Cell Phones for Seniors
Seniors may have a reputation for being slow to adopt new technologies, but no one could deny the usefulness of having a phone you can take with you anywhere. Cell phones mean you’ll never be stranded without a way to call for help, you can check in with someone at home when you’re at the grocery store trying to figure out if you actually need more milk, and that you can stay in touch with loved ones far away with minimal effort.
Seniors recognize all the benefits and, as such, 77% of them own cell phones. While fewer seniors currently own smartphones – only about 18% of them – those that do are happy to have them. 86% of senior smartphone owners say they find the device freeing.
The data makes it clear that seniors aren’t foregoing this technology altogether, although they do treat it differently than other generations do.
How Seniors Use Cell Phones
Cell phones today, particularly those of the smart variety, can do a lot. From playing addictive games, to checking your bank account balance, to making videos – many young people and adults use their phones for a wide ranging and growing list of tasks.
Many seniors just don’t see the need to do all that. They mostly use their cell phones for a few basic communication needs like, you know, calling people.
Possibly because they’ve managed to live their whole lives without missing the ability to play Angry Birds or look up the name of that actor from anywhere they may be, those things don’t appeal to most of them. Add to that small screens with smaller type and difficult to use keyboards and seniors who have any difficulty with their eyesight or dexterity would just as well use a desktop for anything that requires reading or typing.
The Best Cell Phones for Seniors
Some of the uses cell phones are made for simply hold little interest for seniors, but others they’d be more inclined to try if cell phones were made more with their needs in mind. Businesses have started to become savvy to that fact and, as such, have released a few cell phones designed specifically with seniors in mind.
Great Call makes two models of this phone, both specifically made to appeal to the needs of seniors. They have bright screens, are far easier to navigate than your typical phone, and provide the option of adding an urgent care feature that makes it easy to call a doctor or nurse at any time of day for healthcare or medication advice.
The simpler model, the Jitterbug5, is a flip phone that offers everything described above, but otherwise provides just the more basic uses one would have for a phone – calls and text. While that’s enough for many people’s needs, you also have the choice of the Jitterbug Touch3 which has more smartphone features, including healthcare apps that let the user check their heart rate and make it easy for caregivers to check in on the senior.
Emporia’s Euphoria phone is designed to answer some of the common complaints seniors have about cell phones. They have a high-contrast screen, so it’s easier to read and a large keypad so seeing the numbers and letters and typing is much easier than with normal cell phones. They also include an emergency call button, so seniors can call for help quickly and conveniently if the need arises.
The Doro PhoneEasy makes taking calls, as the name suggests, easy. When it rings, you can answer by simply flipping open the phone, and hang up by simply flipping it closed. The keypad buttons for texting are large and the sound quality is nice and loud so you should have no problem hearing the person on the other end. It’s even hearing aid compatible.
It includes an easy to access emergency button on the back that will alert the contact of your choice when pressed. And it includes GPS so your loved ones can find you if you get lost, a nice value add for anyone dealing with dementia.
Snafpon advertises their phones as Big Button Phones for Seniors, so you know any typing or texting you do won’t be too difficult. Like some of the other options, it has an emergency button you can use to quickly and easily alert loved ones in a jam. The menus are designed to be simple and the company provides instructional videos online for anyone who could use help being walked through how to use the phone.
The Snapfon is also hearing aid compatible and can be set to a loud volume. And you can add 24/7 monitoring service if you want loved ones to be able to track the whereabouts of the phone’s owner.
One of the Nokia105’s big selling points is a long battery life, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to charge it often or risk being stuck stranded with a dead cell phone. Its design and menus are simple to figure out and it has a keypad with large buttons so the numbers are easy to see. It’s also one of your more affordable options, making it a smart choice to consider for seniors on a budget.
Just5’s CP10S BestinSpace has a bright, colorful keypad that will make it easy to find anytime you’re digging through a purse or trying to spot it when you’ve misplaced it. The audio is good and loud and the keys are large for ease of use. Like many of the others, it has an SOS emergency button to make getting ahold of your loved ones in a pinch fast and easy.
Cell phones can provide seniors with a higher level of safety and convenience. They can help them stay connected to loved ones. And the access to games and features that a cell phone brings may even open your loved one’s eyes to the wonders of Candy Crush (or not). Whatever uses a senior chooses to put their cell phone toward, having one is worth it for the benefits it can bring. And cell phones that are designed for them specifically will make it that much more likely they actually put them to use and appreciate them.