well.
Gmatrix u43 Big Button Universal Remote Control
- Ease to Use for most popular brands in USA
- Big button and smooth design with natural fit and comfortable to hold
The Gmatrix u43 Big Button Universal Remote Control has large buttons with symbols for ease of use. The on/off switch is round and orange in contrast to the square or rectangle adjustment buttons. It has mute and previous channel buttons. The volume and channel changing buttons are large and centered. It also has a number pad. Unfortunately, none of the buttons are backlit.
It is compatible with most but not all TV brands, including LG, Panasonic, Philips, RCA, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Vision, and Zenith. Cable programming is possible but might be complicated for some users.
GE Big Button Universal Remote Control
- LARGE SIMPLIFIED KEYBOARD – Relax and enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows with this user-friendly 2-device remote with an ergonomic design that is comfortable to hold and easy-to-read big buttons making it a breeze to navigate making it especially helpful to seniors those with impaired vision and anyone who simply wants a hassle-free entertainment experience
- MULTI DEVICE CONTROL – Simplify your life and gain complete control of up to 2 audio/video components such as TVs Blu-ray/DVD players cable/satellite receivers Roku boxes and other streaming media players sound bars and more
The GE Big Button Universal Remote Control can be programmed to control two devices, including most Samsung TVs, cable satellite setups, Roku boxes, VCR, DVD/Blu-ray player, and streaming players.
It has buttons to switch back and forth between the two programmed devices. However, the power button will only turn on one device at a time. The volume and channel changer buttons are large and centrally located. The number pad has large, easy to read buttons. It also has mute and last channel buttons.
Socobeta Universal Remote Control Learning Smart Controller
- PERFECT REPLACEMENT REMOTE CONTROL：The learning TV remote control with large buttons is an ideal replacement remote control for TV. This is a large and complex remote control that can be used to replace the original remote control, such as TV/STB/DVD/DVB/HIFI/VCR.
- LONG DISTANCE CONTROL：The transmission distance of this wireless remote control universal big button TV remote control is longer, up to 10 meters (the actual remote control distance depends on the TV model). The long-distance transmission of the 6-key universal remote control smart controller allows you to no longer be restricted by distance when using the remote control.
If you are looking for something even simpler than those mentioned above, check out the Socobeta Universal Remote Control Learning Smart Controller. It can be programmed to control the TV, DVD players, DVB, cable boxes, HIFI, and VCRs. It has six buttons, on/off, volume, channel, and mute. The buttons are large and bright orange for easy visibility. It can be used up to 10 meters from the device it is controlling. However, it is only able to interact with a single device.
Alexa Voice Remote for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
- Compatible with the Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, and Amazon Fire TV (not compatible with Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite, Amazon Fire TV Stick 2020 release, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K or Amazon Fire TV Edition smart TVs)
- Quickly skip to your favorite scenes with standard navigation and playback controls
If you are looking for a voice-controlled remote for your Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, and Amazon Fire TV, then the Alexa Voice Remote is the perfect option. The built-in microphone can search instantly for TV shows and movies. It integrates with Alexa to play music, find the weather, or check the latest baseball scores. Add apps and games for more entertainment.
This remote will work anywhere in the room instead of having to point directly at the TV. It’s compatible with Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, Disney+, ESPN, Hulu, and YouTube. It is not compatible with Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K or Amazon Fire TV Edition smart TVs. The remote comes pre-programmed to your Amazon account.
Although the face has few buttons, they are black and small, making it more difficult for some users. The tactile circle controller may also take some time for users to become accustomed to it.
After you determine that a particular device is compatible with the TV and service you use, then large buttons, backlighting, and simplicity of design are the main features to look for when choosing the best TV remotes for seniors.
In our opinion, the Flipper Big Button TV Remote is an excellent choice when it comes to a remote control for the elderly. It can be programmed with up to 25 channels, and the number pad is covered, leaving only the essential buttons on hand. If you need a voice-activated control and use Amazon for streaming services, then the Alexa Voice Remote is a great option.
It’s more than a bummer…even the Flipper is not really supported by anyone (their website is still dated 2018). It’s just too bad a real tech company has not yet figured out that there are billions to be made off the elderly and those affected with dementia. Mary’s comment (above) about simple things like the time holding a button can easily be addressed by well-paid tech people. Don’t even get me started on “smart” speakers; virtually none offer comprehensive or even meaningful apps (i.e. “skills”) for folks with memory issues–yet the tech is there. Care takers would be happy to pay big bucks for well-working tech that supported and helped their loved ones remain in their homes.
Unfortunately, none of these devices work for us. My Mom’s assisted living has Comcast Xfinity, and each remote we try is missing one essential feature or another when used with it. My Mom has a hard time speaking due to brain damage to her language center. She also gets upset and confused when she lands on the wrong channel. I want a remote that: a) has limited buttons; b) can be programmed for only specific channels. The flipper LOOKS like the one, but if you hold the button a fraction of a second too long, for example you’re going to channel 5, it types 5 twice and you end up on channel 55. It seems like such a simple thing, and I wish xfinity would provide something more than just big keys and voice.
That’s a bummer. I’m not sure of an alternative.