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My grandfather has PTSD, vision problems and showing signs of dementia, so they rarely leave the house. My grandmother isn't in the best physical health so she stays in her room most of the time. They exercise a fair amount for their respective physical health, but mainly indoors. They keep to themselves. We need to get them away from the tv. They even watch while they exercise or eat, but they claim it isn't an issue! We can't be there all the time, and there's no way they'd let someone into their home to help them. We've tried to confront the issue with them, but to no avail.


It spikes their anxiety, and I'm not sure what I can do, or if there's anything I can do. Thoughts???

People want someone to talk to them, and that's why they have it on all day. I know a 97-year-old woman who keeps Fox News on 24/7, including when she's asleep. She's scared of being alone, and she's not alone when there's a face looking right at her talking TO her.

I don't know the answer, but that's likely why they're doing it. They might do better in AL than home on their own.
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Reply to MJ1929
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My mother has a 800 sf apartment and 3 TVs in it. She has the news on all day long. Sadly, she cannot tell what is just inflammatory irresponsible reporting from the 'real news'. She gets so upset--but it's usually a misinterpretation of something she's heard.

When I visit, I ask that the TV be off. If she won't turn it off, I leave. Same thing with DH--he is addicted to TV and brought a HUGE one into the bedroom. I balked and said the bedroom was NOT for politics. Gave him a choice--move the TV and Faux News into the den or I would move to another bedroom.

Been sleeping in another room for over 5 years now. He simply will not bend on this. I can't explain how hurtful it is to be the 'loser' in this stupid battle. That he chooses TV over having a marriage relationship.

Yes, it ramps up his anxiety a LOT. He knows it. He's made his choice, and sadly, it really does affect his mood and behavior.

If your grandparents love TV that much, leave them alone. The choice to watch decent programming is there, if they choose not to, you really can't do much.
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Reply to Midkid58
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My Mum at 86 has the TV on all day, she watches the local news and then has various shows on. Since my step dad died 2 years ago she has been living alone. The TV gives her companionship and helps her to feel less alone. She either mutes it or turns it off when she has guests.

It could be that your parents cannot follow a regular show or movie anymore. News stations repeat the same stories all day long, so over time they may absorb what is happening.

My Dad follows strange conspiracy theory podcasts on his iPad. Weird economic theories and other stuff that a logical mind would realize is garbage, but Dad's mind is no longer logical. And he gets confirmation bias from the links within the crap he watches. He is convinced that the world is facing an collapse in food supplies and it spikes his anxiety, leading to more hoarding.
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I would throw you out of my house if you told me what to watch on TV
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AlvaDeer Sep 15, 2020
NOW I have the serious giggles!
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Just re-direct them from Fox News.
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Reply to Worriedspouse
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lealonnie1 Sep 15, 2020
"As if" Fox news is the only problem on tv?!!!
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KikiRay, I didn't know why you wanted to change this until the end of your post. I think that we should leave these decisions in the hands of your parents, because honestly, Covid-times are real tough, and we have to make our own way through the best we can. I do the FORUM!
Truth is that we become limited in what we can do to entertain ourselves. I can still garden, sew, read, and etc. And I dislike what politics makes me feel these days so I avoid it like a plague at 78. But my 80 year old partner is a TV News junkie, and taking it away from him would not go well.
For your parents there are so many losses and decisions that one at a time will be taken from them. And I sure wouldn't be the one to take something that distracts them. But you might try diversions. Any game board games they might like? Scrabble or Parchesi or checkers or backgammon. Any card games they once loved. Change the addiction I am saying.
I sure do wish you luck, but short of having an honest talk, buying them a kindle and getting them onto large print romance books, I haven't a clue what to suggest. I just know that the losses I see for our elders makes me real shy of taking away one more thing in their own control.
(by the by, the partner is forbidden to speak to me about the political fray he is amidst; I swear he should pay for the entertainment. At least not being able to DISCUSS it gets the mind off it and onto a good game of solitaire, right?)
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KikiRay Sep 15, 2020
Thank you for the ideas! This was an issue long before cover-19, and has gotten way worse in recent years. I'll try to see if they have interest in some of these things. Thank you!
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