RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Tips for choosing a cell phone for seniors

2nd April 2020 Print

Given the ability of mobile technology to help individuals improve their lives, it makes sense to help the senior in your life find a phone. Finding the right phone, though, is harder than just walking into the local mobile phone store. Instead, you'll want to take a brief look at the features and qualities that help make a given phone the right fit for a senior.

Choose the Right Screen Size

Phone screens are not one-size-fits-all. For those who have vision troubles, a small screen can make a phone worse than useless. As such, it's typically a good idea to look for phones that either have larger displays or that can be adjusted to display larger text.

The good news is that most major phone makers allow users to change the font and icon sizes on their phones. It may, however, be worth your time to invest in a phone that defaults to these larger sizes. Doing so makes the phone easier to use out of the box for those with vision difficulties.

Look for Amplified Speakers

One of the most common complaints of seniors who own phones is that the phones are too quiet. Whether the volume is an issue during calls or while using streaming services, seniors simply cannot enjoy the product if the volume isn't loud enough.

The obvious fix here is to find a phone with amplified speakers. There are some phones that use this feature to market towards seniors, but there are plenty of phones that use amplified speakers as a selling point for the general public. This is a vital accessibility feature for any senior citizen who is hard of hearing.

Choose a Phone with Accessibility

The two features above pair well the concept of accessibility. It's vital that you help the senior in your life not only find a phone but find a phone that works with where he or she is in life. This means looking for things like larger numbers, voice assistants, and even on-board help programs when possible.

There are plenty of phones out there that are marketed towards seniors. Choosing something like the Jitterbug phone for seniors tends to be a safe bet, as it’s packed full of assistive technologies. With the right features, a senior can use everything that a good phone has to offer.

Research Different Phone Types

When seniors look for mobile phones, they're often looking for a number of specific qualities. If the senior in your life is already familiar with using a smartphone, he or she may be most comfortable using a phone that already works a great deal like the one he or she had before.

For some, this means continuing to stick with a familiar operating system like iOS or Android. For others, it might mean sticking with a phone model that looks and feels the same. Sometimes it simply makes sense to work with what the senior already knows how to use.

Opt for User-Friendliness

User-friendliness is something that varies from person to person. When helping a senior citizen find a phone, perhaps the best way to look at this factor is how difficult it is for the senior to use the phone. The more steps between activation and accomplishing a task, the worse the experience will be.

Finding a user-friendly phone means talking with the senior in question and figuring out what he or she wants from the phone. From there, you can determine how tough or easy a given phone makes this process. With a little research, you can find a phone that's user-friendly and with all the bells and whistles.

Ask for Extra Features

Finally, there are the nebulous extra features that tend to be more important to some seniors than others. Whether a phone is compatible with virtual reality, provides better lenses for taking photos, or has longer battery life, these features may be important to your specific senior rather than seniors as a whole.

You can easily sacrifice other features to get the one that the buyer wants, allowing you to make a purchase of a simpler phone. Remember, these features can matter quite a bit when it comes to the senior's enjoyment of the phone so keep them in mind when you’re shopping.

Keep Your Senior in Mind

If you're choosing a phone for a senior, make sure that you keep his or her needs in mind. There really isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, so talk to him or her about what they want from their phone. With a bit of conversation and some straightforward research, you should be able to find the perfect phone for the senior in your life.