Found: Disablility Friendly Phone, Available to a Good Home
September 4, 2013 12:36 PM Subscribe
Can you help me find a usuable phone for my disabled 72 year old mother?
posted by dgeiser13 to technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My mom had a stroke 23 years ago. She's in a wheelchair. She only has the use of the right side of her body i.e., right hand and right leg. In addition her vision is affected all around but especially in her left hand field of view. If you are on her left side you might as well not exist. If you are on her right side she knows you are there but has the normal corrected vision of a 72 year old, far-sighted person with tri-focals.
My mom had her stroke in 1990. Even though she has used various technology on/off over the years she basically missed the boat on making interaction with computers and gadgets part of her normal way of thinking. Things have to be explained to her in great detail. She doesn't always grasp what is being discussed using the normal "growing up using computers" way that alot of people think so sometimes you have to come at things from a completely different direction. In addition her stroke has affected her brain which has affected her memory. She can't remember tons of different passwords and PINs and codes, and also complicated procedures for, oh, I don't know...answering the phone?
Ideal Phone Would Work Like This:
0) My mom wears the phone on a lanyard and she can grab it with her good hand.
1) Phone Rings on Incoming Call: My mom grabs the phone and looks at it. She can clearly see the name of the person who is calling. If it's an unknown name then the number is clearly visible. If my Mom wants to answer the phone she puts the phone in front of her mouth and says "Hello". The phone recognizes her voice and answers the phone and she starts talking to whoever is on the phone. (I don't want to her to draw a pattern to start talking. She can never remember and/or see the device to recreate these patterns.)
2) To Check Voicemail. My mom puts the phone to her mouth and says "Voice Mail". The phone dials right in to her voicemail and starts playing her voicemail messages. As she listens to the message she decides she wants to delete it. She says "Delete" and the phone deletes the message. She listens to the next message and wants to save it. She says "Save" and the phone saves it. (I don't want her to have to enter a PIN to access her voicemail and I don't want her to have to press buttons to access and manage her voicemail.)
3) She needs to make an outgoing call. She puts the phone to her mouth and says "Call Home". The phone recoginizes her voice and calls the number programmed into her phone as home. (Again without using a pattern to unlock the phone or her hand to bring up a teeny tiny list of contacts and scroll through them)
Right now it takes multiple minutes and/or people and/or supernormal incantations to make a phone call, take a phone call and check her voicemail. Whenever she goes to a phone store they sell her a bill of goods about the capabilities and/or ease of use and/or capabilities of their phones.
I want to help her find something that is a good fit for her limitations. The phone needs to be able to do the basics, really, really well, before I even concern myself with the realm of texting, picture taking etc.
Does anyone know of a phone that is a good for a person who is older, one-handed, vision-corrected, vision-limited, mentally-limited and unfamiliar with the PC and Personal Gadget paradigm? I realize that not everything as I describe it may be available in any solution. But even just a subset of it *or* a company that thinks of the needs of a disabled person, would be a good start.
P.S.: My mom is a very smart person, and is aware of her limitations. The things that she can remember, whether pre or post stroke, she remembers well. She volunteers. She has received her Master Gardener's certification. She stays very active. She's trying to meet the world half way. Now we need the world to do it's part.