Suitability of TV programmes in care homes

I have been thinking about posting this for a while. I did not get round to it, but a current news story prompted me.

In the various care homes I visit, the television is almost constantly on in the communal day room. It can sometimes be a distracting nuisance when I am trying to talk to a resident, who may be hard of hearing, but I recognise that things need to be done for the benefit of most of the residents in general.

On a recent visit I saw a resident seated in front of a cookery demonstration programme. The resident did not exactly seem over-excited, and I wondered about how appropriate it was for these elderly residents to be watching such programmes, when it was highly unlikely they would ever cook in their own kitchens again.

I mentioned this to a relative with stronger links to the care home than mine. She responded to the effect that it was not easy to try to satisfy all residents all the time. She cited a case of one resident who was very keen on travel programmes, even though he was unlikely to travel again. It brought back happy memories of the many places he had visited in the past. However it did not suit some other residents.

I wonder if anybody else on this forum has ideas on how best to keep residents entertained with the TV. Is it just the case that some homes simply switch the TV on each morning and let residents take pot luck with whatever comes on? I think I could make a better choice. You could not go far wrong with BBC2, especially Victoria Derbyshire’s current affairs programme.

Which brings me onto that dreaded programme, “The Jeremy Kyle Show” - the damnation of television in my view. (I have another word to describe it, but not polite enough for this forum.) It is hardly the programme I would choose to watch myself, and ironically I got to see it during visits to care homes. Nothing to do with proper counselling is this program. More a case of provoked acrimony. Yes, let’s have the heavies waiting in the wings to deal with the occasional punch-up. Cheap sensational material exploiting down-and-outs with their personal problems. I once visited my mother, also in a care home, and this programme was on. “This is a horrible programme,” she said, and we moved to her private bedroom, but this is not always an option for everyone.

Now the programme has been pulled, and I hope for good. It is a just pity that it has taken a suicide following a grilling to bring this about. Put Jeremy Kyle back on breakfast television, where he can direct his judgemental venom at pompous politicians.

There’s also the issue of TV’s in hospital wards. A well meaning Friends Group may have bought one, but who controls the channel, and more importantly who controls the volume?
If the deafest person is furthest away from the screen and wants to hear the TV, that condemns the rest of the ward to an unpleasant sound level.
I went to see mum once, and the TV was so loud I had to ask for it to be turned down, so I could hear what my poorly softly spoken mum was saying. Is that fair on someone approaching the end of their life??

In many " Care " homes , a resident has few choices.

Either sit with others to watch television in a communial room or remain alone in his / her room to do what they
chose to do … reading / knitting etc. … more so if said resident is infirmed … say wheelchair bound.

Does open up a wider issue … define " Care " as applied in a residential care home … even extend to family carers in a home
setting … especially lone carers with elderly carees … try as we might , said caree does tend to " Vegetate " … ?

For some , little option but … does ask the question ?

My Mum has her own tv in her own room. Don’t most?
The home has several common areas, people chose which to sit in, only one has a tv on. They don’t have to stay in that area if they don’t wish.

My Mum has her own tv in her own room. Don’t most ?

Good question … deserves an almost impossible answer ?

I only have ever visited one care home … when meeting with my natural mother for the very first time …
my opinion would be bias … I couldn’t get out of there quick enough.

A BBC report back in March 2016 :

Can TV be for a force for good in care homes ?

A new report suggests the role of television in care homes should be reassessed.

The study by the dementia experts at Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre has suggested that changes in the way content is made available can have a positive impact in care homes.

Contrary to the image of elderly residents, passively watching whatever is on TV, the report suggests a more focused approach may have benefits.

BBC Scotland’s Craig Anderson reports

Link to Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre ( DSDC ) :

Yes, most private bedrooms have a TV, but that is not always a good solution. My mother spent too much time in her own room, but lately things have got better and she is joining in the communal spirit.

Sometimes it seems, residents are not allowed to stay in their bedrooms. I used to visit my aunt (sadly now deceased) in a care home and never got to see her private bedroom. It was put to me that because of her condition the staff wanted to keep an eye on her. This sometimes made visits slightly difficult because conversation was often in competition with a loud television, though the staff did find us a quiet room on a couple of occasions - but never her private room.

The bigger homes do have more than one communal area and that is good. Some of the smaller ones don’t.

PS: I have heard that “The Jeremy Kyle Show” has been axed. Good!

It seems this is more of a vendetta against the Jeremy Kyle show than a genuine complaint.

One persons meat is another persons poison. If I put Victoria Derbyshire’s current affairs show on, my Mum would fall asleep.

It’s a communal room and if the majority want something exciting then so be it, if they want a monotonous boring show, listening to people talk, then so be it.

My Dad never cooked, yet he loved watching cooking shows.

My Mum loves watching repeats of “Take me Out” , she makes comments on the girls and more often the lad. Not always polite!

I often watch tv programs on subjects I’m hardly likely to do, cakes I’m not going to bake. I climb Mount Everest from my armchair!

Often i get more satisfaction from those shows than I do from Victoria Derbyshire and her informative show.

For all we know the apparently unenthused woman may have once been a professional chef!

Mightn’t the choice of what’s on the tv depend on the likes and dislikes of the healthcare workers who have the remote control?

In a cafe in America recently, the server said the restaurant owner wouldn’t have any Democrat leaning news show on, only Republican FOX News!

Thanks, Rosemary. Maybe I was a little over-concerned, and it is good to hear other members’ views, as I asked for.

I don’t think that care home staff select the TV channel on personal choice. I don’t see them sitting around watching TV; they are too busy getting on with their job.

Each age has different programs, suitable for each hobby. Children, for example, love to watch cartoons.

This is an old thread, I am therefore locking it.