Why Senior Phones Are So Beneficial

by Bethany
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Nowadays, pretty much everyone – regardless of socioeconomic status or age – has a cell phone. But for seniors with faltering eyesight, hearing issues, and arthritic fingers, using a cell phone can become increasingly difficult. These signs of aging are quite common in the elderly and although they want and need cell phones, they are searching for a product that is slightly different than what the masses prefer. Just because you are elderly doesn’t mean that you want to avoid technology altogether – it might just mean that you need a modified version of popular tech gadgets.

Where most people love to use smartphones for emailing, watching videos, texting and surfing the Internet, elderly people prefer a more basic phone that makes connecting with friends and family members fast and simple. Most seniors don’t care about the latest photo editing app or trendy game. They prefer a simple, basic phone that is easy to see and use. In the case of an emergency, they need to be able to navigate their cell phone in a quick and timely manner. The last thing they want to worry about is unlocking a complicated phone or being unable to dial the correct emergency number.

Luckily, there are plenty of companies that have created cell phones that are made just for seniors. With simplified features and senior-friendly options, any senior can now efficiently use a cell phone. Let’s go over some of the main features of a senior cell phone that makes them incredibly easy and useful for people over the age of 55+. 

  1. Clearly Visible, Large Screens

A common sign of aging is vision impairment or loss. Although this can be helped with glasses or contacts, some seniors still experience vision interferences. Because cell phones are already small devices, seniors may have difficulty reading the screen properly. Or the screen might not be bright enough to their liking. This is where senior cell phones step in. They are equipped with large, clearly visible screens so that anyone, regardless of their vision quality, can read the screen. This makes sending text messages a breeze! Long gone are the days of misdialing a phone number. There is nothing more frustrating then needing to call a friend or family member during an emergency only to be unable to see what number you are actually dialing.

Or perhaps you needed to use your address book to look up a phone number, but the screen is so small, you can’t read anything. There are plenty of reasons why having a large screen on a cell phone can be helpful for seniors. Cell phone manufacturers have gone through extensive studies to learn what seniors need out of a cell phone so that they could create the ideal phone for them to use. Senior cell phone have brightness adjusters so you can make the screen as bright or as dim as you’d like. Just because people are elderly doesn’t mean that they don’t want or need a cell phone to be connected to their friends and family members.

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  1. Large Keyboard & Buttons

When the buttons are too small on a phone, seniors might have trouble pressing the correct ones, which can lead to a frustrating process. It is very helpful to have a large keyboard with decent-sized buttons so that no matter how stiff or large your fingers are, you can correctly dial a phone number or send a text message. Seniors might already be confused or challenged by new technology, so it is important that their cell phones are easy to use – especially in the case of an emergency. Most seniors would rather have a simplified keyboard that they can confidently use. That’s why all senior phones are equipped with large, easy-to-see buttons.

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  1. Speaker Mode

Due to numerous hearing issues, seniors might have a difficult time hearing people on the phone via the normal tiny speak in the earpiece. Even younger people have struggled with the volume in louder areas or in outdoor venues. This is why it is so important that a senior cell phone be equipped with a speaker mode. This way, you can place the phone on speaker mode whenever you make a call. This does not require you to put the phone up to your ear and the voice on the other end will be projected loudly.

You can change the volume level as well so it doesn’t need to be incredibly loud if that’s not what you require. It is recommended not to use this feature in public as it can be a little distracting, but in the comfort of your own home or car, this is perfectly acceptable. If you wear hearing aids, bringing a phone up to your ear might be uncomfortable, so the speaker mode feature might be just what you need.

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  1. Voice Command Feature

Another helpful feature that senior cell phones should include is voice command. With voice command, you can press a button and speak into the phone with a request. For example, you could state, “Please call my daughter, Rebecca” and the phone will automatically dial her number for you. This feature can also be convenient for non-seniors when they are driving, or in any other situation where being “hands-free” is a benefit.

But for seniors, there are many reasons that voice command could be incredibly handy. If you are resting and don’t have your glasses nearby, it might be hard to read the screen – so using voice commands will allow you to still use all functions of your phone. Voice command makes texting incredibly easy because you don’t actually have to type anything – it will hear the words you are speaking and then translate them onto the screen.

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  1. Adjustable Volume

Having a phone that has easily adjustable volume buttons is incredibly handy on a senior phone. Just like the voice command feature, being able to adjust the volume whenever you are using your cell phone is a major factor in accessibility and convenience. If you feel unfamiliar with tech objects or unsure of how to work the phone, you might accidentally have the volume up too high or too low.

Instead of panicking, if there a clearly marked volume buttons on the side of the phone or on the keyboard, you will easily be able to adjust the volume whenever you’d like. For those who wear hearing aids, the volume control is a very important feature. When you bring the phone up to your ear, you might have to turn the volume down lower than normal so that you hear it at the correct volume.

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  1. One Touch SOS Button

Just like a medical alert system, there are senior cell phones out there that have a one touch SOS button on the keyboard. When you purchase the phone, you will find out who the button is connected to. Some will go straight to a first responder network and others, you can customize. You might want to make that button dial 9-1-1 or you best friend, or possibly your daughter. As a senior, you have a higher chance of injuring yourself and being unable to move. Seniors are fearful of falling and being unable to move or get up to call for help.

If they carry their cell phone on them, when a fall like this happens, all they have to do is hit one button to get emergency assistance. There are other scenarios where an SOS button could come in handy, such as getting lost outside of your home, or feeling like there might be a home intruder.

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  1. Easy-To-Navigate Address Book

One of the main reasons most senior citizens use a cellphone is to stay connected to their loved ones. Friends and family members are the most important people in their lives and they need to stay connected to them. Senior cell phones have easy-to-navigate address books so they can clearly see the names of everyone in their contacts and are easily able to scroll and click to call or send a text message. In case of an emergency, it is very important for seniors to be able to sort through their address book and contact whomever they are interested in speaking with. That is why an easy-to-access, clearly visible address book is such an important feature of a senior phone.

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  1. Simple Home Screen

Most people today don’t mind having a complicated home screen. They will have multiple applications with notifications open at all times. Navigating through their home screen has become second nature and they don’t find anything difficult about the process. But the elderly don’t want to see a home screen on their cell phone filled with multiple applications that they don’t know how to use and don’t intend on using. A few things that they might be interested in are text messaging, phone calls, photos and an Internet browser – everything else is just fluff to them. Therefore, most senior phones have simplified home screens so that they can use what they need to with ease.