As seniors continue to age, the chances of falling victim to loneliness and social isolation grow. Many old folks find themselves disconnected from busy family and friends, longing for connections they once had. Social isolation isn’t just an annoying side effect of aging—it poses serious health risks for seniors day-to-day.
Elderly individuals who engage in regular social interaction experience less physical and mental complications, while seniors who disengage from family and friends—whether willfully or not—often experience adverse health effects. Isolation can lead to increased anxiety, debilitating depression, and high blood pressure, all of which wreak havoc on seniors’ daily lives.
To help your loved one evade detrimental health effects, you should engage in consistent communication, taking advantage of virtual remote contact tools. Technological advancements have made it easier than ever to connect via the internet through FaceTime, Zoom, and messaging interfaces. If you or your senior loved one has moved away or you’re socially distancing to stay healthy, take advantage of cell phones and virtual connection apps to remain close while you’re physically apart.
Before you jump the gun and purchase error-prone, difficult-to-use technology for your loved one, research devices that offer accessible font sizes, a working camera, long battery life, and built-in emergency care for quick medic access. Below are a few highly-reviewed senior-friendly phones to keep you and your aging loved one closer than ever.
The Lively cell phone
First up on the list of senior-friendly devices is the Lively phone, a flip model with easy-to-use, accessible features. Many seniors flounder when operating mobile devices due to their tiny buttons, small, hard-to-read fonts, and complicated settings. However, the lively flip phone features a large, bright screen, big, readable fonts, and built-in safety features for urgent medical assistance. Your loved one can set reminder alarms, blast their favorite radio station, and keep in touch with family and friends with this accessible model.
GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2
Many seniors have avoided the ever-confusing smartphone due to complicated, difficult-to-use features put out by big-name providers. However, the Jitterbug Smart2 model is looking to break-down the inaccessible barrier between smart devices and senior citizens one click at a time.
This model is known as the “simplest smartphone” on the market, with user-friendly features like bright displays, easy access to the internet, and face-to-face video chatting perfect for remote connection. The Jitterbug Smart2 has emergency features built-in, along with virtual health and location services for caregivers.
Apple iPad Mini
Although mini and senior-friendly don’t usually go hand in hand, the smaller iPad model offers various accessibility features perfect for elderly folk looking to up their electronic game. This device is equipped with BlueTooth capabilities that make it easy to connect directly to hearing aids or noise-canceling headphones.
While technically considered a tablet, the iPad Mini offers mobile capabilities ideal for calls and video chats. A bright, vibrant screen enables visually-impaired seniors to play mentally stimulating games, browse the internet, and connect with friends and family.
Samsung Galaxy A11
The Galaxy A11 by Samsung is another senior-friendly smartphone with accessibility features aplenty. This fast-charging, sleek mobile device is great for seniors on the go who require a phone made to last. The Galaxy A11 has a long-lasting battery life perfect for prolonged use and fingerprint unlocking capabilities for easy-access.
Consumer Cellular Doro 7050
If your senior loved one is looking for a simple design with minimal features, the Doro 7050 is the perfect fit. Consumer Cellular created a low-cost flip phone with oversized buttons for shaky hands, a vibrant display for readability, and hearing aid compatibility for the hard of hearing. This flip model is a low cost, simple solution for seniors looking to keep in touch without all the bells and whistles.
Although making the jump into new-and-improved mobile devices can seem daunting for technologically challenged seniors, setting them up with an easily accessible device can enrich their day-to-day lives and draw them closer to long-distance friends and family members. Help your loved one avoid social isolation by equipping them with the phone of their choosing and schedule regular voice or video calls to maintain a fruitful relationship.