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Front Page » November 3, 2011 » Senior focus » Senior-friendly phones
Published 1,116 days ago

Senior-friendly phones


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(StatePoint) - As we grow older, our motor skills may decrease, but this doesn't prevent many seniors from launching new careers or hobbies and enjoying rich social lives.

However, aging can change our priorities and abilities, and many seniors who like to stay in touch with friends and family may want to consider this when purchasing new phones.

Here are some tips to help you choose senior-friendly phones.

Home Phones

A loss of nearsighted vision is normal with age, so when choosing a landline home phone, it makes sense to choose one with a large display and large buttons.

Large buttons are not only easy to read, but are more comfortable for individuals experiencing loss of manual dexterity or arthritis. And factor-in hearing loss, as well. Because everyone hears differently, a phone that only amplifies sound may not always be the answer. The loudest phones aren't always the clearest sounding. Consider amplified phones with tone controls. To compare home phone features for you or your loved one, visit www.panasonic.com/phonestuff.

Cell Phones

Some people nix cameras or text messaging on phones for seniors, claiming they're unnecessary complications. However, proud grandparents will gladly learn to work phone cameras to show off pictures of grandkids. And for seniors on fixed budgets, text messaging is great for relaying short, necessary messages to family and friends without using precious minutes.

Web capability is often not a necessity for seniors, and touchscreens can be a manual dexterity jump. But for the adamant, a palm device with a stylus is a great compromise. Also, when choosing a phone and plan, consider what the rest of the family uses, as many companies offer free minutes to individuals on the same service.

And remember the little things. Some keypad locks and chargers are easier to use, particularly for someone with arthritis. And size makes a difference. You may have to trade-off between a big screen and big buttons, based on needs, but weight is crucial. Nobody should feel weighed down by a cell phone.

With a little effort, you can find phones that fit your unique needs.

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November 3, 2011
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