Communication mobile technology should be adapted to meet the changing lifestyles of today’s senior adults. Seniors require mobile phones with fewer features and are simpler to operate. When considering the various mobile phone options out there in the marketplace, seniors should first think about why they need or want a mobile phone device. Is the device for use as a phone with other features included such as the ability to text, check email, take pictures or use the Internet? Alternatively, is the mobile phone only for emergencies?
Senior limitations also factor in when choosing a mobile phone device that is right for each individual’s lifestyle. For example, vision problems would require purchasing a device with larger buttons, larger numbers on the screen, or a mobile phone featuring voice prompts. Those with hearing issues would prefer a more powerful speaker or compatibility with hearing aids to meet their needs.
Seniors should also be sure that they could easily grasp and hold onto the device. Differences in finger dexterity might mean that some seniors need bigger buttons that are easier to press. Other seniors might have high enough finger dexterity to press standard size buttons. Some seniors might want to add a phone locator to help them find their mobile phone if it is lost, misplaced or missing.
Senior adults look for mobile phones that offer user-friendly and intuitive features that are easy to control. Backlit displays and keypads help reduce eyestrain and bright colors help the owner find a misplaced phone. Some mobile phone models come with voice recognition or command functions. This helps the senior adult navigate a menu system that may not be as intuitive. Some older adults would prefer to have the capability to turn mobile phone features on and off.
1. A senior friendly keyboard should be large with buttons that are easy to press.
2. Fonts should be readable and large on both the keyboard and the display screen.
3. Mobile phones with voice command are helpful for those having trouble navigating menus, seeing or dialing numbers.
4. A large display with easy-to-read fonts that is bright and clear, clear icons and direct access to key features such as calling and voicemail.
5. Mobile phones with speakerphone capabilities help hearing-impaired seniors.
Some mobile phones designed exclusively for seniors may come with emergency dialing functions that make it easy to notify family, caregivers or emergency personnel of any medical issues that may occur. Features on these mobile phones may also come with medication alerts to remind the senior to take prescriptions at designated times. A one-touch SOS button transforms the mobile phone into a security device for emergencies at the touch of a button. This allows the senior to connect with a professional dispatch operator in case of a fall or other critical medical emergency.
Purchasing and owning a mobile phone device is a personal choice. Some senior adults want a mobile phone for all aspects of modern life. Others view communication mobile technology as a tool for reaching out and connecting with other people. Most senior adults are looking for a mobile phone device that fits in with their lifestyle choices. They should decide what they want their communication tool to do for them whether it is for gaming texting, emailing, talking or another purpose.