Reducing complexity for someone alzheimers / universal remote controls


Well-known member
Sep 9, 2014
Someone I know has developed Alzheimers in recent years, which limits his ability to remember instructions and to sequence tasks. To further complicate matters, he is now showing signs of Parkinsons and so has reduced motor control. As music has always been very important to him, I'm keen that he can continue to enjoy it and operate his hifi kit for as long as possible.

At present, he has a Yamaha CDX-480 CD player (covered in buttons), Yamaha tape deck (covered in buttons), Cambridge Audio Topax AM1 amp (beautifully simple) and some stand-mounted speakers (can't remember the model). I want to make his setup mentally and physically easier to operate. One option is to find a programmable, large-buttoned universal remote control with which he can operate his separates stack. I'm yet to find a universal remote that wasn't designed for use with TVs or isn't covered in tens of buttons.
Another option is to replace the separates stack with a micro system such as the Denon D-M39DAB, hide its complicated remote control and stick large, clearly-worded labels next to each button on the main box. A plus point for this second option is that this person likes the sound of their tape deck, standalone DAB radio, and my MP3 player running through their amp but finds that the CD player lacks sparkle, both with the signal running through the amp to the speakers but also with headphones plugged directly into the CD player. Getting a new CD player with a modern DAC might help here (info found online indicate that the Yamaha CDX-480 may be up to 20 yrs old).

Has anyone got experience of tailoring a hifi setup for people with needs such as these? If so, do you have any thoughts on the options listed above?


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