Technology is a challenge for all family caregivers. Many of our elderly loved ones struggle to use technology like cell phones, cable tv and email. This can make helping them with financial matters particularly challenging.
A five minute discussion about checking online accounts can devolve into a multi-hour discussion of how to set up an email account. A small call to check in can turn into an extended discussion of cell phone logistics.
Technology is often more of a problem than an aid.
After a long day at work and a visit to the doctor’s office or to the grocery store to pick up dinner these technology hiccups can drive the most patient family caregiver crazy.
Communication is the number one way family caregivers stay in touch. If the coordinator of care lives several states away or even a 15 minute drive a high quality phone connection is essential.
In this post I will share with you the most reliable phones on the market. They are easy for the elderly to use, have a long battery life and have large text.
You will feel more in control of your communication with your loved one. You will know that you can confidently contact them whenever you need to. They will also know they can easily reach you or other family members.
1. The Best Cell Phone – Jitterbug5
I don’t receive any compensation for saying this but the Jitterburg 5 is the best cell phone on the market for the elderly. It has a simple user interface, big text and large buttons. It is made by a company called Great Call out of San Diego and was built specifically for the elderly.
It’s top features include:
- Big buttons
- Easy to see screen
- Long battery (1 week without charging)
- Emergency connection to medical services
- Loud and clear speaker phone
Many manufactures have attempted to build phones for the elderly. Most have flopped. The Amazon reviews speak to the quality of the Jitterbug5.
You should also consider the Jitterburg Touch 3. It has many of the benefits of the Jitterbug 5 including that its earpiece is compatible with most hearing aids. It a bit more expensive but worth it if your loved one prefers a touch screen.
You can buy both the Jitterbug 5 and the Jitterbug Touch 3 online or in drug stores and Best Buys around the country. Check out the store locator to pick one up closest to you.
If you’re loved one lives abroad or is planning an extended trip outside the U.S. consider getting them a Nokia 105.
2. The Case For Keeping A Land Line
Many people are getting rid of their land lines. Everyone has a cell phone these days. Who needs a land line?
Before you rip the cord from your wall I encourage you to think twice. There are real benefits to a land line. Some of them you may not even be aware of.
First off, land lines are cheap. Most telephone companies offer a land line for $10 – $15 a month if you package it with other things like TV service or cable.
Second, a land line has structural advantages that cell phones do not. Two of them are particularly relevant to the elderly. They include:
- 911 – Your address is tied to your land line. If your loved one calls 911 the operator on the other end is immediately informed of their address. With a cell phone the operator is plugged into the cell tower where the call is being made from. It can then take another 20 to 30 seconds to pinpoint the location of the phone (and even that can be hazy).
- Power – A land line often uses old copper cable. During a commercial power outage the land line phone will still work. Don’t use a wireless phone as this requires battery power. Many of the copper lines are being replaced with internet cables so check with your telephone carrier.
The challenges of technology with the elderly can feel overwhelming. Phones however are one area with concrete actionable solutions. Take action today.
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July 16, 2015
By: JP Adams