WHAT IS THE BEST CELL PHONE FOR A SENIOR CITIZEN?
For most people today, having a cell phone has become an important part of daily life. This is especially true for many seniors. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 92% of adults age 65 or older in the United States have a cell phone. For anyone who has ever tried to find the perfect phone to fit their exact needs, the process can be very daunting. This is due to the enormous amount of brands and pricing packages that are currently offered in the marketplace. It’s easy to become overwhelmed.
Older adults looking for a cell phone often have additional needs that go beyond the basics of brand and cellular plan. In this blog, we will cover what to look for when helping a senior choose a phone and what features have proven to be the most popular.
WHY SHOULD SENIORS HAVE A CELL PHONE?
Even though older adults have lived a majority of their lives perfectly well without a “portable telephone” in their pockets, there are many great reasons today for them to have one.
Safety – It is very reassuring for seniors to know that they have a cell phone with them in case they become sick, lost or need any other kind of help.
Staying Connected – Staying connected with family and friends has never been more convenient or easier thanks to cell phone technology. Some seniors become more isolated as they age and having a cell phone is a great way to stay in touch with loved ones.
Health Monitoring – Cell phones provide many more services today than just the ability to make phone calls or send texts. Whether it be to monitor their blood pressure, heart rate or give them a reminder to take medication, cell phones can play an important role in helping a senior take care of themselves.
Entertainment – A seemingly endless amount of games, puzzles and other entertainment options are available to seniors on their cell phones. Participating in these activities not only holds boredom at bay, but also helps to stimulate the mind.
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WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HELPING A SENIOR CHOOSE THE RIGHT CELL PHONE
There are a number of important elements to consider when helping an older person find the proper cell phone to meet their needs.
Flip Phones – The decision to purchase a flip phone vs. a smartphone will be largely based on what the senior wants to do with the device. Flip phones are smaller and can be easier to carry, but are quite limited in their capabilities other than to make and receive phone calls.
Texting can be done, but it’s not super easy to do on a flip phone. The screen and buttons are also smaller on these devices as well. If a senior is looking for basic cell services that center around using the device as a telephone, a flip phone is a good option. Lastly, these phones are typically much less expensive than others on the market today.
Smartphones– Smartphones on the other hand offer an almost endless amount of features in addition to telephone and texting services. It’s extremely easy to text people on a smartphone and the device can also be effectively used to play games, access the internet, set alarms and all kinds of other activities. If a senior is looking to take advantage of all that a cell phone can offer, a smartphone is a great choice.
Phone Plans – In today’s marketplace, there is an almost overwhelming amount of cellular carriers and pricing plans available to consumers. Some pricing packages can be extremely expensive on a monthly basis, while there are others that are much more affordable.
As you help choose the right cell phone for a senior, it’s important to fully understand how they intend to use the device and what features they will want access to (such as the internet). Knowing this will be a great help in picking a phone/plan that best suits their needs.
Cost – Today’s modern cell phones can be extremely expensive, especially if a person is interested in having the latest and greatest model available. Even though flip phones cost much less than smartphones do, many cellular carriers have deals where the cost of the phone is broken into equal payments in each month’s bill. .
There are certain phone companies such as Consumer Cellular that specialize in providing cell phones to the senior market. Many of the phones that they offer have features such as larger buttons or screens that are designed to help an older person operate them more easily.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT CELL PHONE FOR SENIORS?
Because every person is unique, the question of what is the best cell phone for a senior is really a matter of individual choice. Thinking ahead of time about the type of phone to get, the pricing plan that will come with it and of course the cost of the device itself will go a long way in finding a cell phone that will perfectly fit the needs of the older adult in your life.