Any recommendations on an easy cell phone for someone with early dementia? - AgingCare.com

Any recommendations on an easy cell phone for someone with early dementia?

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My dad is having difficulty using his AT&T phone. Also, the numbers are so small for his large fingers. I was considering the jitterbug phone. He's going to be living in a nursing home soon. I would appreciate any advise in this area thank you!

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GardenArtist is so right about background noise. Can't people sit still while making a phone call to give full time and attention on that call.
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Further thought - another issue we've experienced is that cell phones tend to crawl away and hide when an older person takes them off. If the phone is turned off, it becomes a game of hide and seek to find the thing. Land lines don't have a tendency to disappear.
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FF makes good points about cell phones. There's another issue and it is that phones with low charges might not have a strong enough charge to be used during power failures, especially extended outages. And given the extreme weather we've had over the last few years, one never knows which area of the country will be hit next.

I recall news reports during one of the winter storms in the 2014 - 2015 season that Nantucket not only lost power, but that it lost wireless power as well. So cell phone calls apparently couldn't even be picked up by the signal towers.

There's also the issue of holding a cell phone if there's no Bluetooth or ear device.

I agree about the sound issue - if it's not a lot of racket when someone turns his/her head, it's background traffic noise or something else. That's not even addressing the people who use cell phones while they're cooking, rattling or banging pans, opening refrigerator doors, running a food processor (yes, that absolutely happened once), listening to tv, talking with the children or making a commotion which is totally inappropriate for a phone call.

For someone in a nursing home, I think it would be easier and simpler just to use a land line phone.
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If your Dad is still living at home do not get rid of his land-line phone. What is great about the land-line is that if he needs to dial 911, his home address will automatically show up at the 911 dispatch. This is helpful for those who while in a panic or having a stroke they don't need to try to remember where they live.

As for a cellphone for an elderly person, I wouldn't get one... first thing they aren't that easy to use because each brand is different. Secondly one would forget to re-charge the phone. Third, way too easy to lose or dropped into the toilet. And the quality of sound is terrible. I know I hate someone calling me using their cellphone as I am always asking them to repeat what the are saying as the sound fades in and out or is dropped.

I don't think young people are even familiar with how clear land-line to land-line sounds :0
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You can get a desk phone with very large buttons -- Google "phone with large buttons" and you can even get a desk phone you can insert photos in slots and make them auto dial those people. I'd stick with a desk-style phone, unless he was very used to something else.

If you need portability, the Jitterbug worked well for a low cost. I'd make sure that it was turned on and in my husband's pocket when he left the house on his mobility scooter. I'd remind him which single button to press if he needed to call me. When I called him I'd dial two or three times in a row, waiting for him to get it out of his pocket and remember how to answer. "Dear, you seem to be taking a long time. Did you get your haircut?" "Yes. I stopped for an ice cream cone." "OK. See you soon." Yup, we conducted critical conversations on the phone! :)
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Tell dad he will have to wait to make those important phone calls until you get there. MIL cant work one either arthritis is very bad and she doesn't hang it up right 60 minute gets used up quickly......Learned the hard way.....finally....
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My husband was able to use a Jitterbug.

Unless it needs to be portable, I like Pam's suggestion.
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Get him a 1950's desk phone that he will remember how to use. If he is on Medicaid, he entitled to the LifeLine rate.
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