Follow
Share

My dad seems to have a lot of trouble on his cell phone lately. He blames the phone but I think it is him. As an example I will call him and he will disconnect rather than answer. He means to answer so then he gets frustrated. He can’t seem to navigate email or text very well. I think he still sees text when I send but I’m not sure. So the question is do the senior designed phones really help? The one I was looking at is the lively jitterbug smart phone 3. But it would require learning something new even if it is ultimately easier to use. I live 4 hours away and really want my dad to have a cell phone. They have a home phone too but for some reason it is hooked up to a fax machine.

Find Care & Housing
I'm another proponent of the RAZ Memory Phone. (Google it for more info.) It's saved our lives. The caregiver has a remote dashboard and sets up the contacts and all your dad has to do is press the circle with their face to call them. The caregiver can also control who is allowed to call your dad, so no worries about spam calls. You can set quiet times for the phone, set ring tones, and more. Best of all, for about $6/month, you can sign up for their emergency service, so if dad presses the 911-Emergency button (required by law to be on a phone), they intercept it and talk to him and contact the caregiver(s) first before dispatching fire/police. This is optional, but my hubby calls 911 thinking they're an answering service, so it's saved us from false alarms and penalties. Without the RAZ phone, my hubby would not have a phone at all, so I'm glad I read about it here on this forum. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Earthgrammy
Report
GeddyLeeFan Sep 24, 2022
I've used several so-called senior friendly phones and all were too complicated for my mother until I bought RAZ. Seniors that have trouble with technology do not need TEXTS and cameras, etc.
Im all for RAZ.
(4)
Report
See 1 more reply
When my mom was in assisted living I took her old turquoise princess phone to her. It had large numbers and was land line. It worked perfectly. She could not figure out texts or anything on a simplified cell phones for elders and she had been a telephone operator for over 40 years.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to ArtistDaughter
Report

As soon as my mother was diagnosed with progressive dementia, or maybe even before that time, she started having trouble with her telephone. It was a landline. She convinced me it was the phone that was a 'piece of crap' so I bought her a new one, designed to be 'easy for seniors to use'. Well it wasn't, b/c she was having issues with IT too. And those issues just kept getting worse and worse as the days wore on. She started telling me 'the ladies voice is telling me I have to dial a 1 first' or 'the ladies voice is telling me not to dial a 1 first' and on and on, to the point of insanity. Then she started using her phone to turn the tv set on and could not, for the life of her, understand why it wouldn't work.

Then she started turning the volume off of the phone to the point where she couldn't hear me. And all I'd hear was her screaming WHAT??? into the phone over and over and over again. Then she'd push the wrong button on the phone and disconnect the call. And I'd call her back only to hear a busy signal for the next 2 hours.

Or then she'd forget to push the OFF button on the unit and nobody could call her at all; the phone would go directly to voice mail. Which she was unable to access b/c she couldn't remember her passcode which was 0000.

To say the phone turned into a living nightmare is putting it mildly. There were days I wanted to drive down to the ALF and literally tear thing thing out of the wall and smash it to smithereens with a hammer. But I didn't. Because I recognized the phone was her only means of connecting with the outside world on HER terms. But boy howdy, she couldn't get the darn thing to work so that she COULD connect with the outside world! Nobody could get through to her for a variety of reasons, and she couldn't figure out how to listen to her voice messages, which led to the 'nobody ever calls me' tirades, and there you have it.

The Phone Aggravation That Never Ends.

Wishing you the best of luck b/c I have NO ADVICE to give you on this subject. Except you have my condolences and heartfelt wishes for Godspeed on the whole matter.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to lealonnie1
Report
JenUA1 Sep 24, 2022
Experiencing similar types of things with my loved one. He calls the police because his phones “aren’t working” and someone has a machine to cut them off. We’ve bought new phones, switched phone services, etc. etc. He also manages to turn the volume down on the phone and we get the same conversation of WHAT? WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU. Sigh…the phones have truly been the biggest nightmare we’ve had in trying to take care of our 89 and 91 year old aunt & uncle. So, I feel you!!!!
(4)
Report
See 2 more replies
Try an old fashion corded phone. My mom is able to use Future Call Big Button Speakerphone Model FC-8814.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to daughter19
Report

My hubby had a nice Android phone, but never could figure out how to swipe the screen to do anything. Couldn't even figure out how to answer a call, see a text. So we got him a flip phone, where all he had to do was open the phone to answer. Still can't do it. We have a home phone, one of the captel phones that show calls on the screen and what they say. Check the settings on the phone, maybe it's set up to be a fax. Contact your phone carrier?
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to bcasteel
Report

Disconnect the Fax machine if it is not being used.
That could be a problem if they ever tried to call 911
And as I read Geaton777's response that is echoing everything I would have said. So Just reread that response and imagine I typed it all out 😉🤣
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report
Kmjfree Sep 19, 2022
I will disconnect the fax. Thank you for your response. 😀
(1)
Report
Same situation with my father. He has never been good with technology. Never did email or text. None of it. He could use his iPhone to make and receive calls, and liked to read the news on it but he would always manage to get it on some setting by mistake that would screw it up. Well along came ALZ and his iPhone was a nightmare. He kept saying his phone was broken and went out and bought a new iPhone. Even worse because it didn’t have a home button so basically it was unusable for him. I bought him the jitterbug 3 smartphone. I had high hopes, but honestly it’s still way too hard for dementia patients to use. They get frustrated and just start pushing buttons and make it unusable. Basically you don’t want a smart phone. You don’t want anything with settings that they can can access by mistake. You don’t want anything that is more than one button to make a call. Get the RAZ phone. It’s a picture of a person and that’s it. They touch the picture and the call is made. No settings, no voicemail, no internet. And the caregiver can control the phone through an on line portal. It’s really the only one that works if you want a cell phone.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Caregiverstress
Report
jbramwell Sep 24, 2022
Bought that for my Mom, had a landline installed. She refuses to use it. Wants her cell phone which she can handle some of the time. Whatever she wants, she gets.
(2)
Report
There are now landline telephones that have "close captioning" which would be helpful whenever someone calls [like a teen grandchild] who speaks at warp speed.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to freqflyer
Report
GardenArtist Sep 24, 2022
Warp speed - I hadn't thought of that, but that definitely describes someone I know. It's almost as if all the words have to be shuffled out of her mouth as quickly as possible, regardless of whether or not they can be understood.
(2)
Report
How old is your Dad? Does he have vision issues or arthritis in his hands or neuropathy in his fingers? Sometimes the problems are not cognitive but rather physical (my 93-yr old Mom has the same problem on her flip phone).

If your Dad's issues are cognitive/memory-based... I'm not sure getting him a new phone will help if he can't even remember *basics* on his currrent phone. Plus you will become his tech help 24/7.

Losing his phone will now be more of a concern as well, so maybe consider something like a tracking device (Tile) for it. Also, his activity on the internet where scammers and phishers lurk should she monitored. Unhook his landline from the fax machine so they will at least have some sort of phone service in an emergency.

I have not tried to get my Mom a different phone, even if it's supposed to be "easier". Easier is a matter of the person and situation. I have read on this forum that you can set up a monitor or tablet for them and then facetime or video conference your parents without them having to do anything at their end. This is a temporary solution if your Dad is steadily declining cognitively.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Geaton777
Report
Kmjfree Sep 19, 2022
Lol yes I am already tech support and those are long conversations that rarely end in a solution. Dad is 81 and definitely in decline. Technology is a huge problem. I’ll unhook the fax and maybe try deleting all apps on his phone accept basics. Probably not a permanent solution but may help some. Sounds like senior phones don’t help too much. Thanks for the advice.
(2)
Report
Does he need a smart phone or would a phone just for calling and texting be enough?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to RedVanAnnie
Report
Kmjfree Sep 27, 2022
I think just calling and texting but I think as his memory gets worse the Raz phone might be best. It’s unclear to me if he reads texts anymore and I don’t think he responds. It’s awful when the brain slows down. My Dad was in programming back in the 70’s and very good with technology. He can still work his phone somewhat but gets mad it everyday and wants to throw it out the window.
(0)
Report
See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter