Quick Picks: Best TV Remotes for Elderly Seniors
- Amazon Fire Stick [Best Voice-Controlled Remote] A super tech remote hooking seniors up to a variety of streaming services. Plus, the Amazon Fire Stick can show the news, broadcast the weather, and play music – all with Alexa voice controls!
- Universal Big Button [Best Big Button Remote] This simple universal TV remote features just six large, prominently displayed, brightly colored buttons that provide all the core feature an elderly individual might want.
- Flipper Big Button Remote [Best Programming Features] This streamlined remote features just six essential buttons, but also offers a slide-away panel that provides additional programming options. Plus, you can program “favorite” channels to have the remote only flip through the pre-chosen channels.
- GE Big Button Remote Control [Best Multi-Device Remote for the Elderly] This remote offers the ability to control multiple devices, making it great for accessing DVD players, VCRs, etc. While there are more buttons than most seniors will need, the channel and volume controls are large and displayed prominently.
Have you held a TV remote closer to light to make out which of the small, difficult to push buttons is the right one? Senior-specific remotes fix this issue with bright, contrasting buttons and simple designs.
The best TV remotes for seniors bring autonomy to their most common form of entertainment.
What Kind of TV Remotes are Best for the Elderly?
Television offers the elderly access to news and entertainment, helping to keep boredom and alleviate feelings of isolation. With seniors watching an average of 3 to 4.5 hours of television a day, (or more depending on other entertainment options available), it’s essential that TVs are accessible and easy-to-use for seniors.
The right remote control can make it much easier for older individuals to use their television and bring entertainment to their home.
Most remotes specifically designed for seniors are:
- Easy to program
- Have large buttons
- Simple, with only essential buttons present
Remotes allow seniors to stay in one spot, rather than getting up all the time, to change channels, turn up the volume, and power off the TV. They also tend to have large, backlit buttons instead of a plethora of small buttons like a traditional remote.
Having fewer buttons makes memorizing the button locations simpler for those who cannot see well.
Many remotes for seniors are lightweight and fit within the palm of a hand. This allows for one-handed operation to keep things simple.
Programming can often be the trickiest part of a remote. Many remember spending hours punching in different codes, trying to make the remote communicate with the TV. Most senior-ready remotes scan pre-programmed codes when you begin the programming and are ready in just a few minutes.
Especially for seniors who are vision impaired, a simple, big-button remote is a great choice to help make TV watching a more enjoyable experience.
Features to Look For in a TV remote
Depending on a senior’s eyesight, TV habits, and dexterity, users will need to prioritize some features over others. Some remotes will be more complex with number pads for those who have specific channel numbers they like, while others only allow you to scroll through channels with a toggle.
Let’s dive in to understand the best features in a TV remote for a senior.
Large, Easy-to-Read Numbers
Larger button and label size make finding the correct button easy, even if a senior’s eyesight is poor.
Many of these senior-friendly remotes do not have a number keypad, while others can hide it when not in use. Most find number pads non-essential, and leaving them out allows the core value buttons to be larger and more prominently displayed.
Some remotes have multiple labels on buttons. While this increases the functions a remote can do, it may be confusing for users who are not technically inclined.
Color Contrast Between Plastic and Buttons
Color contrast is vital to differentiate between buttons and the physical remote. A clear distinction between the two will help seniors press the right button at the right time and be easier for those with vision impairments.
Some remotes only have the power button a distinct color, but others separate the volume and channel buttons by color as well. This can help, especially when learning a remote, to ask the user to push the yellow button rather than the one labeled power.
Easy to Press + Large Buttons
Some people may repeatedly push down a remote button in order to get it to work properly, but this is not something any senior wants to deal with. It can be incredibly frustrating, and even more so if you can’t read the button’s label in the first place.
By making remote buttons large and easy to press, seniors can be more confident in their selection and have more autonomy over their entertainment choices.
Seeking out products with simple, large, and easy-to-press buttons is an overarching necessity when shopping for seniors – whether you’re shopping for a coffee maker, microwave, or a remote control!
Depending on a senior’s technical savvy, it may be good to opt for a more straightforward, no nonsense remote.
The majority of seniors do not need to cycle through the TV input or change the system’s formatting. Instead, limiting the buttons to power, volume, and channels to give them the necessities and nothing more.
For choosing channels, decide whether a number pad or just an up/down switch is best, as senior-specific remotes come with both of those options. If a senior watches just a few channels, opt for the super-simple version.
Optional, But Handy, Features
The following features are not found on every senior-specific remote. Instead, usually only high-end models include them. But, depending on the media and entertainment center set up and vision ability, they may be well worth having.
Often, seniors watch TV in their rooms with the lights dimmed. This poorly lit situation makes it extra difficult to see the remote, so a backlit remote helps.
Backlighting also emphasizes color contrast if there is one. Choosing a backlit, contrasted remote for those who watch TV in dark areas is recommended.
Not all seniors just watch the evening news and game shows. With the new technology and streaming services, getting seniors access to more media can go a long way to keeping them entertained.
Some senior remotes can control multiple devices, allowing them to use their DVD player, Roku device, or Amazon Fire Stick from the comfort of the couch.
Take note if the device automatically powers up all the devices programmed to it when you hit the power button, or if you have to go one at a time. Depending on the number of devices, this could cause confusion.
A wrist strap can keep a remote comfortably secure on a wrist for access at any time. This is helpful for seniors who have poor eyesight or tend to lose things into the couch cushion.
Consider attaching the remote with a strap or lanyard to an overbed table if they often watch TV in bed.
Best TV Remotes for Seniors
Some TV remotes for seniors will be bare-bones, allowing the user to turn on the TV and change the volume and channels but nothing more. Others have more advanced technology, including voice-activated searches or hidden number keypads.
Whichever you choose, we recommend the following six TV remotes for their size, simplicity, and reliability.
1. Fire TV Stick
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick combines all the major streaming services into one clear and simple design with a straightforward remote.
Uncluttered by excessive buttons, this remote has dedicated power, volume, and mute buttons for your TV and other receivers.
With the remote, users will have access to Alexa and simply say out loud what they would like to watch. This makes finding your favorite show, channel, or station easy. Consider this feature if the senior user has difficulty seeing buttons or words on the television – a voice-activated remote could be a game-changer!
The Fire TV Stick comes linked with your Amazon account and can scan for your TV on its own. This is a great option for those who are not technologically inclined because it is mostly ready upon arrival.
In addition in allowing seniors to access tons of fantastic streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, the Fire TV Stick can be used to, through voice commands, check the news, see the weather, listen to music, check the time, and more!
- Compatible with Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, Disney+, ESPN, Hulu, Youtube, and more
- Dedicated power button
- Voice-activated search with Alexa
- Dedicated power and volume buttons
- Clear, uncluttered face
- Size: 38 x 142 x 16 mm
- Weight: 43.4 grams without batteries
- Batteries: 2 AAA (included)
- Access multiple streaming services for diverse viewing
- Comes pre-programmed to your amazon account
- Apps and games can be added for additional entertainment
- All-black remote and buttons may be difficult to see
- Buttons are fairly small
- Tactile circle controller may take some time to get used to
2. Universal Big Button
Incredibly simple, the Universal Big Button Remote has the necessities and nothing extra. It has six buttons: two for volume, two for channels, on/off, and mute.
These buttons can also be customized to mimic a previous TV or Cable remote. This makes it a great choice for transitioning seniors from an older, bulky remote to a simpler remote.
This remote’s buttons are incredible large and have a powerful backlight that seniors adore. What’s more, the buttons have unique shapes, making them easy to identify by feel alone. This is an especially handy feature for those with vision impairments.
To set up, users simply need to make sure their TV’s infrared is on, and the remote will automatically sync up when turned on. If there are any issues, the USA-based customer service is available to answer any questions.
This product also includes a sturdy wrist strap, which may be a good choice for those who tend to misplace items like the TV remote. The EasyMote comes in either white or black.
- Simple, 6-button interface
- Can learn custom commands
- Backlit buttons with unique identifiable shapes
- 90-day warranty
- Simple set up
- Wrist strap
- Size: 5 x 2.25 x .9 inches
- Weight: 2.25 ounces
- Batteries: 2 AAA
- Backlit buttons are easy to see in the dark or for those with poor vision
- 6 large, bright green buttons allow for quick memorization of their locations
- Wrist strap can be attached to wrist or bedside table for easy retrieval
- Remote only connects to one device, so users with both a TV and cable or DVD player will need a second remote
3. Flipper Big Button
The Flipper Big Button is designed specifically for seniors. It can connect multiple devices, allowing the use of just one remote for all media products.
Anyone with impaired vision will enjoy the clear six buttons on the top. These big buttons are brightly colored and very easy to identify.
This remote is aptly named Flipper, as the bottom slides down to reveal numbered buttons and other programming essentials. The great thing is, these extra buttons and programming options can be covered to keep them out of the way for seniors who would be overwhelmed by them.
A caregiver can easily slide the panel and make programming adjustments that an elderly users can enjoy.
One of the most impressive functions of this big button remote is the ability to set “favorite” channels. Once favorite channels are set, when the user clicks the up and down channel buttons, the remote with flip between the programmed favorite channels, skipping other channels that the user does not care about.
This enables a senior to work with a smaller selection of TV channels they truly enjoy, rather them requiring them to waste time flipping through each and every channel in existence.
Lastly, the Flipper Big Button also has a lock feature to prevent any accidental reprogramming. So, once it’s set up, you can lock it in and be assured it is safe until your next visit.
- 6 Main buttons
- Hidden number keypad when needed
- Connects with multiple devices
- Lock feature keeps programming
- US-based customer support
- Ability to program favorite channels
- Universal remote
- Size: 7 x 2.5 x 2 inches
- Weight: 3 ounces
- Batteries: 2 AAA batteries (not included)
- Newest version can be programmed
- Different colored buttons great for users with poor vision
- Hidden keypad allows for increased customization without cluttering remote face
- Volume and channel buttons are horizontally located, rather than the traditional vertical orientation.
4. GE Big Button
The GE Big Button remote connects to two devices with a comprehensive code library for quick programming.
The curved back of the remote sits pleasantly in hand, while the channel and volume buttons are connected for simple adjustments.
In addition to volume buttons, channel buttons, a number pad, and mute, this remote also offers buttons for:
- Previous channel
- Large volume and channel buttons and number keypad
- Curved back
- Connects to two devices
- Tactile buttons with rocker buttons for volume and channel controls
- Option for “auto” programming that doesn’t require you to put in codes to connect
- Size: 1 x 2 x 5.75 inches
- Weight: 2.4 ounces
- Batteries: 2 AAA (not included)
- Buttons have plenty of spring to assure user they have been pressed
- Users especially appreciate the “last channel” button
- Great tactile feel
- Power button only turns on one device at a time
- Some buttons may not work if you use the auto programming set up – you may have to put in a code for full compatibility
5. Tek Pal Remote
The Tek Pal Remote is a small, large-button TV remote that is easy to hold at just under three inches wide.
Six large, backlit buttons are easy to see and use. Each has a different shape, making it easy for users with poor eyesight to differentiate between the power button and the volume or channel buttons.
The simple shapes and core functionality make this one of the top easy to use TV remotes for the elderly
- 6 clearly labeled buttons with different shapes
- Palm-sized remote for easy holding
- Buttons light up when pressed
- Size: 5.5 x 2.75 x 1 inches
- Weight: 5 ounces (with batteries)
- Batteries: 2 AAA (not included)
- Small size makes it easy to hold with frail hands
- Curved shape allows user to differentiate between front and back of remote
- Different shaped buttons allow user to determine which button it is through touch
- Program directions are in small print
- Some users accidentally reprogrammed the remote when holding down buttons
6. LittleTiger Mini
The LittleTiger Mini Learning Remote Control is a simple, palm-sized remote. It has eight buttons to scan through the channels and change the volume.
The battery compartment is easy to pop open so that most users can easily switch them when they run out of juice. As a no-frills option, it gives users a clean interface and nothing more.
This remote can actually learn new functions, so if there is a certain command or function an individual often uses, you can program it to a certain button.
- Learning ability pulls information and functions from old remotes
- 8 Multi-use keys
- Color contrasted power button for accessibility
- Size: 5 x 2 x 0.8 inches
- Weight: 2.30 ounces
- Batteries: 2 AAA (not included)
- Learning remote can have buttons be programmed for specific functions
- Once programmed, it works perfectly
- Palm-size is great for one-handed operation
- Round remote makes it difficult to differentiate between front and back
- Non-traditional button placement
- Some find the “learning” programming to be frustrating, although all note that once it’s set up, it’s great
Remote preference may lean heavily on what a user is used to and their specific needs. Do you have a favorite senior-specific remote? If so, share below in the comments!
Last update on 2020-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API