Life Savers: How Cell Phones Aid the Elderly


Emergencies do happen and sometimes, one can be caught off guard and unprepared for them. Senior citizens are just some of the people who are often left helpless during these moments because of their ailments and other physical conditions that impede their mobility. In times like these, a trusty cellphone may just turn things around and save the day.


Considering the physical limitations of the elderly, their ability to call for help is greatly affected. However, with the use of a cellphone, this disadvantage can be canceled out. Whether it’s an accidental slip or a fever that keeps them on the bed, they can easily request for immediate help and assistance using a cellphone that is made especially for senior citizens. Some of these phones have emergency buttons that instantly connect them to operators who take emergency calls and provide swift response.


Acquiring cellphone plans for senior citizens is not that hard, as there are a number of companies who specialize in these gadgets and services. It is just a matter of choosing the best ones who can provide the most elderly-friendly systems. Go for phones that have all the essentials like an emergency button, a large screen, and large buttons that will make life for senior citizens easier.

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Why Your Grandparents Need Cellphones

One of the most important gadgets to come along is the cellphone. It has drastically changed the way people live their everyday lives. It is used for business and personal reasons and has opened communication lines for people from one side of the world to the other. In terms of usability, cellphones are being used not only by the young, but also by the elderly, which is something very positive.


The elderly, especially the ones who are forced to stay inside the house because of their weak condition or injury, need to have a means of contacting their loved ones in case an emergency comes up. Moreover, cellphones are also helpful in case they run out of medicine which they won’t be able to purchase. They can easily call their relatives and have them purchase the items immediately.


Though your grandparents may initially have a hard time understanding these gadgets and learning how to operate them, there are cellphones that are specially made for the elderly. These carry features that are easy for older people to understand and access. They have larger keys and buttons complete with enlarged letters and icons, big enough for your grandparents to see.


Through gadgets like this, the elderly, along with the families who take care of them, no longer need to worry about staying in touch.

The Importance of a Cell Phone for Seniors

If you think about it, not many senior citizens use cell phones as frequently as younger people do. In fact, some are even apprehensive about using complex technology of almost any form. Nevertheless, telecommunications have advanced and changed lifestyles so much that having even a simple phone on hand 24/7 is important for the young and old alike.

Communication

Even if the elderly do not feel compelled to constantly chat with everyone on their contacts list, it is good for them to have a phone to stay in touch with relatives. Wouldn’t you like to be able to check on your parents or grandparents regularly? Today, people can really live up to the phrase “no man is an island” as phones let them link up with their loved ones, regardless of distance and location.

Improving Lives

Phones are more than just tools for communication. Today, they are equipped with so many apps that help improve different aspects of people’s lives. The young and old alike, for example, can appreciate and utilize simple phone features like calculators, stopwatches, and maps.

Specialized Phones

Despite how important phones can be to you and your parents or grandparents, your elders have communication needs that can’t really be satisfied by the typical smartphone. For instance, they might need a larger keypad to type with and an audio function that allows them to receive incoming calls in the right frequency. Let them know phones with such features exist, and they will be less apprehensive about new technology.

You and your younger relatives might be able to use all of a smartphone’s cutting-edge features as if on instinct. However, touch-technology, Internet browsing, and video streaming could be as alien to your parents and grandparents as Betamax and Atari are to you. Still, one could say that all of you need a phone—but just what would your folks want in one?

Readable Display

Chances are, your grandma wouldn’t really appreciate a smartphone that has a large screen and yet a display she might find too convoluted and complex. Instead, she would want a phone that lets her see numbers onscreen when she’s keying in a phone number, and large, clearly legible words and symbols when she’s typing a text message.

Simple Functions

Few seniors can tolerate phones that are equipped with too many apps and functions, as these tend to make them feel overwhelmed. For most seniors, phones have only two functions that truly matter: calling and texting. For everything else, there’s the desktop computer and your home’s Wi-Fi.

Security Features

Many phones that are designed specifically for seniors have special security features which allow them to call for help should the need arise. For instance, some models have a special emergency button that immediately connects to 911 or a private emergency hotline when pressed. 

Considerations When Buying Cell Phones for Seniors

When your folks are getting older and you are often feeling that nagging discomfort in your chest that tells you to check up on them, it might be time to buy them a phone so you can keep tabs on them. However, with today’s wide range of phone options, how do you really know which one to buy them?

Back to Basics

Even if your elderly parents are still perfectly capable of learning today’s complex cell phone technology, chances are they won’t need as many features as you do. Hence, snazzy advanced models will only end up wasted on them. This is why you should get them models that are as simple as can be, with only the features they really need.

The Plan

Do you know that there are specialized phone plans designed specifically for seniors? These typically come with efficient phones for the elderly and features like unlimited calls as well as special senior citizen discounts. Choose the best plan that you think will be the most cost-efficient for their communication needs.

Emergency Features

Sometimes, you might feel it’s not enough to be able to call your parents any time of day. You need to know they have the means to take care of themselves when you’re not checking in. Hence, it’s best that you give them phones with appropriate emergency features like an easy-to-access 911 button. Some providers of phones for seniors even have their own emergency hotline to give aid to the elderly should anything happen.

What Makes a Cell Phone Excellent for the Elderly?

Your trusty iPhone might be fine and dandy for you, but the elderly members of your family likely won’t appreciate the touch-screen technology, front camera function, and game apps as much as you do. Inversely, your grandma has needs regarding cell phones that you might not relate to, as well. Thankfully, certain types of phones can provide for these.

Large Keypads

Who needs massive, bulky, and space-hogging keypads, right? Well, your parents or grandparents who might be experiencing the first stages of Parkinson’s disease as well as visual problems might. Indeed, the elderly would find it a lot easier to compose text messages or dial a number if they had to do it using a keypad that’s as big and visible as can be.

Voice Activation

Some phones take phone calls one step higher by having a voice activation system. This feature allows seniors to simply say the name of the person they want to call. The voice system then looks for the name in the phone list and sets up a call connection.

Hearing Aid Compatibility

Another factor that could make your conventional smartphone quite difficult for the elderly to use is its most basic function: making calls. Seniors suffering from a degree of hearing loss often rely on hearing aids, but the incompatibility of these equipment with many phones could be quite troublesome. This is why many phones for the elderly today are equipped with hearing aid compatibility.

Teaching Your Elderly Parents to Use a Cell Phone

Nowadays, people use their mobile phones for everything. Aside from sending texts and making calls, smart phones now allow individuals to check their e-mails, connect to social media, surf the Internet, and read e-books, among others. On the other hand, these features are of little importance to senior citizens. For most of their lives, they have been using land-based phones, the library, and snail mail; and many see no reason to adapt to the advancement of technology. Continue reading