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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?

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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Reply to AliBoBali
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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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Reply to Davina
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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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Reply to tacy022
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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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Reply to Countrymouse
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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 JBNJ804
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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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Reply to JoAnn29
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JBNJ804 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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Reply to cwillie
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