If you’re an older adult who lives independently, you may be thinking about getting a cell phone for yourself to keep connected with others or to stave off boredom. Or maybe you already have one and are thinking of upgrading it to meet more of your needs. Either way, choosing a cell phone can be confusing especially when you’ve never owned one before. This guide will walk you through the types, features, and benefits of cell phones.
The Types of Cell Phones
Here are a few types of cell phones that you can choose from to get you started.
- Flip Phones: Flip phones open to reveal a keypad and screen, making them simple and convenient for older adults. If you are confused by extra features, this phone would work fine. Take note that flip phones do not have video chat, internet, or navigational functions.
- Block Phones: Block phones don’t require flipping, which makes it accessible for older adults with arthritis or other dexterity issues. The keypad is on the face of the phone, along with a non-touch screen. Like flip phones, these chunky phones usually don’t come equipped with internet connectivity.
- Smart Phones: This is the most commonly used phone today. With apps and online connectivity, they offer endless options for activities and functions. This is the perfect choice for tech-savvy older adults. Make sure you’re comfortable using a touchscreen before selecting this type of phone.
The Features of Cell Phones
Cell phones come equipped with many features that can help older adults.
- Volume: All phones have the ability to adjust the volume. This can help those with hearing issues. Some are specially made for the hearing impaired, while others are designed to work with hearing aids.
- Camera: Do you like taking pictures of your grandchildren or your meal? You may want to opt for a mobile phone with a good camera. You’re most likely to find this feature in smartphones.
- Emergency Button: Some mobile phones come with a button that will instantly call an emergency phone number. This could be helpful if you’re in distress and cannot dial a number.
The Benefits of Cell Phones
Cell phones are full of various benefits. Here are just some of the most useful ones.
- Stimulation: Older adult wanting to challenge their mind can use brain-training apps to help better memory and logical thinking. These apps help to slow the aging process and maintain mental sharpness.
- Connection: Cell phones help with receiving and sending messages, pictures, and videos from family and friends. You can also video call friends and families to feel even more connected by hearing their voices and seeing their faces. Going onto social media apps like Facebook or Instagram is another way to connect with your loved ones.
- Entertainment: Cell phones are a source of endless entertainment to fight against boredom for older adults who are living alone. There are all kinds of apps and social media to try on phones. Audiobooks and podcasts may help older adults whose eyesight makes it hard for them to read from traditional books. There are many free game apps that can help keep you challenged and entertained.