Look for these features in elders-friendly phones

Look for these features in elders-friendly phones
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Look for these features in elders-friendly phones

Highlights

It's a priority now more than ever that we all stay connected.

It's a priority now more than ever that we all stay connected. Specifically, societies need to ensure that older individuals aren't isolated and that technology assists them with staying in contact with family members and companions. Smartphones can be overwhelming, even intimidating at times. Add to that the fact that many older people start to have vision issues, and the small fonts and icons become hard to use. Typing on a touchscreen can be hard enough even with clear vision.

Some seniors these days are technically knowledgeable. Since seniors are more comfortable with innovation, doesn't mean they should agree to muddled gadgets that add pressure to their lives. That is the reason we think picking a simple-to-use cell phone is required. Here are the details all you need to know about what makes a cell phone accessible for seniors.

Many seniors develop special needs as they age and reports have suggested seniors adopting a reclusive lifestyle due to such changes in their overall well-being. Cell phones these days have become more and more complicated with each gen of smartphones being manufactured at a war scale each year. Seniors on the other hand need simplicity, familiarity, as well as customisations to some degree to fit their needs like eyesight, hearing, trembling hands, need for emergency help in situations, hassle-free charging ports etc.

MP Deepu, Co-Founder, Senior World, shares some key features one should look for while buying a phone for parents or any elderly member in the family.

Effortless charging

Most seniors struggle with thin cables and small sockets and feel it like threading a needle every time they have to charge their phones. A cradle charger makes it convenient to charge the phone without any fuss.

Quick & easy support in case of emergencies

When it comes to seniors, one should always make sure the emergency response is quick and is easy to use for seniors. Selected Research Publication studies revealed that the prevalence of fall ranges from 26 per cent to 37 per cent across various regions, fall injuries are associated with poor vision, vertigo, imbalance, fear of falling, history of fall, presence of osteoarthritis, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and depression. This makes it all the more important to have a device with SOS features that can be easily accessible by seniors unlike other phones where the SOS button is deeply embedded in menus and hard to find.

Good quality audio

With age comes difficulty in hearing and this leads to many seniors shunning technology or phone usage completely. Ideally, a phone which is selected for seniors should be compatible with hearing aids as well as assistive devices to help them hear better or have additional sound amplification to assist them in seniors' age-related issues. Both incoming calls (Ringer) and the voice of the caller needs to be clearly audible. Good Quality speakers and mic becomes mandatory to help seniors use phones to help communicate effectively.

Big buttons, large fonts and clear icons

Seniors usually have thick fingers and shaky hand symptoms and most of these symptoms are degenerative in nature which means they only increase with age. With such special needs comes a requirement of special devices and phones.

Seniors would need large well-differentiated buttons that help them dial without mis-dialling. Simple Menus and Large Visible Icons are required to help keep navigation simple for seniors. This goes without saying that Large Fonts are also a must while selecting a phone for seniors.

Remote assistance

Seniors many times require assistance with technology hence their phone should have the capability of getting assistance from someone they trust. Caregivers should be able to configure the phone and help with other settings remotely. It is just like having a personal helpline for troubleshooting.

Easy servicing

Seniors, especially the ones living by themselves, find themselves in a fix when it comes to heading out for small repairs and servicing. Large cities are too crowded and life is too fast for seniors to head out and get things done by themselves so a no-hassle after-sale service is the next big thing that seniors need not just for phones but also for their daily needs.

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