As they get older, many reject technological advances. Reluctance stems not only from a reluctance to change, but also because some new gadgets are made or marketed with older consumers in mind. New technology is a great thing—or it could be a lifeline—but less is sometimes more when it comes to introducing your grand auntie’s newest tekkie doodad. Even though for security reasons, everyone should have a cell phone.
When selecting a cell phone For older friends or family members, first remember that features that turn you on can be downright scary to others. It’s also wise to consider their faculties may not be what they used to be. Remember, first and foremost, that the goal is to provide your loved one with an effective means of communication.
Consider before buying:
Is the screen bright enough and large enough for someone who is visually impaired?
Can volume be adjusted quickly and easily?
Is the power button easy to use for arthritic hands?
Would the touch screen be intimidating?
Are extras like camera features and SMS wanted or needed?
Is it easy to charge the phone?
Even though many mobile companies are focused on making hot new gadgets for younger consumers, senior citizens are not completely left behind. In fact, a number of phone makers are finding a healthy niche market. Big names like Samsung and Nokia have taken notice of aging consumers.
Samsung offers Jitterbug and Galaxy Note:
Formerly a simple little flip phone, the Jitterbug Plus it’s still an easy-to-use push button phone that has now added features like a camera and add-ons like GPS and 5 Star Urgent Response. (Not all features are applicable for use in the UK, so double check before purchasing.)
That galaxy record definitely flashier than Jitterbug and also slightly bigger. If it’s getting into touch-screen waters, this larger “phablet” has a 5.3-inch AMOLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diode) display that’s easier to read than some. The included stylus is also a nice touch.
Nokia, another trusted name in mobile, offers K2-01.5. Granted, this phone isn’t built specifically for seniors, but it’s a beautiful blend of form, function, and style. The buttons and screen aren’t that big but the phone got very good reviews in terms of call quality. Plus it’s geared for use with a number of carriers worldwide, which can be of great help to travelers.
Although less well known, the Ez One Smartphone is a straight bar phone with extra-large buttons, a well-placed earpiece, and a one-button emergency contact feature. It’s a simple and effective option for a smartphone, but it lacks a camera or other extras.
Get on with the plan!
As well as helping with the purchase of the cell phone itself, it’s best to help guide the process of selecting the appropriate cellular plan. This isn’t to say parents are always being taken advantage of but the phone companies are in business to make money. An overzealous salesperson might get loved ones to sign up for a very elaborate package. So before making any decision, be sure to be aware of any special needs that must be met such as texting and remote arrangements. Another possibility to consider is to avoid the plan altogether by just buying a prepaid phone, which is fairly common. Note that the largest carriers in the UK are Virgin Mobile, T Mobile, Orange, and Vodaphone. Be sure to research each one before committing, as not all carriers will offer the same level of customer service or phone call coverage.
Once needs and wants are assessed, the selection should be easy. The most important feature for any senior friendly cell phone is the feel of being approachable to the user. With a cellular plan and rates to match, you can be assured of security and connection with just one phone call.