How to Select Cell Phones for Seniors

by Contributor

Seniors need a phone that is easy to see, easy to use and easy to hear. Today's cell phones come with a wide variety of features such as cameras, Internet access, GPS systems and more. Most seniors will benefit from just a simple phone that is easy to operate and designed for their particular needs.

1

Get a phone with a large keypad that's easy to use and read. Keypads should have bright, well-lit displays. On some phones the words on the screen can be adjusted to a larger size. The screen and keypad should feature large numbers. For those who are hard of hearing chose a phone with loud, clear sound.

2

Many cell phones can make calls by using voice activation. Voice activation allows you to make phone calls just by speaking a person's name. This makes it easy for someone who has a hard time dialing or looking up numbers to make calls. Program your frequently used numbers into the cellphone and learn how to use voice activation and speed dial.

3

A pay-as-you-go plan may be the best choice for a senior who does not make a lot of calls. Basic plans can start at around $10 per month. This is a good option for a phone that you would like to use just for emergencies. Check AARP and AAA for such plans.

4

Look for a cellphone that has a one-button 911 call feature. This will make it easy to use in an emergency.

5

All cellphones, whether they have a current plan or not, are able to call 911. Recycle old cell phones into a 911 emergency phone. Friends or family may have an old cellphone with its charger to keep for emergency use.

6

Choose a phone that has an easy-to-use charger. Some phones have a base that is easy to set the phone into for charging. Other phones use a small USB cable that needs to be plugged into the phone, which is can be difficult for seniors to manipulate.

Tips

  • check Beware of cancellation fees on cell phone service agreements.
  • check Program frequently called numbers.
  • check Set up voice activation on your cell phone.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera George Doyle/Valueline/Getty Images