Large Phones Make Sense When You Get Older

Whether you love telephones and can't stop gabbing or you hate all the new-fangled "features" on the cell phone your kids insist you carry, you need a way to communicate. With their tiny number pads, cell phones in particular can be a pain though.

So what is a senior supposed to do? Think large phones.

If you look for them, you can find home phones with large caller ID readouts, enlarged buttons, programmed speed dial numbers, oversized fonts, lights, amplifiers, cushioned ear pieces, or other features compatible with hearing aids, but if your phone is landlocked you won’t have it with you when you need it.

A cell phone is ideal because you can carry it in your pocket and answer it without endangering life or limb trying to get to find it or get to it when it rings. A phone can be a lifesaver, both in regards to keeping in touch with family and friends and for calling 911 if you need emergency assistance. Believe it or not, seniors need cell phones.

It isn’t just matter of keeping up with the times or looking cool. I may not want to chat with you for hours on end, but even I will admit that I feel safer when I have a phone in my pocket when I am driving or out walking my dog.

There are still die hearts who nix the idea of small phones because they are just that “too small.” Modern technology to the rescue! You have to look a little harder because most cell phone stores don’t advertise them but phone companies have responded to popular demand. There are now large phones and calling plans available that are geared specifically for older people.

My favorite is the one called the “Jitterbug,” but that is just because I love the name and have actually seen it advertised in magazines, but there are a number of other options available.

The first one is Safe Guardian (www.safeguardian.com). This phone has one red call button that connects you to a personal assistant at its call center. The phone has a GPS system that will give your location, so that if you slip off a curb or trip over the dog leash an emergency unit can find you. The call center can also provide non-emergency services such as connecting you to family or friend. This phone, however, does not accept incoming calls.

Phones-for-Life (www.phones4life.org) provides a senior friendly phone for emergency use only. This non-profit organization provides free cell phones for seniors and disabled persons. One service is for 911 only and the other one is pre-programmed with up to 5 personal numbers.

The “Jitterbug One Touch” (www.gojitterbug.com) has 3 large buttons that will connect you to an operator, a pre-programmed phone number, or 911. The “Jitterbug Dial” model has a large number key pad, but you can get it with 15 pre-programmed phones numbers of your choice. The Jitterbug is clearer than most cellular phones and the sound is crisp, clear and loud. A price can’t be put on the ability to keep in touch with the literal touch of a button.

You can have a large cell phone that is not only “just a phone”, but an easy to use phone.

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