The remote control is too difficult to use for my elderly parents. Help!



My elderly parents have Telus OptikTV with a "slimline" remote control.   They are constantly calling me to "fix the TV" because the remote control is too complicated and difficult for them.

They do not understand the concept of the "Mode" button.  For example:

Want to turn on the TV?  First you must click "mode" to turn it to TV mode, and THEN click the power button to turn on the TV.  Whoops.. you just turned off the OptikTV box.   OK, now you click the mode again to TV?  Good. now you've turned on the TV, but the OptikTV box, so they think it's broken.    Click the mode button again and power still isn't working!  No, you're on "AUX" mode... ok.. one more time.. Now you've turned on the OptikTV box but the TV is off!  Arg!!!

If they want to change audio volume, then they must click "Mode" to TV mode and THEN they can control audio volume.  But now the remote can't control the OptikTV channels any more, so they think the remote does not work.

If they want to change the optikTV channel.. they must click the "Mode" to "Optik" mode, and THEN they can control channels.  But now they can't control the audio volume, so they think the remote does not work.  

The buttons are very small, and they are not able to read the small letters.   If they accidently click the "Input" button while the remote is in "TV" mode... god help me. Now TV shows "snow" and nothing works, and it is painful to try and explain how to change the TV input back to "HDMI 1" input source (for optikTV).   It isn't working?   Oh.. because optikTV box is not on.   Repeat trying to turn it on, and also TV, now TV is off, etc...

The silver "dial" within the bigger black dial is very difficult for my father to press the buttons.  He has giant sausage fingers that shake, and he is constantly mashing the buttons trying to push the "right arrow", but instead.. he ends up pushing various other buttons except the one he wants.

What they need.. is a VERY simple remote control that works with BOTH their tv (power and audio) and the optikTV box, WITHOUT having to press a "Mode" button to switch back and forth.   Also a remote control that does not have tiny little buttons that they can't see clearly or press without also touching other buttons with their giant clumsy fingers.  And many extra needless buttons, that when pressed.. mess things up so now the entire system is not usable without having to call a child for help.

Does Telus offer a remote control device for old people?  I am very happy to pay extra for a "elderly person" remote control.


Community Power User
Community Power User

To start with it sounds like their remote isn't configured correctly if they have to change mode all the time. I'm guessing they have the previous generation Slimline remote. There is a newer version, Slimline 2, that doesn't have Input or Aux and has slightly larger print on the buttons as well. It may work better. 



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You are fighting a losing battle but Nighthawk had some useful advice.


Might also want to label the remotes...


Yes, they have the "Slimline" remote that you posted... the one of the left.  

I used the programming instructions to pair the remote with their TV.   When I click the "Power" button on the remote, the tv turns on/off.  (The problem is that the remote must be in "TV mode" first.  If I click the volume up/down... it works.. as long as the remote is in "TV mode" first.   

The big problem and difficulty for my elderly parents is that they don't understand that the same buttons can be used for multiple functions... depending on what "mode" the remote is in.  That concept is beyond their ability to comprehend.

I have tried explaining it to them a hundred times.  They are not stupid people, but they do not understand "technology"... and then they get frustrated and start pushing lots of buttons... and then things get really messed up.

The physical aspect of the remote is also difficult.. the buttons are too small, and the "navigation ring, within the larger black ring"... while an elegant looking design.. is very difficult for anyone with big sausage fingers who suffers from uncontrollable shaking.

I will look into the Slimline 2 remote.  It appears to have two power buttons, which is easier for them to understand.  Perhaps that will work better.

Where can I purchase this remote?

Community Power User
Community Power User

You can simply request the Slimline 2 from Telus, and they will ship one to them. You can then pair it, and set it up for them.


Others have used Logitech remotes, which you can find an electronics stores.


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Community Power User
Community Power User

You contact Telus directly and request a replacement remote.  Usually tech support can arrange one, or at least they did the last time mine stopped working.

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Ask TELUS for a new remote as @Nighthawk and @NFtoBC suggested (that's how I got mine) but also consider buying a cheap programmable remote with big buttons that are easier to see. Just program in the buttons they need to use and nothing else.


BTW, I totally understand the situation you are in. I'm tech support for my parents and my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law occasionally hits the mode button or input button by mistake on her satellite remote and it's a 40 minute drive for me to fix it because it would take me more than 40 minutes to talk her through fixing it over the phone.


I had the same problem with my parents and this is what I did. 


IMG_0614 (768x1024).jpg


You can synchronize the remote to turn on or turnoff both the TV and the STB connection to get Optic TV.  Simple process,but you will likely have to go help him which may not be possible these days!


The problem with syncing the power buttons for both TV and Optik is that it's a toggle and not discrete codes for ON and OFF. If one device should be off while the other is on then pressing a synced power button will never get both devices in the same state. You need separate power buttons or some manual intervention (power button on the device) to get them in the same state.