We live in a world of ever-increasing connectivity thanks to advances in modern technology. Of these advances, few have had a bigger impact than cell phones. However, many seniors still don’t have cell phones.
While the use of a cell phone is something that many seniors could only dream of when they were growing up in the 40s and 50s, cell phones have become an essential way to stay connected with your family and friends no matter where you are. And with seniors being a vulnerable population, they need to be able to reach out to their family in case of an emergency in or outside their home. In this post, we will go over the main benefits of seniors with dementia having a cell phone, as well as the best mobile devices that can be easily used with seniors who are suffering from dementia.
Benefits of Cell Phone for the Elderly
Cell phones, especially smartphones, can provide numerous benefits for the elderly. These devices can offer assistance to seniors of various tech skills, making them a valuable tool for older individuals. Here are some of the key benefits:
Suited for Their Needs: Cell phones designed for seniors often include features such as bigger buttons and voice activation, making technological tasks easier. This ensures that the device is better suited to meet their needs.
Ease of Use: There’s no steep learning curve involved in using these devices. With a bit of practice, seniors can easily learn to use cell phones.
Emergency Services: One of the most important benefits of cell phones for seniors is the ability to call for emergency services. This gives seniors the flexibility to enjoy their independence while still having a way to get immediate help if needed.
Staying Connected: Cell phones allow seniors to stay connected with friends, family, and the world around them. They can make calls, send texts, and even use Skype and FaceTime.
Social Networking: Smartphones also allow seniors to engage in social networking. This can help them stay socially active and connected with their communities.
Everyone Uses Them: Age is not a barrier when it comes to using cell phones. Everyone uses cell phones, regardless of their age.
So, there are many reasons why seniors should have a cell phone. While there might be some challenges in terms of adapting to new technology, the benefits clearly outweigh them.
Should a Person with Dementia Have a Cell Phone?
It is important to understand that dementia comes in many forms and phases. Seniors who are in the beginning stages of this awful condition are not completely incapable of performing everyday tasks and can still benefit from having a cell phone as long as their current mental capacity allows them to. While a senior with dementia using a cell phone might come with certain challenges, the benefits of them having one definitely outweigh the negatives.
Common Phone Problems Faced by the Elderly with Dementia
One of the most common issues experienced by seniors with dementia who have a cell phone is that they are prone to losing their phone more frequently than someone without dementia. While this is a challenge, it shouldn’t be a reason to deter you from providing your elderly parent or grandparent suffering from this condition with a cell phone. Sure, it is more likely that they will misplace it, but setting the ringer in the loudest setting can make it easy to locate and can give you the peace of mind to know that your loved one can be contacted— or can contact you in case of an emergency.
Aside from losing their phone, a senior with dementia might also have trouble using their phone because they aren’t familiar with the technology. And even once they learn how to navigate the various functions of their phone, they still might have trouble remembering how to do it again in the future. With that in mind, it is important to choose a phone that is easy to navigate and can eliminate unnecessary confusion.
Important Considerations When Choosing a Phone for Someone with Dementia
The main thing you’re going to want to look for in a phone for your elderly family member with dementia is a phone that is easy to navigate. These phones should come with the most basic functions along with a large display screen that has big clear numbers and large buttons. Choosing a phone that is also equipped with voice-activated calling prompts along with safety features will also be a must for any senior struggling with dementia. Some other considerations that you will need to take into account are picking a phone that has apps that can include reminders, as well as choosing a phone that has long battery life.
Top 5 Phones for Someone with Dementia
T-Mobile Alcatel GO FLIP
This phone is a standard flip phone with smartphone capabilities. The device will cost $100 and is a great no-frills option that is easy to navigate for any senior, especially for those with dementia. This phone comes equipped with service plans as low as $40 per month.
If you’re looking for another great option, the Jitterbug Flip2 is an excellent choice. This phone boasts a long battery life and a loudspeaker, making it easy for the elderly to hear while also allowing them to use it frequently without worrying about having to charge it constantly. It costs $100 and has plans that start as low as $14.99.
If you’re looking for a phone with more features but is still easy to use, then you might want to consider the Jitterbug Smart3. This could be the simplest smartphone on the market, making it a great choice for seniors that might not be the most technologically savvy. With a large display and fairly simple navigation, this device costs $149 with plans that start at $14.99 with an additional $2.49 charge for data.
Link II From Consumer Cellular
If you need an even more affordable option, consider the Link II from Consumer Cellular. This phone has a large keypad and is only $35. Plans start at $15 per month.
Another very affordable option is the Snapfon ezTWO3G. This phone comes equipped with an SOS button along with built-in fall detection capabilities. This is a great choice for seniors who are accident-prone and will need a fast and easy way to contact someone if they’ve fallen and need assistance. It is also a very affordable device, only costing $33.95. In addition, you can find plans starting as low as $10 per month.
In this day and age, connectivity is important, even for seniors who have never used a cell phone before and especially for seniors with dementia. Having a phone that is easy to use and is reliable will be critical when buying a phone for your elderly grandparent or parent with dementia. Hopefully, this guide can serve as a great starting point for the different options that are available to seniors looking for a basic phone that can help them stay connected to their friends and family.
While dementia is a debilitating condition that is a cause for concern in any family, it doesn’t need to be the end of the world. Providing the elderly with a cell phone they can rely on can greatly alleviate the stresses associated with having a loved one suffering from dementia. These 5 best cell phone options are a great place to start and can give you and your family greater peace of mind knowing that you will be able to contact them at a moment’s notice— without having to constantly worry about their condition.