What Is the Best Mobile Phone for Older People?
We all have to make certain lifestyle changes when we reach old age, and our mobile phones are no exception.
Unfortunately, advanced age often goes hand in hand with failing eyesight, reduced dexterity, and an overall decrease in cognitive function. That’s why cell phones may be a better option than smartphones for the vast majority of people over 65 — even though 53% of that demographic currently owns a smartphone.
The Cell Phone: An Underrated Senior-Friendly Gadget
Cell phones have more prominent buttons and simpler interfaces. What’s more, they are more impact-resistant and have longer battery lives. Some were even specially designed for use by seniors. These models include features such as hearing aid support, automatic GPS tracking, or emergency buttons. Cell phones also tend to be cheaper, which is often a key concern for people living off their retirement income.
Smartphones: Pros and Cons
Smartphones, on the other hand, have much larger and brighter displays. As a result, they may be better suited for people with eyesight problems. While the menus are more complicated, that should not be a problem for tech-savvy seniors.
However, for the time being, smartphones remain more brittle than cell phones. Users should keep in a robust protective case, as the elderly have a tendency to drop things. In addition, touchscreens can present a challenge for people with arthritis and other conditions associated with swollen joints and stiff fingers.
Some brands have started to develop senior-friendly smartphones. These are more durable and have more intuitive interfaces, but these are still few and far between.
Here is the text version of the infographic:
- According to the Pew Research Center, 91% of people aged 65 and over have some kind of cell phone.
- 53% of people over the age of 65 own a smartphone
- 39% of people over the age of 65 own a cell phone of some kind
- Cell phones offer older people a simple device to keep in touch with friends and family members.
- They usually have a large display that allows them to see clearly.
- They have big buttons that are easy to press for those with limited dexterity.
- The menus are easy to navigate and there’s not much of a learning curve.
- Some of these cell phones are designed for senior use, meaning they have emergency buttons that automatically dial a family number once configured.
- When typing messages, the number pad layout is more intuitive and easier to use than a touchscreen keyboard.
- They are a lot more durable, meaning they can survive falls if accidentally dropped.
- They tend to have incredible battery life.
- They usually come with quality-of-life features such as hearing aid support or built-in GPS tracking for family members to see where their older relative is.
- They come at a much lower price than smartphones.
- It’s the perfect introduction to smartphone technology and can be replaced in the future if they want something more advanced.
- Much larger and brighter display than regular cell phones.
- Using a smartphone can be a little tricky because it requires a bit more finger dexterity and has a learning curve.
- There are many more features, making it a great choice for tech-savvy seniors.
- Once a senior learns how to use it, they can take advantage of more apps to help keep them safe, such as maps to prevent them from getting lost or tracking apps for family members to keep an eye on them.
- A lot less durable, so can easily be broken if dropped without a sturdy case to protect it.
- There are some manufacturers that create durable senior-friendly smartphones, but these are a little more difficult to find.