Communication is among the oldest forms of services that don’t lose value; in fact, it becomes increasingly more valuable in this time of globalization. There are many means of communicating that are made possible by current technology, including the Internet and cell phones. These are used not only for business, but also for socialization and security purposes.
You’ve stuck to your landline all this time because you can’t manage to use mobile phones, especially those touchscreen ones that require nimble thumbs. Unfortunately, most of your loved ones and friends have done away with their own landlines, and you are now feeling a bit left out. This may be a good time to seriously consider getting a cell phone for yourself.
Of course, it’s difficult to get used to a device that’s completely new to you, and have all these features that you know little about. No worries, though, as there are cell phones now especially designed for senior citizens like you. These mobile phones are devoid of any complicated features, and instead are equipped with the simplest ones to facilitate basic cell phone functions, like calling and texting.
Cell phones for seniors typically have keypads with big letters or numbers, making them easy to see. There are also phones with a speaking keypad that plays back the numbers or letters you have pressed. You won’t have to worry at all about making errors.
If you wear hearing aids, there are mobile phones that are hearing aid-compatible. This way, you can have an easy conversation with anyone. Also look into a cell phone with long battery life as you likely won’t have the time to charge the battery on a daily basis.
According to one study, most seniors fear moving into an elderly home than they do passing away. After all, moving into a home means giving up a great deal of independence—meals are structured, leisure time is defined and there’s a curfew, among other restrictions. For this reason, many seniors wish to retire in their own homes, a preference many people call “aging in place.”
However, the elderly often have a hard time convincing their children to agree to this option, the leading reason for which are concerns about the parents’ well-being. Fortunately, there are things you can do to assuage your children’s fears about your decision to age in place:
The biggest concern your kids have is your health. Reassure them by visiting your doctor regularly and by taking your medications as prescribed.
Slip and fall accidents are extremely common amongst seniors, but you can modify your home to prevent their occurrence. For example, you can move you master bedroom to the first floor to avoid climbing up the stairs so often, or add non-slip flooring and grab bars to slippery areas like the bathroom.
When emergencies happen, you should be able to contact your family immediately. Fortunately, there are now easy-to-use, highly readable cellphones on the market, specifically designed for seniors like yourself. What’s more, some models have built-in emergency notification services, like the SnapFon. Having this line of communication should allay their worries enough when they’re apart from you.
Imagine you’re in the middle of an important call when your phone suddenly cuts out. After a few failed attempts to reestablish contact, you realize that your phone is dead. That’s right; in the middle of your call, your phone ran out of juice, giving everyone unnecessary inconvenience.
At this point, the receiver will most likely assume that your phone died. However, it’s possible that you moved into a place that blocks all signals. There’s always that room in the house. Ironically enough, for all the powerful technology and features incorporated into today’s mobile phones, manufacturers seem to have forgotten to integrate a warning system for when the battery is about to run out during a call.
Fortunately, phones for seniors, like the Snapfon, had enough foresight to add precisely this feature into their units, effectively notifying the receiver of the caller’s low-battery state moments before the call is cut. This prompts the receiver to say everything he needs to say while the caller’s phone still has power. Caregivers are known to use this system to great effect.
On a related note, phones for seniors can save on battery life by pressing the SOS button at the back of the unit instead of dialing the number. The button will connect the caller to a monitoring service, a family member, or 911 depending on the settings. Pressing the button also triggers a loud siren to alert people nearby of an emergency.
More senior citizens now own mobile phones. According to a research, nearly 7 out of 10 people over the age of 65 now own cell phones, and more are coming in. However, numerous data plans are not really being helpful with the elderly – in fact, seniors may have been paying too much for most data they won’t probably make use of.
Senior citizen plans, like those being offered by mobile giants, usually do not include added data features like web browsing in the monthly scheme. Most seniors are now going web-savvy, but it appears that they’re being made to shell out more cash than necessary, when all that they primarily need is call and text service. For example, a basic 2 GB plan from a mainstream provider requires a minimum of extra $30 for web browsing. For an additional 5 GB, the extra fee costs $50. Misinformed seniors who like to surf the web but wasn’t made aware of the extra charges may soon find their phone bill numbers ballooning without notice.
However, negotiating a way out is possible. Seniors can settle for a temporary increase in minutes or browsing data for a specific month if they need it – via an extra small fee. Most providers acknowledge this deal especially for specialized subscribers. If that’s still too burdensome, then a prepaid option is always available.