Large keys, self-explanatory menus, simple operation, robust design and clever additional functions, such as an emergency call button or hearing aid suitability – senior cell phones score in many areas that can become increasingly important as they get older. The number of senior citizens who want to use their personal mobile phone flexibly on a daily basis in order to stay in touch with their family or friends on the go is steadily increasing. In an emergency, help can be requested quickly and easily by pressing a special emergency button with a senior cell phone.
One thing is for sure, communication via mobile phone can offer the older generation a higher quality of life. However, simple standard cell phones or smartphones are usually less well suited, because in almost all today’s standard devices either the keys can be much too small or the intuitive operation is made more difficult by a complicated to use touch display. But what really needs to be considered when buying a cell phone for the elderly.
Top 10 Senior Cell Phones
A senior cell phone should be specially adapted to the needs of older people. In terms of design and development, manufacturers understandably assume that senior citizens will increasingly have hearing and vision difficulties as well as motor skills. Mobile phones for this large target group, therefore, have ever larger keys, a large display with good lighting and a rubberized surface or grip, so easy operation, and a good grip is always guaranteed.
Compatibility with hearing aids and direct connection via Bluetooth
An important difference between ordinary cell phones and smartphones is that seniors’ phones should normally be hearing aid compatible. To specify this property, classifications such as M1 or M3 are often used. So the user can compare better between the respective senior cell phones. Communication equipment with the M3 or M4 classification meets all requirements of the US Commission. However, M4 stands for better values and thus better performance. Often a direct coupling with a hearing aid is possible. Via an induction coil, the hearing device is connected to the mobile phone during a connection, and the mobile phone user can thus hear the conversation clearly and clearly in the usual volume.
Practical: Seniors mobile phones with Bluetooth can be connected not only with a car kit of a car. They can also be connected via Bluetooth to hearing aids that are also Bluetooth enabled. In addition, cell phones for the elderly often have very loud and simple ringing tones and generally an improved loudspeaker function, which in turn ensures an overall higher volume.
Some mobile phones for senior citizens have as a special function the so-called voice output or voice control. This means that functions can then be read and confirmed by voice, or the phone can be controlled directly by voice (for example, to call someone). This can be especially helpful for people with low vision. If this point is important for the purchase decision, attention should be paid to appropriate instructions (voice output, voice control “talking buttons”, etc.) of the manufacturer. This feature can also be turned off when it is not needed.
Integrated emergency call function
Using the integrated emergency call function can be called in a possible emergency by the mobile phone user quickly and easily help. For example, if you are in an acute emergency situation, such as a fall during a walk or at home, you can request help directly from this easily accessible button without first having to navigate through a complicated mobile phone menu. This works in most cases by pressing and holding (usually 3 to 5 seconds or double pressing within one second) the emergency button located on the back of the device, and during the idle state, the emergency call is triggered. The mobile phone then immediately and independently sends an emergency SMS to all programmed emergency numbers of the mobile phone. Up to five emergency numbers can be programmed for this special additional function. This can be someone from the family, friends or a relief organization. In addition, immediately after the emergency call is triggered, a very loud signal sounds, similar to a siren, until the beginning of the first automatic call. This also indicates to the immediate environment that help is needed. The mobile phone meanwhile then the first programmed emergency call number. If the first emergency number is busy or unavailable or does not answer within one minute, an attempt will be made with the other numbers. If none of the called parties picks up, these call steps are repeated up to three times. This ensures that no answering machine can answer the call for help. The entire emergency call list is usually repeated until the call is accepted or until hang up. After the call has been accepted, the mobile phone switches to handsfree mode. However, one should always keep in mind that a mobile phone for seniors cannot replace the all-around service of a mobile nursing call. Outpatient care services and charitable institutions usually provide free advice on the topic of a home emergency call.
Other important properties
- External charging cradle or desktop charging station
Senior mobile phones usually have an external charging cradle or a desktop charging station, which is included in the delivery. The phone can be charged quite easily and easily. The charging station is simply connected to the charging cable and remains in one place. As soon as the mobile phone is inserted into the station, it can be charged automatically via the contacts in the charging cradle. In this way, eliminates the cumbersome plugging a mostly small cable to the phone. In addition, the mobile phone is always ready to hand in a familiar place, for example, next to the landline phone.
- Close and good – Flip
Phones Flip phones are particularly popular with seniors and seniors. Above all, they bring with them the great advantage that the keys are protected by the folding mechanism when the mobile phone is closed so that accidental operation (for example in the trouser pocket) cannot actually occur. In addition, conversations can be intuitively accepted or ended by simply opening or closing them. The clamshell phones also offer through their design in pocket size larger buttons than the usual bullion format.
- Tracking via GPS
GPS is used almost exclusively for navigation in conventional mobile phones. A senior cell phone can often use this service for locating. This can lead to additional safety in older people if they are confused or disoriented. The location of the affected person can be quickly determined by coordinating the location.
- Calendar with reminder function
If the programming of appointments is not too complicated, the mobile phone user can be reminded by this function of important appointments such as birthdays or even appointments to the doctor.
- The Dual SIM Option
A Dual SIM mobile phone is a mobile phone that can be loaded with two SIM cards. These can be used alternately or even partially at the same time. This option can be useful, for example, if two different contracts exist and thus two telephone numbers and sim cards in a mobile phone are to be used.
- Standby times and battery power
Seniors’ mobile phones often have longer battery life than modern smartphones. This has the advantage that the battery often only needs to be charged once a week. Thus, users of a senior cell phone may still be reachable, even if the cell phone has not been charged for a long period of time.
- Special functions such as camera, radio or mp3 player
Anyone who wants more functions that go beyond phoning and texting can get a device with a camera, radio or mp3 player on the market. There are also special old-age smartphones that also offer corresponding apps in simplified menu navigation.
What does the SAR value say about a senior cell phone?
SAR refers to the so-called “specific absorption rate” as an abbreviation. This is the actual mobile phone radiation meant. By a number, the so-called SAR value, which is measured in units of W / kg, describes the absorption of electromagnetic fields in a material, which is always heated thereby. The fact is, even new and powerful technology, as it is used today in modern mobile phones, usually achieved good to very good SAR values. However, it is still uncertain to what extent cell phone radiation can cause long-term damage to health. This invisible radiation is sometimes suspected, for example, to heat the body tissue and thereby also damage. However, this has not been proven beyond doubt. Nevertheless, it is worth taking a look at the manufacturer’s SAR value. At present, it can only be considered as recommendable not to exceed the maximum permissible values. Good to know: All stated values of the mobile phone manufacturer are always maximum values. It can, therefore, be assumed that the actual operating values are even lower.
5 helpful tips for dealing with a senior cell phone
Although the operation is usually very easy, nevertheless, should be considered when dealing with a senior’s mobile phone quite a lot. Read our 5 tips for dealing with a senior cell phone.
- Just turn it on and start calling, it does not work right away in most cases. Already inserting a micro SIM card can be difficult, depending on where the slot for the SIM card in the phone is exactly and what SIM card size must be inserted. A look at the manual is therefore worthwhile even before purchase. Usually, you can find the so-called manuals on the Internet as a PDF (search by Google for the model name and the keyword “Manual”) and get some information about the desired model at this point. Attention: A complicated manual can already point to complicated handling of the mobile phone.
- It may well be worthwhile to think about a flat rate so that any inadvertently made calls do not immediately make a difference. Depending on which calls are made frequently, here either a flat rate to the fixed network or in the German or foreign mobile network or both are recommended.
- If you only want to be reachable, you can confidently use a cheap prepaid card, which is available in small supermarkets and mobile phone shops for a small fee. Calls made are then billed monthly, depending on the balance. If you do not make your own calls, it is important to remember that a small amount of money usually needs to be charged at regular intervals, as otherwise the telephone number may be switched off by the provider due to “non-use”.
- If the elderly cell phone lingers permanently in a charging cradle or desktop charging station, it must be clarified whether this may possibly lead to questions concerning the battery or the general handling of the mobile phone. For example, there are models in which an indicator light will flash or flash continuously when the battery is fully charged. Since this is not switched off, this setting can lead to uncertainty for the mobile phone user, as it is unclear what is actually to do with a permanently flashing lamp on the phone.
- Many providers such as the VHS or the consumer centers give tuition with mobile phone questions. Worthwhile may well be a so-called “mobile license for seniors”. In these two-hour courses, all important basics of mobile telephony are explained comprehensible and understandable by experts. So if you want to deal with the topic of mobile telephony in principle, but do not yet know exactly if a mobile phone is really the right one, find like-minded people in these courses and can ask all relevant questions in this round.