The use of technology doesn’t stop when a person gets older and that includes the use of cell phones. In fact, research shows that 80% of all people ages 65 and older in the United States own some type of cell phone. When it comes to cell phones for seniors, there are certain ones that offer features that can prove to be extremely helpful in the case of an emergency. Cell phones are particularly useful for seniors who are still fairly independent and active. Many times loved ones want to be able to get in touch at all times to make sure everything is okay. That’s when having a cell phone in your pocket comes in handy.
Considerations Before Buying a Senior Cell Phone
While the majority of seniors in the United States may own a cell phone, they may not be choosing ones with many bells and whistles. The features a senior wants are totally different than those a teenager looks for. Teens may be looking for smartphones with many apps while seniors may simply want a phone that makes calls and can possibly contact emergency services if need be. Phone companies recognize this fact and cater to these needs. Here are some things to consider before buying a cell phone:
- Is it user friendly? If a cell phone is not user friendly for a senior, it’s not worth getting. Some features may include larger numbers, high-volume levels, and speed dial. Some seniors may also want a built-in camera. Whatever bells and whistles are chosen, be sure they can be easily operated.
- Is there an emergency contact feature? Some cell phones that are marketed specifically to seniors offer features that will automatically call an emergency contact or 911 in case there is a problem.
- Is there a lengthy contract? Many seniors opt for monthly plans without any lengthy contract. This is beneficial if they decide they no longer want the phone or can no longer use it for one reason or another.
- Are there hidden fees? While some plans may offer cheap monthly fees there could be a hidden fee that is costly. Ask questions and be sure to read the fine print.
Top Rated Cell Phones for Seniors
Taking all of those things into consideration, here are three of the top-rated cell phones for seniors.
- Snapfon ezTWO- This phone is often dubbed “the cell phone for seniors”. It has numerous features including large buttons, an easy to read full color screen, a speaking keypad, and an SOS button that can call for emergency help. It is also hearing aid compatible. There is also an option to add a 24/7 monitoring system. Plans are affordable and can be customized to usage.
- Jitterbug-Smart Easy to Use 4G Prepaid Smart Phone- This phone offers smartphone technology without being overwhelming. There are large icons that are located on one list, alleviating the need to scroll from screen to screen. There are apps available that can contact emergency services as well. The plan for this phone is also affordable with some options as lows as $18 a month. The Jitterbug phone also comes in a flip-style in case the smartphone screen is still a little too “techie”.
- AT&T Prepaid Phone- With one easy flip, a touchpad is revealed which makes placing a phone call quick and easy. This phone is also pre-paid so there are no contracts or hidden fees. It also has a camera so seniors can take pictures of their grandchildren and store them!
Since cell phones and carrier plans are an out-of-pocket expense for seniors, it’s important to calculate it into any monthly budget. Also, remember that keeping it simple will make the cost as affordable as possible.
Senior Cell Phone Providers
The following are some of the most popular and well known providers of senior cell phone plans and devices: