As a senior citizen, you may be hesitant to buy a cell phone for a variety of reasons, including dexterity problems, Alzheimer's disease or difficulty understanding technology. Cell phones have, over time, gotten both smaller and bigger, more technologically advanced, and harder to use than a regular house phone.
Shopping for a cell phone to replace a landline or to use for travel or emergencies can be frustrating. If you buy one that's too complicated, it may never get any use. The phones we found are simple to use and have features that can make your life easier.
The only features most of these phones don’t have are internet and GPS, so you can't browse websites or get directions to a destination. For the latter, you'll have to purchase a separate GPS for navigation.
One of the biggest complaints senior citizens have about today's cell phones is that they are too hard to navigate, even just to make a simple phone call. If this is the case for you, skip the smartphone in favor of the Jitterbug Flip. This flip phone is small enough to fit in your pocket or purse, and it has a big screen and larger buttons than a standard cell phone.
The digital display is large enough to see text, whether you're dialing a phone number or sending or receiving text messages. If you have limited vision, this can make the difference between adopting the use of a cell phone or not.
The volume buttons and the numbers you press to dial a phone number or send a text are also larger than those on most cell phones. This makes it easy to use, even if you have dexterity or vision problems that make it hard to press or see small keypads. This phone also has Yes and No buttons that make it easy to navigate the menus and options. In addition, the keypad is backlit so you can use your phone in low lighting.
You can also take pictures with the Jitterbug Flip and see the images on the phone’s color display. This cell phone is hearing-aid compatible, and for an additional cost, you can access 5* urgent support, which connects you to trained representatives for roadside assistance, medical assistance and other emergency help. Also, when you open the phone to make a call, you'll notice something that’s missing on most cell phones – a dial tone. It's a familiar sound that can help make the transition from landline to mobile phone smooth.
You can even use your Jitterbug Flip phone as a magnifier. Along with the built-in flashlight, you can use the camera to magnify fine print such as that on a menu in a restaurant. Just press the up and down buttons to zoom in or out.
Doro PhoneEasy 626
Another option is the Doro PhoneEasy 626, which is also an easy-to-use flip phone. As with many flip phones, you just close it to end a call, so there's no hunting for an End button.
Its large, raised buttons make it easy to dial a phone number, and it includes Bluetooth technology so you can use it hands-free while driving. The phone has a 2-megapixel camera you can use to take photos and record video. It also includes an emergency alert button, so you can easily contact help without fumbling around.
This phone is also hearing-aid compatible and has high volume levels. The battery lasts six hours on one charge, and if you use this flip phone for emergency use only, the battery can last even longer.
There are a few other phones for senior citizens on the market, but these two are the simplest to use and the most affordable. A mobile phone is a great way to stay in touch, and it can be a lifesaver, but only if you know how to use it – the Jitterbug Flip and Doro PhoneEasy 626 make it easy for anyone to adopt the technology.