Don’t Touch The Buttons

Help me understand, with dementia your long term memory stays intact and your short term memory goes to hell. Then why is it that my mom can’t remember how to work the TV.

We had put in Direct TV for my parents over eight years ago. The boxes were in the den and in the bat cave (my mom’s room). While my mom never really strayed from the regular channels she could work the controller.

Well about two years ago, our TV time was constantly interrupted. The controller for the Direct TV has forty-five buttons and mom started to become confused.

“Nancy, I can’t get channel two.”
“Mom just hold the controller and press the channel number you want once and your show will come on.”
“I did that, I’m not dumb.”
“Well I just changed the channel and it worked, show me how you change the channel.”
“I did the same thing as you.”
“Mom, you need to turn the controller around and change the channel, your pointing the controller in the wrong direction.”
“Well this is how I always did it, something must be wrong.”

“Nancy, hurry come quick something’s wrong with my TV”.
“Now what’s wrong?’
“I’m trying to watch channel two and everything is in Spanish. I think I need a new TV.”
“Mom that’s not channel two its twenty-two, it’s a Spanish station, just press the button once.”

“Nancy, nothing works on my TV.”
“Mom you keep pressing the input button.”

Then it happened. She noticed the little door on the bottom of the TV and more buttons to push. Thank God for electrical tape she didn’t need more buttons.

Finally the decision was made since she didn’t watch the expanded channels we would go to regular TV. Another problem since mom’s TV is seven years old it would need a converter box.

“Nancy, my TV won’t turn on.”
“Mom you need to leave the converter box on.”
“The TV still won’t go on.”
“Mom you still have to turn the TV on.”

“Nancy my TV won’t go off.”
“Mom, you need to press off, your pressing on.”

So for Christmas mom got a new TV, no converter box, just a nice flat screen TV, along with it a new easy controller. Life is good, no more problems. Wrong the new TV now picks up about three channels for every regular station instead of just one channel two, she gets two-one, two-two and two-three, shit! Thank goodness for channel locks.

Did it end there? No, she now noticed the red lights on the bottom of the TV, I told her it’s just to let you know the TV’s on. But there was something about the red lights, she just had to push, hell they’re working buttons.

We now have fewer problems thanks to the new TV, electrical tape, and an easy controller, because the next step would have been to take out the TV and give her crayons.

Happy Birthday Chris! (January 3rd)

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2 Responses to “Don’t Touch The Buttons”


  1. 1 Barbara January 5, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Hahahaha!!! I can so-o-o relate! We got Mom a new tv also and the remote buttons are in different places than the old remote. She’s having a hard time of it trying to find the channel and volume buttons. I’ve shown her umpteen gazillion times and she still gets confused. She now has me being in control of the controls.
    Any time you throw them a curve ball (something new) the ball is gonna come right back at ya!

    • 2 Nancy January 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm

      Unlike your mother mine won’t let me control anything.
      I tried so hard to pick out the easiest remote, it has a power button, volume and channel arrows that go up and down. The channel numbers are inside a flip section that she doesn’t even know about, so she really only has three buttons to worry about. The problem now is at least twice a day she lowers the volume and forgets how to use the arrows to make it louder. I shouldn’t complain at least I’m getting exercise getting up and down.


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