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How Do I Choose the Best Cell Phones for Seniors?

Some phones will read out text messages for those who prefer to listen to them.
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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 July 2014
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As people age, it may be more difficult to keep up with technology for a variety of reasons. The best cell phones for seniors can help older adults stay in touch with loved ones while catering to a variety of needs. Some features to consider when choosing cell phones for older people include keypad size and design, screen size and brightness, read-out and speakerphone options, and an uncomplicated design.

Modern cell phones often minimize keypad space in order to allow for a larger screen or even a complete QWERTY keyboard. Seniors who have difficulty with sight or hand-eye coordination may find tiny keypads a hazardous issue. Some cellphone models are built with large, simple number keypads for easy use. While these models may be slightly larger than most standard cell phones, their bigger size can also make them easier to use, more durable, and harder to lose. Certain models may even light up in the dark, which can be especially helpful for seniors with poor night vision.

In addition to keypad size, screen size and composition can be important considerations when buying cell phones for seniors. Look for cell phones that offer a larger-than-standard text model, so that numbers or words on the screen are large and easy to read. Brightness can also be an important feature, so consider models that have an extra-bright setting or an adjustable screen brightness level.

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Auditory options are another area of consideration when choosing cell phones for seniors. Some cell phones offer a read-out option, which allows the phone to speak options or read out text messages and phone numbers to the user. Many phones also have a setting that allows users to speak commands rather than type in phone numbers or other functions. Good phone choices may also include hearing aid adapters, so that calls can be routed through a user's hearing device for improved clarity.

With cellular technology evolving so rapidly, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the variety of functions a modern phone can perform. For seniors who are not interested in Internet or text messaging features, it may help to look for a cellular phone with a basic telephone interface that will be easy to use. Some companies market easy-to-use basic cell phones for seniors, that may also include some or all of the features listed above. Though it may help to keep phone functions simple, basic programs such as speed dial can be very helpful for some seniors, as numbers can be programmed and remembered by the phone.

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Discuss this Article

andee
Post 2

They have a lot more options for simple cell phones for seniors than they used to. I think they finally realized there was a big market for making a phone that was simple and uncomplicated for seniors to use.

My mom would be overwhelmed with all the features on my cell phone. Her cell phone has the ability to make the text bigger and brighter. Since her eyesight isn't the best, this has been a real life saver for her.

She depends on her cell phone just as I do mine, but there is a big difference in the way we use them. Even though she doesn't use her cell phone all that often, it is just as important for her to have a phone she understands and will use as it is for me to have one.

bagley79
Post 1

My dad uses a cell phone that is about as simple as it gets. This doesn't come with a lot of extra features that would confuse him and that he wouldn't use anyway.

The keypad is also very large so he has no problem punching in the numbers. I did program some speed dial numbers in his phone, so he can just push one button instead of several.

He just wanted a phone that he could use to send and receive phone calls that wasn't complicated. I know I sure feel a lot better knowing he is carrying a cell phone with him so I can get in touch with him at any time.

If this wasn't easy for him to use he would just leave it at home or never turn it on, so I was glad we found something that he felt comfortable using.

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