I'm so frustrated with our phone situation. We have a large home that used to be filled with our children. They are now at college or on their own. It's just my husband, my mother and me in law now.
We have an extra phone line for our fax; my MIL has been using it. It takes her so long to get to the phone that we got her a "telemergency" phone. These phones have a pendant that can activate a speakerphone.
Modern phones have handsets that are very lightweight. The problem is that it's hard to tell if the phone is on the hook or not. We need an old style phone that has a cradle that the handset fits into, so that if the phone isn't on the hook, it will fall on the floor. After her stroke, she is left with less manual dexterity and insensitive fingers. She can't deal with complications. All these phones have so many unecessary features.
Has anyone tried some else that has worked?

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The emergency phone systems with pendants are all good for an emergency, but if you want to have a regular telephone for your mom there are two choices -
1. post a request for an old-fashioned phone on - - - most people keep at least one as backup because the cordless handsets don't work if the power goes out. You may find an angel.
2. (nope this is NOT a commericial plug) there is a cellphone called jitterbug ( that has a feature with several big pre-programmed buttons...and operator support if they get confused. A good tip for any parent who gets confused about where the phone is is to fashion a strap using glue & velcro to keep the phone within easy reach or in a belly bag / hang bag if they like.

I hope that this helps - my mom feels much better having control over a phone and taking HER calls herself...even if I have to prod her out of state siblings to call at a pre-arranged time. My only worry is telemarketers who are sleazy, but I'd rather let her be as independant as possible as long as possible!

Cheers to all

The people at Telemergency have been very helpful. I think I'll use the telemergency phone for the pendant feature. This is very confusing (for me anyway). Some of their phones have a feature that if conversation goes on for more than 30 min, the other party has to press any key, or the phone is "hung up". The idea is that if the elderly person passes out during conversation, or doesn't properly hang up the phone, the line becomes free for someone to check on them. They have several models with all these different features, but they don't have one chart that clearly describes which phone has which features.

I think I'm going to get the model, where the pendant activates all the speaker phones, and get several speaker phones. I really don't expect that passing out when she is on the phone is going to be a problem. I'll just use these phones as speaker phones and get a regular cheap phone for her to make out going calls. Does anyone know of one that hangs up securely, like an old fashioned phone? Does anyone have a better system?

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