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Selecting Phones for Seniors

Cellular communication has put the world in closer contact than ever before, and this is true across generations. Many families are discovering the benefits of being able to contact older family members nearly instantaneously wherever they are. But how do you go about selecting a cell phone for a senior citizen? Some older individuals may not be as familiar with modern technology as the general population. They may require special features to help them make the most of their new phone. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide to choosing the right plan and phone for elderly members of your family.

1. Determine coverage. The first step in getting a phone for a senior is to determine what plans have good coverage in her home and the places she frequents. All cell providers should be able to provide you with a map that shows their areas of coverage nation-wide. After all, what good is a cell phone if you can’t use it at home or where you usually travel? The carrier that you choose can affect what phone you ultimately choose.

2. Discuss features. Put together a list of the things that your family member would like to do with her phone. Does she want to be able to e-mail her grandchildren? Is she interested in taking pictures with her phone and sending them electronically? Or is she just looking for something basic to let her make phone calls when she is out and about?

3. Check out reviews. One of the best things you can do when selecting a phone for elderly family members is to read reviews online. Every day consumers share what they like and dislike about products when they review them online. This can save a lot of time.

4. Take it for a test drive. Older individuals may have a condition that needs to be taken into consideration. Impaired vision or arthritis may mean that they require a phone with larger buttons. A louder ring tone or accompanying visual cue with the ringer could help those individuals with diminished hearing. Handling a physical phone in the store can be a great help when selecting a phone for seniors.

5. Inquire about the return policy. Most retailers have a standard return policy that will let you return a phone with no questions asked during a certain time frame. Make sure you’re clear about that time frame before you purchase. Oftentimes complications don’t come up until you are actually using the device for a few days. Make sure you know what your options are in this scenario.

Increasingly, cell phone manufacturers and carriers are catering to senior-aged consumers. This means that there are a number of specialty devices and plans designed for seniors to use. Some carriers offer AARP discounts or additional health care related features. Samsung even includes an “Easy Mode” on its Galaxy smartphones that make navigating and using the phones easier for an aging audience. No matter what your needs, there is a plan and a phone for the senior in your life. For even more helpful advice on how to make the most of mobile, visit the Trademore blog today.