Posted on Dec 10, 2015
As you age, the simple act of telephone communication can become difficult. Failing vision, hearing, grip, voice, mobility and memory diminish the ability to use a traditional telephone. Fortunately, there are phones for the elderly which overcome these problems.
Mobile phones are unsuitable for seniors with failing vision. Choose phones with enlarged screens and buttons. Lighted keypads, speed dial and voice confirmation features also assist. There are even phones with Braille for those with extreme vision loss.
Amplified phones with a boosted ring tone and visual call indicator can reduce frustration. Some phones also use a Bluetooth enabled hearing aid as an extra speaker. For severe deafness, captioned phones have a display window which lets you read what the caller is saying.
Both voice-activated and Bluetooth headset phones allow for a hands-free phone call. Voice-activated phones respond to your voice as you say names or phone numbers. When you move your head slightly, Bluetooth headsets will activate or deactivate the phone.
Phones with outgoing speech amplification remove anxiety that your caller cannot hear you. Speaker accessories which attach to your normal phone are also available.
The elderly appreciate that they can keep cordless phones with them at all times. Voice-activated speaker phones are also a viable option. Choose one with caller ID to avoid telemarketers.
Photo phones are available which allow you to place pictures of family and friends on pre-programmed buttons. Press the button with the appropriate photo to be connected.
Visit your local phone shop to “test drive” and choose a product with the combination of features that suits your needs. If you can’t afford to buy one, Telstra’s disability equipment program rents these products for the same price as a standard phone.