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My has been using a flip phone for several years, and needs to be replaced. It was not her primary phone until she moved into assisted living . She uses it ,only for calls. Speed dial is the only function she has ever used, a d was doing pretty well with it but as her dementia symptoms have increased it has become more difficult for her to use. I think a phone as basic as possible would be best. A,larger screen than her flip phone would be useful, and a larger font. Voice mail would be helpful and she may enjoy using a camera. A touch screen would be too confusing. A phone with more functions would probably be ok, as,long as making calls would be straightforward . Basically all she would need is to make calls . The more some the better. I would love to hear suggestions .

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Bria99: Can you tell me more about the new home service for dementia that you mentioned? How can I learn more about it? Thank you!! EPAnnie
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I believe that the new Apple Watch can act like a phone, and they can just speak to it and it will dial the number for them.
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My dad has a very limited cell phone now, which can only call/recieve the 10 numbers programmed into it. He is confused by the fact that he can't seem to clear out the log that keeps track of calls/texts sent/recieved. He thinks his phone is full, and won't work. He calls me and my brother, but that's about it. He talks about wanting to call friends, other family members, but that concerns me because he calls incessantly. If he reaches voicemail, he leaves a message and calls again, not remembering that he just called. I worry about setting him loose on the general public. Is there a phone with more controls over calling? The "senior" phones out there only address the big buttons and loud volume issues.
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Another we need to think about before buying a cellphone for an elder, will they remember to charge it?

I had given my Dad a portable landline phone but 9 times out of 10 the phone was dead because Dad never remembered to put it in the cradle. Which I could understand as elders never had to "charge" a regular landline phone.
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A new home phone service was just launched specially designed for dementia. It provides:

- Use any home phone the loved one is used to using
- Blocks all telemarketers and scammers
- Only pre-approved contacts can call the loved one
- Mobile app for caregiver to review callers, voice mail and set rules
- Set Quiet Hours, including friendly custom message for loved one if they call you at night time
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Jitterbug worked for a while for my mom, but she eventually lost the ability to dial correctly and it was upsetting. We cancelled the monthly billing but left it nearby so she would not worry that it was gone, and I gave it to the nursing home to use for someone else after she went to a hospice facility.

If a person who is not cognitively able to understand a contract is suckered into one, SOMETIMES you can talk to management and get it cancelled, sometimes a call to Better Business Bureau or Atty General will get it done, but not always. If not, maybe someone else can use the phone and get her something much simpler on their plan if they have the flexibility.
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She went to the Verizon store because she was having problems with the phone she had. She said that the guy that helped her was very nice and helpful. I bet he was since they work on commission. He saw a little old lady come in the store Anna he saw dollar signs.
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catboysis, curious how was your Mom "suckered" into buying a cellphone? Did she go to the Verizon store?
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Elders have used a good old fashioned landline for the past 70 years so that is ingrained in their mind.

I would never get my Dad a cellphone, he keeps misplacing the TV remote, so heavens knows where he would misplace a cellphone. Plus if the cellphone rings in his bedroom and he's sitting in the living room, there is no way he would be able to get to that cellphone with his walker. At least with a landline, he has one in his livingroom, one in the kitchen, in his office, and in his bedroom at his senior living facility. I have the same here at my house, just about every room has a landline.
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My mom was "suckered" in buying a G4 cell phone from Verizon. She has no clue how to use it and is trapped by a contract. She is 89 and has no clue and can't understand on how to use it. Is there anyway that we can get her out of the contract or at least get her something that she will be able to use?
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gladimhere, my parents confuse the phone with the tv remote, too.
They also believe the cordless phone is a cell phone and try to take it with us when we go out out in the car.
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No to cell phone unless you can get one like she has now. My nom never woyld have been able to figure out a cell phone, and has not been able to use a land line for about three years now. Confuses phone for tv remote nearly always.
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I tried it with my mom when she was kind of losing it. I don't know if it was her stuborness or dementia. I'm sorry. They are just not 'wired' that way.
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Phones and dementia just don't work out. You may find some gizmo, phone, I pad etc, spend hours setting it up and teaching mom and dad but it won't stick. My Dad has dementia and can dial 911, maybe. Mom does not have dementia but at 85 she just cannot adjust to her new, very simple cell phone. She turns it off and can't remember how to turn it on. Or she has somehow turned the ringer off or turned the volume down too low. It just drives me nuts.
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Thank you, really appreciate the info about the jitterbug phone. I heard some good things about it and your response confirms. I considered a landline, but a staff member at her assisted living said a resident in the past had been a victim to a phone scam, so was reluctant because of that. The elderly in general is probably more likely to be drawn into a phone conversation that could end badly. If there was a way to eliminate sales calls, and solicitors, a landline would certainly be the most ideal option. She is no longer able to go out on her own, so she would not even need to have a phone when she out.
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Use that phone which they can handle easily.
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My husband had not had a cell phone prior to his dementia, but he did manage to learn (sort of) to use the simple Jitterbug phone. Someone who already knows how to use a cell phone would have an advantage. There are now a handful of other brands specifically aimed at this market segment. Search for Cell phone for seniors.

Do you think this is a better option than a landline in her room?

My husband used his when he could still run errands on his own on his scooter. I'd make sure it was on. Go over the directions again for using it, put it in his pocket at hope for the best. If he wasn't home "on time" I'd call him twice (it took him that long to get the phone out of his pocket), he'd answer, I'd ask how things were going and whether he finished his errand, and he'd tell me that his errand went well and he decided to stop on his way home for a Dairy Queen. :) The scooter gave him an exhilarating sense of independence, and the phone gave me some reassurance. I think he called me once on it. Also, we each had our phones when we got separated at a very crowded state fair and I was able to call him and figure out where he was from descriptions of the surrounding food vendors. :)

Your loved one's needs are a little different than out, but simple is good!
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Use a landline.
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