10 October 2014
Cable TV remote for an elderly parent with dementia
I have been recurrently frustrated by the inability of cable television and electronic device makers to offer a remote control suitable for use by people with impaired cognitive function. My 95-year-old mother does not have a DVR, does not need a picture-in-picture function, and could never navigate through a scrolling channel-guide menu. When I explained our situation to the staff at the local Charter office, what they offered me was a similar remote with bigger buttons ("for handicapped people.")
I finally had to modify the remote using duct tape. It's not optimal, because some buttons get accidentally pressed through the tape, but it's way better than the original.
Addendum: A tip of the blogging hat to the many readers who offered practical advice in the Comments section. Also on further net searching I see a simiilar solution was devised by Marilyn at Nag on the Lake.
Addendum #2: Reader Matthew notes that there is a commercial product on the market that effectively does what I was trying to achieve with tape: Button Blocker.