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When the big screen dies

September 22, 2014
by Kathleen Mears
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In the almost four years I have been here, dining room TVs have not always worked. They were older, donated, projection-screen TVs, and the picture slowly faded on them. A year ago, however, a donated 50+ inch LCD TV was mounted high on the wall facing the main dining area.

Both residents and staff got used to the TV being there. I think the best live television is the morning news shows. Although they are no longer sedate and are sometimes downright silly, they provide national and local news, weather and entertainment. The TV kept us occupied while we were waiting in the dining room.

A few months ago, it became more difficult to get the TV to turn on, but with patience it could be coaxed into working. Recently, however, the TV would not turn on at all. A resident tried to get it working and failed. A few days later, an aide climbed a chair and pulled out the TV’s surge protector/power cord. We residents hoped it would be something that simple. But the maintenance man told us the big-screen LCD TV was dead.

The big screen is still hanging in its spot. A male friend told me nobody fixes anything in our throwaway society. But I did some YouTube research and saw the same brand of TV—a smaller model—repaired for approximately $170 in the owner’s video. Even though the owner had no electronics expertise, by watching YouTube LCD TV repair videos, he diagnosed the problem, ordered a new circuit board and installed it himself.

A couple of months ago at resident council, I inquired about the TV. I was told that it was dead and we moved on. No repair or replacement plan was mentioned, so I wonder whether there is one. No one said whether a TV repairman checked it out to see whether it could be repaired or needed to be replaced. Perhaps activities could assist residents with a fundraiser to pay for repairs or to purchase a new one.

On another YouTube video, a former TV repairman said LCD TVs are lightweight, not durable and cost too much to repair. He showed several older model TVs (from the 1980s and ’90s), which he said he repairs easily. Although the TVs may not be cable compatible, he uses them to watch DVDs.

Our big-screen TV can be replaced with the same model for approximately $500 plus tax. If it could be repaired for less, we could keep it from ending up in the landfill. Then, we might have a working TV to see previews of the upcoming fall TV lineup.

If that is not in the budget, either one or both of our resident artists could paint the screen with original art.



For the longest time, we had nothing in our dining area for residents to look at. There was a large projection TV, like you talked about, that I could hook up to the DVD player for movie activities, but it was not connected to cable for daily viewing. I thought that it would be a great addition to our facility if we could purchase a big flat screen to mount on the wall so the whole dining room could view it all day. "NOT IN THE BUDGET." (That is what I was told.) So we had several fundraisers until we raised the $500 to purchase a 50" flat screen. It is hooked up to cable. Now our residents are happy to be able to watch the news, Family Feud, Price is Right, soaps and more. Not to mention the staff has the viewing pleasure as they pass through the area as well. :-) Good luck with your facility. Maybe you could suggest a fundraiser as well!

Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...