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My mom is at a nursing home right now and does not have her own phone in the room. I'd like to buy her a cell phone so she can call me at her convenience.


Which plans and phones are the most reliable?

I myself use Tracfone. You pay one time for a phone. Some really cheap. Then you buy min. I started out with a couple of hours, about $20. If not used in 90 days, you still have to buy more minutes so start out small. They have simple Androids which you could set up for video chat. Or you can buy minutes for a year. I and daughter have had one for years.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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There are several cell phone options for seniors now. Jitterbug is ok for elderly cell phones.
Another option is keeping a landline. The best option I have seen is FotoDialer. It connects into the existing landline phone. When they want to call, they can either use the phone or FotoDialer. The FotoDialer makes calls by the person pressing a button next to the 2" x 3" photo of the person/place they wish to call. There are 24 numbers over six pages (four/page).
Good luck!
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JoAnn29 Mar 22, 2019
That is neat
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My dad got his first cellphone a year or so ago. It's a flip phone designed for seniors. My dad doesn't have Alz but he's low-cognitive, and it's very difficult to teach him to operate new things like remotes for TV, new microwave, etc. He does ok with the flip phone. He can place a call and answer a call, but that's it. Also, that's all he needs to do. He doesn't use any of the other features, and that's fine.
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Consumer Cellular is inexpensive, has a wide network and doesn't require a contract. You can start or stop at any time, and they don't trick or trap you. Their Doro flip phone has larger numbers and a setting for increased sound if hearing is impaired. You choose a minute level and if you exceed you're automatically upgraded to the next level for another $5 and no penalty. Mine is $18 per month for 250 minutes. Their website is clearly designed and shows the different plans.

If your mom doesn't understand flip phones you could sit with her for a few training sessions until she gets it. If it doesn't work out you can cancel; I believe the phone is refundable within two weeks if it doesn't work for her.

Another option is Tracfone--you can buy a phone for as little as $10 at Walmart, etc. and charge it up with a phone card that cost about $20 and lasts for last three months. The minute cards are sold everywhere--grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations.

I prefer the Consumer Cellular though it's a bit more expensive. I hardly use phones and like the cheaper, no-contract setups.
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In a previous post you mentioned you lived abroad so if you are looking at a cell phone it could become costly and call quality is not the greatest.

You could look into a pad and connect to the facilities wi-fi. Download an app like whatsapp which allows free calls, texting and video calls. It is easy to use and a larger screen which could make use easier.
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JoAnn29 Mar 22, 2019
I like this idea. Then she just hits the app.
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I wouldn't give the idea up without trying. What kind of phone do you use yourself? Let her have a play with it and see how she gets on, you'll be able to judge better whether there's any chance she'll take to it. As long as her eyesight is fair and she doesn't have arthritis in her hands, you never know.

Also, the most technologically inept person I know clicked straight away with an iPad. Admittedly she's not a senior, but she has always been breathtakingly useless with any kind of appliances or devices.
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She has never used a cell phone. Not even one designed for seniors. I didn't realize this could be that difficult for her. Thank you.
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Reply to anonymous769079
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I agree. My Mom never got the nack of a flip phone and it pretty much worked like her cordless. The Smartphones would really be hard for an elderly person. Maybe you can have a landline put in and have it set up for local calls only.
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anonymous769079 Nov 1, 2018
I will give it a thought. It hasn't even crossed my mind. Thank you.
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Has she used a cell phone before the NH? I ask because in my experience the vast majority of the very old can not manage a cell phone, even a basic flip phone designed for seniors.
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