If only my mother had cell phones or mobile phones! Before she could no longer live independently, she fell when on her way back from retrieving her mail. She had to wait for a neighbor to rescue her when she could have so easily called for help on her cell phone! Since coming into existence, these cherished communication devices now come equipped for those of us with physical limitations.
There are cell phones with larger, knobby numbers for those with vision difficulties; loudness/volume controls specifically for the hearing impaired; one-touch speed dialing for really anyone who has trouble remembering cell phones ‘ numbers, and extensive battery lives to deter concern over failed power. And, above all many are available at much lower costs as well.
Friendly Cell Phones Features For the Elderly What To Look For
1) For the Vision Impaired
Not only does the vision impaired person need numbers that are larger than the fancy, well-endowed devices of the 21st century, but large raised keys. These raised keys remind me a little of Braille; instead of slipping off, this rough texture allows senior fingers with limited dexterity to easily locate and push the desired numbers. If you are searching for the best phone for this person, use this rule of thumb: if you have to squint to see the numbers, chances are someone with poor vision won’t be able to see them at all. Other cell phones basic features to consider include cell phones with backlit keys [those neon light looking ones] so the numbers and letters stand our even in poor light. Also, numbers appearing in the logical, traditional configuration work best for seniors.
2) For the Hearing Impaired
“What was that you said?” Seniors and others with difficulty hearing often stop making an effort to socialize because they cannot understand what people say. Sadly, they also refuse to use a phone, whether for connecting with friends, for doctor’s appointments, or for emergencies. When shopping for this person’s phone, consider one that works well with hearing aids and do not cause interference or noise. Certainly those with easy to operate volume controls are vital. Speaker phones and headsets help, also.
3) For the More Senior Seniors
Since I am barely over the senior horizon, I feel somewhat qualified to address these issues. The other day I was considering purchasing one of the new 4G cell phones, then reality hit. I have no idea how to operate one of those and probably would benefit more from a nicer version of the little flip phone I now have.
That means someone even more senior than I am would have problems operating one with all those “gadgets” as well. If the person receiving one of those phones has to ask “How do I use this thing?” then I would say that is a perfect indication not to buy it. The right device for them should offer only the simplest and most essential features.
For example, those including quick and easy access to a list of contacts, such as speed dial or a simple up or down arrow. I find these helpful and I only have slight difficulty remembering phone numbers. But then why should I, if speed dial can do it for me?
4) Just in Case
What good is a phone if the battery is dead? The best ones are those that, if forgotten, can stay buried for days in someone’s “other” jacket pocket, or apron and the battery still “keeps on going.” As an example, basic cell phones often has a battery life of over two weeks, but her counterpart in the world of smartphones needs recharging almost daily. And after a hard day of quilting or playing dominoes, who wants to remember to plug-in the phone?
5) For the Cost Conscious
As time nears for making the purchase of the answer to all communication needs, please consider not only the cost of the machine itself, but the phone plan. Watch for all sorts of hidden costs for cell phones ; better still just stay with a basic phone, with basic features and a basic monthly plan. Most organizations for seniors often have information available regarding phones appropriate to your senior’s needs and their costs.
Cell Phones for Seniors Conclusion
All in all, cell phones are the “old man’s darling.” When making yourself available to shop for one, however, do keep the needs of the individual in mind. At this point, protection and safety of your loved one is paramount, while to them cell phones may also be a connection to their world.