Senior-Friendly TV Remote

Flipper Remote: Do Caregivers Like It?
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Have you ever tried to help an elder understand and operate a TV remote control? Perhaps you've found yourself so frustrated you felt like throwing the remote clear across the room. You're not alone. The Flipper Remote aims to simplify the often frustrating experience of using those complex TV remotes. We asked our caregiving product testers to try it out to see if it lives up to its promise.

Here's what we learned.

What Is the Flipper Remote?

The Flipper Remote is a remote control for televisions. It's designed to work with virtually any television, cable, or satellite box. Sleek and light to hold, the Flipper Remote features 5 large, color-coded buttons: green for power, orange for volume, blue for channel selection, and grey for mute. Push down the sliding panel on the remote to find setup buttons that allow you to program in the specific channels your loved one enjoys the most. After setup, the scrolling function allows your loved one to go directly to those preprogrammed channels with ease. You can customize up to 30 channels and set up a lock system to prevent anyone from accidentally reprogramming the channels.

Why Is the Flipper Remote Important for Seniors and Caregivers?

Many elders find themselves struggling with technology -- unable to choose the channels they want to watch without help. The Flipper Remote gives back to seniors the ability to navigate through channels. After approximately 15 minutes of setup time, the Flipper Remote is ready to use, with favorite channels set. The "lock" prevents anyone from undoing all your hard work. The Flipper Remote can give your elders a sense of having something that's all their own.

What Users Liked About the Flipper Remote

  1. Elders like the simple design.
    The Flipper Remote looks simple, and that's a real plus. It doesn't appear overwhelming. "I have two elders and both of them liked the Flipper Remote," said one caregiver. "I like that there are so few keys on the control panel," said another. "Their size and location make them easy to use and remember."

  2. The slide panel makes it easy to block out unwanted selections.
    If you're caring for someone with dementia, you might prefer to avoid certain channels -- broadcast news that might be confusing and upsetting, for example. At the same time, it's handy to have a loved one's favorite channels in convenient locations. "I like the weight and feel of the remote. And I especially like being able to close the cover on the numeric keypad and lock the settings and favorite channels in place," said a caregiver. "Thanks for giving my elderly family members more control."

  3. For many, the setup was manageable and operating the Flipper Remote was easy to understand.
    Most of the reviewers agreed that someone else (other than the senior) in the household would have to handle the actual setup of the Flipper Remote. "It was easy to set up and follow the instructions in the manual. Both the manual and video were easy to follow," said a caregiver.

  4. The large, color-coded buttons are easier for most hands.
    Most of the reviewers found that the outer five buttons were easy to navigate.

What Users Didn't Like About the Flipper Remote

  1. Seniors/elders will need help with setup.
    "The process is difficult to impossible for most elders. Someone else will have to set it up for them," said one reviewer.

  2. For some, the programmable buttons felt small and awkward.
    While most reviewers agreed that the outer five buttons were easy to navigate, many had difficulty with the inner/programmable buttons. The multiple codes for each brand of television left the users feeling like they had to figure it out via trial and error.

  3. Several reviewers wanted a way to prevent losing the remote.
    "The remote is so light that it would be easy to lose. I suggest a kit with a cord that could be attached -- or a beeper," said one reviewer.

You Should Try the Flipper Remote If You . . .

  • Are a caregiver or loved one of elders who would still like to manage the remote for themselves.
  • Are a senior who finds most television remotes too complicated.
  • Have dexterity issues (arthritis, Parkinson's) and need a simpler remote.
  • Struggle with poor vision and would appreciate larger buttons.
  • Would like to give a senior in your life a practical gift that will make life easier.

How to Purchase the Flipper Remote:

The Flipper Remote is available for $24.95 at

Carol O'Dell

Carol O'Dell is the author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir, about her experience caring for her mother through Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and coronary diseases. See full bio