Seniors and cellphones, any good ideas or recommendations? -

Seniors and cellphones, any good ideas or recommendations?


I bought a cellphone for my mom and for the first couple years she was OK with using it and charging it. Within the past couple months, she claims its broken. I took it, tested it and it's functioning just fine. Gave it back fully charged and when the battery died, it's "broken" again. The charger cord is strapped to the bed within reach so there's no problems plugging and unplugging. At one point, she said her cord was stolen but it was near her all along. This battle w/ the cellphone led another sibling to buy their own cellphone for mom to use. (Only between the two of them, go figure.) Of course, same thing happens again. So now, I reach out to the community to ask about cellphone advice and ways to keep in touch with your seniors when between visits. For now, my Dad is adept with the iPad and I can FaceTime them both. But I miss the one-on-one conversations. Any good ideas or recommendations on phones for tech-challenged elders?



Bring back the landline for Mom. In our elder's brain it is embedded on 70+ years on how to use a landline. When it rings you pick up the receiver, talk, then hang up the receiver.... nothing new to learn. No charging. No losing the phone. You can get landlines very cheaply for all the rooms in the house. Plus the calls are so much clearer.

Most important what I really like about the landline is if your Mom needs to dial 911, automatically her home address will show up on the dispatcher's screen, thus if Mom had a stroke and couldn't talk, the dispatcher would know the address to send the EMT's.

With a cellphone, unless there is a special GPS, all the dispatcher has to go on is the closest cell tower ping. If there are 500 homes around the tower, then what? The dispatcher would have to keep asking Mom questions about her address, and if Mom is in a panic she may forget her address, or what is the street name to help narrow down her location. Precious time is lost.  Dispatch may need to send out a fire truck with it's siren to go up and down those streets until the dispatcher can hear the siren on Mom's cellphone getting closer.

Myself, I dislike using a cellphone, way toooooo many steps to get from A to B. Plus I can't hear half the time as the calls fade in and out. I use mine for emergencies only and for an occasional text.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to freqflyer

I am 86 years young(!) and have a "Jitterbug" cellphone designed for seniors. It is not a Smart phone (although one is also available). The Jitterbug is a flip phone with extra large letters and numbers which can be seen easily. It only has essential buttons and information on it. It has a plug-in charger which is easy to use. Google it to see details.
It is not expensive, and has several different monthly data plans. I really like it. It MAY be suitable for your mom's capabilities. Good luck! P.S. You can see the Jitterbug at Walmart's and other large stores like Target ,to preview it. Kevin C.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Kevin1931

I really don't think at this point she is not able to learn anything new. Can't Dad plug it in? Next time she says it's broke tell her it can't be fixed. Let sister worry about the one she gave her. One less thing to worry about.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Well, they reckon they're global - hope you find something that suits her.
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Reply to Countrymouse

Coincidence! In this month's 'The Oldie' magazine, along with travel insurance with no upper age limit and advice on self-publishing memoirs, there is a half-page advertisement for The Doro Liberto ® 820 Mini, described as "ideal for beginners of all ages." It does indeed come with a "unique charging cradle" so you just sit the phone on it on its side.

There is also the Doro PhoneEasy ® 612 - folding phone, large screen, large text, and compatible with hearing aids, it says. Larger than average well-spaced buttons for easy texting and dialling.

I do not know whether this manufacturer distributes in the States, though - I will look. But in any case if they don't, someone else doing something similar must.
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Reply to Countrymouse

Can you get her one of those charger things where you just have to lay it on the pad?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn