People are becoming more and more technologically advanced, and that includes seniors. Gone are the days of a single recommendation for the best cell phone for seniors. It really depends on the individual’s needs and preferences when finding the perfect mobile phone.
In fact, according to Pew Research, 91 percent of U.S. adults over age 65 now have mobile phones. About 53 percent use smartphones specifically.
If you are looking for a good mobile phone for yourself or for a senior friend or family member, consider the following:
Seniors may not be quite as dexterous as they once were, and may have ailments such as arthritis, which make large, easy-to-press buttons a must. Of course, smartphones don’t even have actual buttons any more. Some seniors enjoy using styluses to help better utilize the touch screen on their smartphones.
Font should be readable and large on both keys and the display screen. Some phones (like smartphones) allow you to adjust the size of the font on the display to fit your needs.
Built-In Voice Command
Phones with voice command are helpful for those who have trouble navigating menus, seeing, or dialing numbers. Many phones now offer voice dialing and will also read the number back to confirm that it registered your request correctly.
A Bright, Clear Display
The display should be large with easy-to-read fonts, clear icons, and direct access to key features such as calling and voicemail. It should also be brightly colored and well-lit to help with visibility. This is another feature that often can be adjusted in the phone settings.
Phones that have speakerphone capabilities are great for seniors who may have trouble hearing through the small speaker of a handheld device next to their ear. The speakerphone should have ample volume and should come through clearly.
Seniors who live far from family may enjoy video chatting with their grandkids or playing an online game like Words With Friends. In that case, look for a smartphone rather than a flip phone.
Help With the Setup
Often, the best support you can give to a senior receiving a new cell phone is to help them set it up to meet their needs. This can include:
- Increase the font size
- Set the display and brightness settings
- Organize the most useful apps or icons to the first page of a smartphone. Hide or delete unnecessary icons.
- Set up the Wi-Fi if available so the phone won’t use data unnecessarily.
- Add or Favorite the frequent contacts.
- Enable Security and SOS features, such as inputting emergency contacts, adding in medical notes and teaching your friend or relative about the options for making an emergency call.
- Turn up the volume and set alerts. Be sure to show your friend or relative how to silence their phone if needed and how to also check that the volume is back on after silencing. This is a common cause of frustration for people with new cell phones.
A Flexible Plan
Many seniors have fixed budgets and may not have the extra money to spend on high monthly phone bills. An easy way to be sure phone costs don’t exceed the budget is by using prepaid phones. No contract devices are great for seniors (and anyone else) who want to only pay for what they need each month. Plus, no contract plans ensure seniors aren’t locked into a service they may not need.
If you have more questions regarding cell phone features that are best for seniors, or if you need help choosing the perfect plan for an older adult, don’t hesitate to contact us here. View our phones here.