28 Feb 10 Best Cell Phones for Seniors of 2021
Cell phones, specifically smartphones, can be confusing, especially to someone who has never used a phone for anything other than making a call. A modern smartphone has the ability to predict the weather for the rest of the week. It can have a driver come and pick you up wherever you are without you even having to talk to anyone. It can even have groceries delivered to your home (again, without talking to anyone). Modern smartphones do so much more than what a regular phone or even a cell phone used to do, that they could easily be intimidating for senior citizens if they are not already tech-savvy. This is where cell phones for seniors come in.
Cell phones for seniors are mobile phones that have been designed with older consumers in mind. Their displays, the keypad numbers, the on-screen text, and the icons (for apps) are larger than usual, in order to make the phones easier to use for those who have conditions that affect their vision. Some phones also include GPS location services and medical monitoring features, as well as an emergency call button, 24/7 access to registered nurses and doctors, check-in calls, and wellness calls.
For consumers looking for something simple and easy to use, we might suggest a flip phone. These phones feature two hinged sections that are flipped open when the phone is in use. They are practical, small, and often considered stylish. Flip phones usually have big, brightly-colored displays, long-lasting batteries, bigger buttons, and a simple menu. Flip phones are probably the best choice for consumers who are not interested in browsing the internet or using apps, and mainly need cell phones for making calls and texting.
Benefits of Cell Phones for Seniors
One Call Away
We spoke with Ava Griffiths, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist based in Georgia, who said she encourages cell phones for senior citizens, especially those without family assistance, enhanced medical alerts, in-home nursing, or home care service. Griffiths, who offers over-the-phone therapy for individuals with anxiety and depression, has provided services to over 200 elderly clients, those in whom, with cell phones, could contact her while away from home or on the go.
You’re More Social than You Think
Senior citizens that have limited mobility or health complications may not be able to leave their homes as often as the average person, limiting their social interactions. While house phones enable them to have conversations, they’re still confined at home and unable to see and engage with others.
Dr. Ariel Cruz, a geriatrician based in Puerto Rico, shared with us the necessity of maintaining some form of social interaction:
“The human being is social. We enjoy and need to share with other people. That interaction is very important so that we don’t feel alone, but instead feel important and needed within our families and communities. This helps us to manage stress, which is a factor of great importance to maintain our health.”
Unlike house phones, cell phones enable us to see our family and loved ones through photos and video chats. We can also interact with and learn from other people through social media, text messages, games, and other apps.
If You Don’t Use It, You’ll Lose It
Dr. Cruz, who is also an assistant professor of the Family Medicine Department at the Universidad Central del Caribe’s School of Medicine, says he recommends to every patient his top seven tips for staying healthy. One of them, unsuspectedly, is a daily mental exercise.
“The mind must be stimulated and exercised just as much as muscles. One must learn new things every day, such as through music, art, and reading. These offer new experiences of learning that stimulate distinct areas of the brain and help maintain our mental agility.”
Most cell phones today enable us to download games, puzzles, books, and even tune in to Podcasts for daily learning and mental stimulation.
Types of Cell Phones
Most cell phones today are hearing aid compatible and have customizable features, such as ringtones options, but not every type fits each customers’ needs. Let’s discuss some key features of the three types of cell phones to discover which type of phone works best for you.
THE BASIC PHONE
Also called the “candy bar” phone, this type of cell phone maintains the classic, boxy design in which you can press each keypad button individually. Some also include pre-installed games, such as the popular, classic game Snake. This type of phone is considerable for customers who only want to make phone calls and send and receive text messages.
THE FLIP PHONE
While still considered a “basic” phone, the flip phone’s foldable design enables it to become more compact. Flip phones are considerable for consumers looking for a basic phone that is small, lightweight, and designed to naturally protect its screen and keypad.
This type of cell phone can be thought of as a “mini-computer,” as it has dozens of computing abilities, including internet access, video calls, note-taking, GPS navigation, and artificial intelligence features. These cell phones are built on operating systems, such as Android and iOS.
In our interview with David Payette, founder and president of both upphone.com and payetteforward.com, we discussed the relationship between smartphones and our society, as well as how senior citizens can get better acquainted with them.
Smartphones connect us to the outside world and each other, Payette explained. Getting a smartphone empowers seniors to have access to the same information that the rest of us have, while also keeping in contact with their families. For grandparents who love to stay in touch with their grandchildren, kids today are much more comfortable sending a quick text message.
Payette, who was formerly a technician for Apple before starting his own business, performed diagnostics and repairs for smartphones. From his observations, older people fear the idea of a smartphone because it sounds complicated, reminding us that senior citizens grew up in a time where computers would easily break.