It seems these days that almost all major cell phone manufacturers are marketing their products to the young, trendy kids or to serious business people. However, as there is a massively-growing older population, some with very limited exposure to such advanced technology, it makes sense that these companies are now choosing to target this market. More and more phones for seniors are being released onto the market and this is great thing for the consumer.
As the oldest baby boomers get ready to turn 65 next month, technology may be getting ahead of them. Many seniors are searching for easy to use, affordable cell phones. It can be really overwhelming, especially for older individuals who don’t want to make that leap as maybe this is their first cell phone. Now we are seeing a bombardment of high-tech phones with complex features and apps and it can be very intimidating. So now there are many phones for seniors that are geared more towards older people that are easy and simple to use.
The Jitterbug is one very popular model in the marketplace. What’s great about it is that it has these huge, easy to read buttons and when you buy it, you can choose exactly which features you want, down to the text message option and you don’t even have to have the calendar if you don’t want it. They make this process really easy. It also has no contract and that means no commitment and no cancellation fees too. So if you want to go month to month it’s not a problem. Another really great feature is the medication alerts. If you have pills that you have to take daily, you can get up to 60 messages and it will call you and say: “Have you taken your medication? Press 1”. And then you can print out a report for your caregiver as proof. One last feature is the zero button for the operator. If at any point the senior gets stuck on the phone and they don’t even know how to make a phone call, or they’re just a little confused about one of the features, they can just hit zero and within 5 seconds they will call you with help. This is a service that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it’s a really nice little add-on. All this for around $99 with a $35 activation fee. The no-contract thing is huge since making a 2-year commitment is daunting for many people. Some people just want to try out a new phone without pressure.
Another great phone is the Just5. This phone is cool because it has big numbers, but it also has voice confirm. This means that as you’re dialing, a voice will actually speak out the numbers you’re dialing for you to hear. This helps those with a visual impairment to make sure they’re dialing the right numbers. Also, with this phone there are no frills involved. It is what it is which happens to be a great phone. On the back is an SOS feature which lets you pre-program up to 5 numbers. This is great in case you’re in an emergency or a panic as you can actually hit this button and it will send off a siren and automatically texts those 5 numbers you stored. This alerts them of your emergency so you can feel secure that someone will come to your rescue. If there is someone you are a little concerned about that is looking for a great first cell phone this is a nice option. It works on AT&T as well as T-Mobile. The prices on this one vary and they also have some individual plans as well.
Sometimes however, there are those people that are in-between being technologically-challenged and those that have been using cell phones for years. These types may not want a phone that is clearly for an older person with the bigger button and large text. For these people, there are two great phones available that can easily pass as a normal phone yet still have some great features suited for the elderly. The Pantech Ease and The Samsung Haven are two such phones. These are available on AT&T as well as Verizon. These are nice options if you want that texting option, if you want a camera or if you want different features that are geared specifically to older people.
One of the most important considerations when choosing phones for seniors is safety. Seniors are now busier than ever and need a way to get help if they have an accident or need help with something, so these added features like auto-texting, SOS alerts etc, are a great and can provide some peace of mind.
Another vital element is ease of use. Depending on whether the person getting the phone is hearing or visually impaired, phones for seniors need to be able to adapt to this. Do they have hearing aid accessories? Do they have extra-large buttons and screen? These are the kind of things that will make using it a pleasure or a curse.
There is however a large number of older people that are handling their Android and iPhones just fine. The interface is clean and uncluttered and they find using them not too difficult. For the rest however, phones specifically built for seniors will be the perfect choice.