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Choosing the best television shows for a senior relative

Both the physical and psychological health of your elderly relative should be maintained in a New York nursing home, so if your loved one is susceptible to emotional mood swings from watching certain forms of television shows, you should be ready to discuss these issues if your relative is going to stay at a nursing home. This can be a particular concern if your loved one is not able to change a television channel or suffers from dementia. explains that people who suffer from dementia are especially vulnerable since they have trouble telling the difference between fiction and reality. For this reason, they may become emotionally disturbed if they watch a movie or television show that is sad, frightening or violently charged. Dementia sufferers also might take on intense emotions, positive or negative, that mirror what they see on their television screen.

If your senior relative is too infirm to personally change the channel, you should look for the right channels to have on in your loved one’s room. Seek out channels that do not show disturbing imagery, bad language or violence, and instead fill out their programming with upbeat and positive shows. Sitcoms that your loved one enjoyed in his or her younger years are a good place to start, as there are many channels dedicated to retro programming.

Nursing homes also have televisions in common areas, so if you tour a nursing home, take some time to see what is being shown while seniors eat or socialize. You might see a game show like Family Feud or Wheel of Fortune. According to Retire at Home, game shows and trivia programming are ideal for seniors who do not have a lot of opportunity to challenge themselves mentally. Classic movies, reality shows that teach about nature, and cooking shows are also good choices for the elderly.

Basically, people should evaluate the emotional and mental status of their loved one before determining their television needs. Some seniors are still mentally and emotionally healthy, so limiting their television programming may infringe on their independence. The question at hand is whether your relative’s health could be impacted by poor television choices. If so, make sure your nursing home is on the same page as you on what your relative can watch.

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Brenna Boyce PLLC Attorney at Law
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