I named my site Online Retirement Revenue because I want to expand on those three words whether they are interchanged or singularly used. One of the things I want to show retired people are products that may assist them in their every day lives. One of those products is cell phones.
In this technologically advanced world we live in it becomes a necessity to own a cell phone.
That being said, some seniors may resist using cell phones because they don’t like change and don’t believe they are necessary. The trend today is leaning towards more and more seniors owning cell phones.
So, what is the best cell phone for seniors? In this post, I will discuss some reasons why seniors should own and use a cell phone and show you some of the best phones for seniors to use.
Why should seniors own cell phones?
To understand why seniors need cell phones we first need to think about a surprising trend. Our children are learning how to use cell phones every year at a faster rate.
In the US alone, a little less than 50% of children under the age of 13 have their own cell phone That’s good and bad at the same time and a topic for other bloggers to discuss.
The contrasting discussion involves cell phone use among older technology users. In 2013, less than 20% of seniors owned a cell phone. By 2017 a little over 40% of seniors owned cell phones. Now, according to an article written for “AgingInPlace” in May 2019, approximately 85% of seniors over the age of 65 own cell phones.
Let’s look at some reasons seniors should own cell phones – Advances in technology have made it possible for cell phones to assist us in our every day lives. This is the primary reason for seniors to own cell phones.
Anything that can improve a seniors quality of life, especially if they live alone, is worth discussing. Here is a list of reasons seniors should own a cell phone:
- Medical Alert: Seniors tend to have more medical issues and some of these can be life-threatening. Cell phones can be used as medical alert devices saving valuable time when it’s important to have emergency medical first responders notified.
- Communication: No matter where they are and especially if they live alone, it’s important for the older generation to be able to communicate with family and friends via either text message or phone call. Cell phones also allow communication to doctors and other service providers especially when seniors are away from home.
- Monitor Health: Today’s technologies allow seniors to monitor their pulse, blood pressure, and even weight. Simple to use applications make monitoring these important health readings easy and they are all on one device and available anywhere, not just at home.
- Social Sharing: Social sharing is an important factor for all cell phone users. Seniors are now using Facebook and Twitter more and more, increasing their ability to keep up with all kinds of information and remain closer with family and friends. Another important social use for cell phones is the ability to video chat. The two best platforms are Skype and Facetime. What better way for grandparents to see and talk to their grandchildren than using a video service?
- Save memories: The older generation has always liked to use pictures to capture events like weddings, family reunions, Christmas, birthdays. Now, they are able to do this using high quality image and video functions on cell phones.
- Navigation Services: It’s important for seniors to be able to navigate their way through traffic and to find locations when away from home. Cell phones now have sophisticated navigation services to help locate addresses and make travel much easier than in years past.
- Weather Notifications: Severe weather can be a concern for senior citizens, especially those who live alone. Cell phone weather applications allow for instant weather notifications that can alert the user to take precautions to avoid dangerous situations.
- Information and entertainment: With voice-activated search functions on Android and iPhone, senior cell phone users don’t even have to use their fingers to search for information. With games, web browsers and streaming services seniors should always be able to get the information and entertainment they need at their voice and fingertips.
- Monitoring Services: Cell phones now have the capability of monitoring devices in the home like lighting, home security and heating and air-conditioning. An example is the “Ring” video doorbell system. Whether a senior is in their house or away they can see who is at their front door right on their phone screen.
Types of Cell Phones
There are three types of cell phones seniors can choose from. Of course, each of these come with their own specific functions and vary in price. Based on the price, functionality, and level of technology experience it will be up to individual preference as to which type of phone to choose. The three types of phones are:
Flip Phones: For seniors who don’t want all the bells and whistles only needing to talk and text, flip phones are their best option at a low price.
Block Phones: Block phones house the screen and keypad on the front of the phone allowing for no flipping. This is great for users who have health issues with their wrists and fingers.
Smartphones: Smartphones are the most popular in today’s cell phone world. They are more expensive and the learning curve for these devices is far greater than for flip and slider phones. The functionality of smartphones makes them a great choice for seniors offering many applications to make their lives easier.
The Best Cell Phones For Seniors
We’ve looked at some reasons seniors can benefit from owning cell phones and described the three types of cell phones. Of course, as with anything else choosing which cell phone to buy and use will be up to individual preference.
Based on my research and personal experience with cell phones I believe the following phones for seniors are the best in each phone type.
Jitterbug Flip – The Jitterbug Flip made by Greatcall is probably the best flip phone for seniors. This phone has many features that seniors need:
- Bright screen – Not only does the Jitterbug have a bright screen it also has a backlit keypad which assists in low light giving users with vision problems an advantage when dialing in dark areas.
- Large buttons – Large button make for ease when dialing
- Powerful speakers – Seniors with hearing issues will have no problem hearing and speaking when talking. And, as with most cell phones, the Jitterbug has a speakerphone option that allows for hands-free use.
- Magnifier – The Jitterbug has a built-in magnifier making reading easier.
- 5Star – Greatcall really has the safety of seniors in mind with 5Star. This red button at the bottom of the keypad allows users to click and contact an agent who is available 24/7. Once connected with the agent the user is able to tell the agent what kind of issue they are having and the agent can then dispatch the correct services to a users location.
- GreatCall Link – This is a paid service that allows friends and loved ones to check on a Jitterbug users after downloading the GreatCall Link app to their phone. App users receive emergency alerts when 5Star is activated and they can check on a users location, phone power, activities or just check-in to make sure everything is ok.
Snapfon ezTWO3g – Snapfon advertises itself as the cell phone for seniors. This block style phone is inexpensive and easy to use. The buttons are extra large and the earpiece is extra loud. This phone is made mostly for texting and calling and makes it a great option for seniors who just want a simple communication device.
The Snapfon ezTWO3g also come with a safety button on the back labeled SOS. The button is red, extra large and easy to use. When pressed for three to five seconds three things happen.
An alarm sounds which will alert anyone around the user, a text message is sent to up to five contacts that were entered into the SOS option and then calls the same contacts to alert them of an emergency. Once the SOS button is activated the phone automatically goes into speakerphone mode so the owner does not need to use their hands while talking.
Also, Snapfon offers an optional paid service called sosPlus which works 24/7 and alerts an agent who is able to notify and send the correct emergency personal to the user.
Most cell phone users today are operating smartphones. Basically, a smartphone is a small mobile computer that is also capable of placing phone calls. Many seniors do not want a phone this sophisticated, however, some tech-savvy retirees prefer the ability to do mobile computing while using their cell phone.
Some smartphones can be quite expensive, something that most seniors want to avoid. While doing my research I found one reasonably priced smartphone that should fill a senior’s needs and also provide them with safety.
Jitterbug Smart2 – The Jitterbug Smart2 is a lower-priced smartphone that still has a lot of the bells and whistles more expensive phones advertise. The one thing this phone has that others don’t is the 5Star emergency button. This feature along with the ample number of features and low price make it a great option for seniors who want a little more than a flip or block phone.
- Voice to Text – Allow a user to create a text message without typing.
- Front Screen Navigation – All navigation options are shown on the front of the screen in large easy to read text.
- 5Star – The Jitterbug Smart2 also has the 5Star button and can be used with the GreatCall Link app.
- Front Facing Speaker – The speaker is on the front of the phone allowing for better conversations especially for people with hearing problems.
- Mobile data – The Jitterbug Smart2 has an internet browser allowing users to surf the internet.
- Camera – A 13-megapixel camera is built-in with a flash allowing users to take some great quality pictures.
These were three phones I think are great options for seniors. There are many more on the market today.
What is the best cell phone for seniors? I hope I have shown you some reasons why seniors need to own a cell phone, educated you on the three types of cell phones and provided some guidance on which cell phone of each type is best. There are dozens of cell phones on the market today ranging from expensive to less expensive, packed with features to very basic.
Please do your research before purchasing a cell phone for yourself or a senior. I would suggest not just buying a cell phone cell online before holding it in your hand checking out the features. Visit a local Best Buy store or wireless carrier of your choice before making the decision to buy a specific phone.
If you would like to view more of my post you can find them at OnlineRetirementRevenue.com. Please feel free to share this post on your social media platforms and leave comments below. I will answer you as soon as possible.