Helping your parent age: Cell phones built for seniors ease worries

In today’s increasingly mobile society many of us are only a cell phone call away no matter where we are. This puts many parents at ease who arm their increasingly young children with emergency cell phones. However,  providing an elderly parent with a cell phone might not quite be as easy.

Concerns about the elderly individual’s ability to use a cell phone because of sight or hearing impairment may be eased due to specialized phones for the elderly. Gadgetwise recently reported on phones aimed for elderly adults.

The Jitterbug (retail $120)

The Jitterbug is a flip style phone that is Bluetooth compliant with an earpiece that is compatible with most modern hearing aids. Dialing “0” on the Jitterbug puts the caller in touch with a Jitterbug operator who can then help place calls or with other tasks related to the phone such as managing contacts or navigating the calendar. The phone also offers access to a registered nurse or medical advice.

The phone does require an initial setup through The Jitterbug website, which may require assistance from a helper. The phone does comes with the ability to text if an emergency should arise that renders the caller unable to use voice calling, although a test by Gadgetwise found the text function hard to use. A basic voice plan costs $15 per month with voice mail costing an additional $3 per month. The Jitterbug’s 5 Star Urgent Response service, including access to a nurse, is an additional $15 per month.

Clarity Pal (retail $80-$100)

When calls are received on the Clarity Pal the incoming number appears in large type on the screen and the number is spoken aloud (this can’t be turned off). Additionally, the phone has a button that amplifies the phone 25 decibels for those with hearing problems. The phone is hearing-aid compatible and is Bluetooth compatible.

The Clarity Pal comes with an emergency button on the back that dials, in order, up to five contacts until someone responds. The phone determines that the call has been picked up by an actual person and not an answering machine by having the recipient of the call press a number on his end. Clarity Pal is serviceable with either AT&T or T-Mobile.

:::

2012 Encompass Senior Solutions

Encompass Senior Solutions currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa ”provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available options and help families maneuver through the challenges of the system. All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today with your senior care needs.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”