Senior Friendly Cell Phones – What You Need To Know Today

After reviewing medical alert systems, we were asked to put together some "tips" for evaluating Senior Friendly Cell Phones. If you have other suggestions and / or additions to the below list, please let us know.

OK … On With The List! Senior Friendly Cell Phones- What you need to know today!

1. Does the phone have an easily accessible emergency call button? Many of the Senior Friendly Cell Phones do have a panic button located somewhere on the device. The bigger question … "Is it intuitive / easy to find and understand?

2. What is the expected battery life? None of us like it when our batteries get old and we end up charging our phones twice a day. You should expect at least a full day of "normal use" on a charge. Also, make sure the charging station is overly accommodating for the phone (if there is one). Additionally, you might want to purchase an extra charging cord (mine always seem to wander off).

3. Is the key pad easy to use (large, easy to read keys)? Other considerations for the key pad; Is it back lit? Are the keys easy to depress?

4. Is the phone a good ergonomic fit in the hand? Some seniors have trouble if a phone (or any object) is too big, and some have trouble with smaller phones. This is an entirely personal choice. Your loved one will not carry it (let alone use it) if they can not handle it comfortably.

5. What networks (carriers) are supported? Sometimes it's better to start with the carrier of choice, and work on the existing hands choices. Also some phones (like the Samsung Jitterbug J) come with their own carrier network. There are advantages and disadvantages to this model, but generally speaking if the phone is used with normal talk rates, the monthly plans will not break the bank. If it was up to me, I'd first start with my own carrier (our family uses one- primarily to take advantage of "friends and family" plans). If I did not find a senior friendly phone that worked on our network, I'd look at phones / features independent of my own preferred carrier.

6. Are the volume settings loud enough in case someone is hard of hearing? Most of the phones we highlighted in our Senior Friendly Cell Phone Round Up tout loud ring tones, a loud speaker phone option, and the ability to amplify the normal conversation when the phone is on the ear. This is always a good thing to test out before hand though.

7. Does this phone have built in fall detection technology? This question is bound to illicit a confused look (and a response along the lines of "ummm no, I do not think so …" but this is coming to senior friendly cell phones soon. in the UK) already includes fall detection technology built into the device. Also interesting to note that some cell phones can connect with the Wellcore Personal Emergency Response System. .

8. What is my total monthly cost for this phone, and the associated plan I'm choosing? This is more closely related to the usage plan you're choosing from the carrier of the phone. If you're purchasing insurance, factor that in too (usually another $ 5- $ 10 per month). Also, find out ahead of time what happens if you go over alloted minutes.

9. Are there other services included in my choice of phone or monthly plan? Specific questions; Is texting included? Are concierge services included (usually not unless you're talking Jitterbug J)? Can I use quick dial (for one button connecting to family members)?

10. Can family members send pictures to this phone? I've been amazed at how my own parents have adapted to text messaging (specifically sending and receiving photos). Once they begin to receive photos of the grand kids, they'll be hooked. Be sure you ask the question. Then a good bit of training is required on how to view these received messages, photos, etc.


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