Posted on Feb 18, 2016
Due to various disabilities, many seniors find that their phone becomes their main connection with the world. When choosing a phone, make sure that it has specific features which suit your loved one’s particular needs. The myriad of features on a normal Smartphone are often too complex for someone with vision, hearing or mobility difficulties. Here are five phones for you to consider that have been designed for seniors.
KISA manufactures mobile phones and acts as a service provider; however, it is possible to use your existing SIM card for an extra cost. These phones are custom-designed for seniors with low vision, arthritis, dementia or hearing problems. Tactile buttons, clear-contrast screens, pictures of contacts, loud ringtones and Braille scripts are some of the features that can be included. The phone can be worn on a lanyard and has a cradle for recharging. An SOS button on the back of the phone can be used to call 000.
This no-frills, credit-card sized phone is produced within three days using 3D technology. From their website, you can specify requirements such as whether you want word, image or Braille buttons. There is a dedicated emergency button on every handset. Call plans are only available through OwnFone. Like KISA, this phone has a lanyard and is recharged with a docking cradle. Phone numbers are stored on a computer, so if the phone is lost, it is simply a matter of printing a new one with no loss of data.
For seniors who wish to have more functions on their mobile, Telstra Easycall 3 is a good option. Those with low vision are catered for with large buttons and voice technology that announces buttons being pressed, caller ID and reads texts aloud. It is also possible to set reminder alerts for such matters as taking medication. An emergency button on the back will ring a preset number and send texts to four preselected contacts. This phone is highly recommended for rural areas where reception can be unreliable with other devices.
This traditional, corded phone is ideal for visually and hearing impaired seniors. It has large buttons, text to speech technology and a hands-free speakerphone. Those with hearing problems will appreciate the ringer indicator which flashes when there is an incoming call. Uniden SS E33 safety features include battery back up in case of power failure and two hot dial numbers for emergencies.
This speakerphone is ideal for those with hearing or mobility problems. It is hearing aid compatible and has amplified sound for caller ID, ringtone and talking keypad. It also has a visual ring indicator. The unique feature of the Oricom Care170 is its smart dialler pendant which is worn around the neck or wrist. Mobility-challenged loved ones can press the speakerphone on the pendant to answer calls. In an emergency, an alert button on the pendant can be pressed and a pre-recorded message will be sent to emergency contacts.
For those who face financial difficulties, Telstra offers a range of pensioner discounts and the option of renting products through their Disability Equipment Program. Optus may also provide products under its Disability Action Plan.
In order to keep your loved one socially active and for your own piece of mind, begin your search for a suitable phone today. Ask your homecare service provider for suggestions about which devices have worked successfully for other senior clients with similar challenges.