The Best Cell Phones for Seniors With Dementia

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Do Seniors With Dementia Need a Cell Phone?

Actually, yes, depending on the stage of their illness, seniors struggling with memory loss really can benefit from a cell phone — for a number of reasons. Practically speaking, having a mobile phone handy gives older folks with difficulties remembering more independence. With the right phone, they can call for help if there’s an emergency or they have a foggy moment. They can also use GPS navigation features to find their way home if they wander.

Most importantly, cell phones make it easier for loved ones to stay in touch. This is probably the best reason for older adults with memory loss to have a phone. Studies have shown that just 10 minutes of social contact a day can improve their quality of life substantially.1

Additionally, with GPS tracking, family members and caregivers can locate loved ones quickly if they go missing or get lost. Many cell phones for seniors also come with medical alert or emergency response features — for good reason. Approximately 70 percent of seniors with dementia experience a fall every year,2 so monitoring features like fall detection, activity tracking, and an SOS button can be literal lifesavers.

How We Chose the Best Cell Phones for Seniors With Dementia

The senior population is growing, and it’s tech savvy and connected. That includes seniors living with and managing life-changing illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Because dementia affects cognitive abilities, staying connected poses its own challenges for older folks who live with the disease. That’s why the right cell phone is a must, and why we’ve carefully researched and curated this list.

The cell phones that made the cut met specific criteria. They had to be easy to handle and use, with dedicated medical and emergency alert features (or compatibility), long battery lives, and (where possible) built-in internet access. Price points also had to make sense for budget-conscious seniors. Every phone on our list also had to meet the following requirements:

  • Useful features: The phones on this list aren’t just senior-friendly, but also useful for seniors with dementia, with features like easy-to-navigate menus, voice assistants, medical alert capabilities, and long battery life.
  • No contracts: If you’ve been a SeniorLiving.org reader for even a short time, you probably know that we’re not fans of long-term contracts. All of the phones on our list have month-to-month payment options, so you can cancel at any time for any reason without facing fines.
  • Bang for your buck: Every senior has a different budget, so we’ve included both inexpensive and pricier options. Whatever the price point, you can rest assured that each of the phones we recommend offers solid value for the money.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cell Phones for Seniors With Dementia

Written By

Taylor Shuman

Senior Tech Expert & Editor

For over five years, Taylor has been writing, editing, and researching products and services covering topics such as senior care and technology, Internet and the digital divide, TV, and entertainment, and education. Her research on media consumption and consumer behavior has been… Learn More About Taylor Shuman