Introduction: An Easy to Use TV Remote for Seniors.

About: Current projects and interests: --- Re-casing electronics. --- Christmas Villages: solutions, improvements and new ideas. --- N scale model railroading: Compact layout designs, animations.
Senior citizens have difficulty sometimes using a TV remote control. Typical TV remotes feature a ton of tiny buttons, all thrown together with little rhyme and reason. (One wonders what their designers were thinking :-) So it may be hard for seniors to figure out the buttons, not to mention finding them. With this instructable, I am proposing an easy solution.

Step 1: The Solution

The solution is based on using one of those huge remotes. I got the one pictured for a few dollars at a New York City surplus store, but other versions are available at KMart-type stores. As you can see, it is almost a foot tall! Now, seniors will have an easy time finding the buttons. Not to mention finding the remote itself!!! :-)

But the remote may be still too complicated for them. And the answer is....

Step 2: Highlight the Useful Buttons Only.

You can highlight the buttons one would normally need. High-tech-challenged seniors don't really need all those buttons on a typical remote, anyway.

The remote in the picture is laid out pretty nicely, but it can still use some improvement. We can do one of many things:

1) Open the case and physically slice off all the rubber buttons users do not really need. (I have not chosen this step, but it should be pretty obvious. An X-Acto knife should to the trick. Be careful using it.) You can then cover the holes with plastic sheet.

2) Highlight the useful buttons by painting them a bright color and redrawing the button icon, or by drawing around the button with a bright colored ink.

3) The easy way out: Obliterate any buttons that are of little use by painting over them. A sharpie marker should do fine.

So, the pictures in this step show different cases of obliteration, following solution 3. Personally, I do not have a need for such a remote, so I am demonstrating the solution by drawing on the picture instead. I hope you will forgive me for this.

One note on the code search key: You can leave it in, if your favorite senior still needs to search for codes when they buy new stuff. But, even if you choose solution 3, this option still leaves the "bad" keys functional, so if you think you will need them at some point, keep a copy of their position. The code search key can still be used (by you, for example, helping your senior with a new piece of gear).