Good cell phone for a senior citizen?
September 28, 2012 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Best simple cell phone for a senior citizen?

I'm looking for a cell phone for my father-in-law, something very simple for him to use and easy to see. Dumb phone only, doesn't even need to text, just make calls and take voicemail. His needs:

He wears glasses for reading and looking at anything small, but frequently takes them off, so it would be nice if the buttons/interface were distinguishable without them. He's also showing some mild but troubling cognitive problems right now (lack of memory, confusion) that we're looking into.

And he is horrible with technology. I set up VNC on his computer so I could log him back into his Yahoo account remotely. He's gotten lost in his current dumbphone's menu system a couple of times. So I must stress SIMPLE.

I'm looking at a just5 phone and like the features, particularly the SOS feature, but I'd like to hear experiences or suggestions any of you who have been through this may have.
posted by middleclasstool to Technology (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Jitterbug! It's so easy it's a cliche now. Can be purchased with no contract at Wal-Mart.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:45 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]

I am fond of Tracfone. I have had several actual phones through their service. This looks like my all time favorite actual phone.

I am medically handicapped, which impairs me in some ways like a senior citizen. I have crap eyesight and my memory isn't what it used to be. So I am guessing if it was comfortable for me, it has good odds of working for an older person.
posted by Michele in California at 8:55 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Jitterbug. My dad had a simple dumbphone from Verizon, but got tired of accidentally getting into the menu, turning on the camera, etc.

The Jitterbug has big buttons, easy to dial like a regular touch-tone phone. If he wants to save numbers in the phone, he can call customer service to input numbers for him. Emergency response is available.
posted by Boxenmacher at 9:08 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

My late father had a Jitterbug; it is perfect for most seniors.
posted by matildaben at 10:05 AM on September 28, 2012

I don't quite qualify as a senior citizen, but almost. I've had this Samsung phone for nearly four years. It's pretty basic, very durable, and the numbers are big enough. It does store numbers and it can be used to send and receive text messages. I rarely send texts, but receive some that are useful -like tornado warnings. When I got it the salesperson said a lot of older people like it.
posted by mareli at 10:12 AM on September 28, 2012

Jitterbug seems to work fine for my dad, at 95.
posted by LonnieK at 10:21 AM on September 28, 2012

Response by poster: Jitterbug does indeed look good and is now looking like a front runner, particularly with that apps & services list.

If anyone has experience with a Just5 or has an alternative to recommend, please keep chiming in.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:44 AM on September 28, 2012

I bought a Jitterbug for my MIL on ebay for about $12.00, just to see if she would like it. She keeps it charged and is able to use the menu for calling (instead of memorizing numbers or keeping them taped to the back of the phone, like she used to).
posted by jvilter at 5:31 PM on September 28, 2012

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