The Importance of Phones for the Elderly

Reliable communication is such a common, ordinary thing that we do not even think about it anymore. The invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 revolutionized the way we think about communication. Now, today, we have cell phones and email as well as landlines. But, to many of the elderly, a phone is their only source of communication with the outside world.

There is no reason for any elderly person to live without a phone. Even if they cannot afford to pay for a simple land line or a cell phone, there are government programs that can help them. But, beyond paying for the phones, the use of the phone comes into play.

A typical cell phone nowadays is a complex device, capable of lots of functions. The screen is small and so are the buttons, which make it difficult for an elderly person to see and use. The smart phones with larger screens are so complex that they cannot figure out how to unlock them, never mind using them.

If you go with a landline, you have a few problems. Most landlines nowadays are portable, which means they can be misplaced. If that occurs, they will lose their charge and become unusable. That also means that if the power goes out in an emergency, they go out as well. Also, many elderly people have trouble remembering phone numbers, which can be a big issue when they are attempting to use a land line phone.

Cell phones made especially for seniors are better, because the numbers and screen are bigger and they can be programmed with a simple photo speed dial, making it very easy for seniors to use. All these phones have two issues though:

  1. Loss – Because these phones are not plugged into the wall, they can be misplaced. Especially elderly with mental issues have a hard time keeping track of the small phones. When they are lost they cannot be charged and eventually die, leaving them without a way of communicating.
  2. Charge – The other thing to keep in mind is that the elderly will have to remember to charge the phones. Not only do they have to deal with finding the small plug port and correctly inserting it, but they have to make sure they do it in a timely fashion because the batteries do not last very long in most of these devices.

A good option for seniors with mental issues that live on their own is the regular, old fashioned land line phone that plugs into the wall. They have ones with very large keys and even photo speed dial options that will allow seniors to call certain people with just the press of a single button. Because they do not need charged and cannot be disconnected accidentally, these phones work well. They also continue to function even without power.

No matter what issues a senior has, there is a phone that will work for their needs. Even seniors in assisted living need to have contact with the outside world. The freedom to call your family and friends is one that should not be taken lightly and is both a safety and standard of living issue.

 

Author  Byline:

Monta the mother of three children serves as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many Organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance.  She is a regular contributor of “gonannies.com”.  You can get in touch with her at montafleming6Atgmail dotcom.