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How to buy a mobile phone for your parents



Elderly Lady using a phone

Are you planning to buy a mobile phone for one of your parents? You wouldn’t buy just any phone for them. Whether you want to give them a smart phone or a regular phone, usability and easy access to vital functions is going to be your main concern. Remember that the plethora of features may be a hindrance rather than an advantage when you are a bit older and you have different priorities.

buying phone for the elderly

With the advent of smart phones you have got multiple options. If you take the person you are buying a phone for to the shop he or she will be able to get a direct feel of the software and the hardware. For many people a full-screen touch sensitive phone can be a bit of a problem because they need some area to grab the phone and for such people it’s better to have a phone having a physical keyboard. There are many phones for the elderly that have very big keyboard buttons and a very bright-contrast screen so that it’s very easy to dial a number and also see it on the screen.

Before going for a phone for one of your parents you need to know their phone usage patterns. Does he or she use the phone just to make phone calls or he or she would also like to perform other functions such as checking e-mail and SMS messages, taking photographs and uploading them on Facebook and Twitter, maintaining tasks and schedules and listening to music. In most of the cases the elderly simply want to make phone calls.

In broad terms, these are the features that you must look for in a phone while purchasing one for one of your parents:

  • A simpler interface: This isn’t a big problem with most of the smart phone operating systems coming with highly customizable home screens. In most of the android smart phones you can customize various screens and you can have a minimum number of icons on the default home screen. With various themes you can also customize the size of the icons. Even if you’re looking for a physical keyboard there are keyboards that have very large numbers and you can also assign emergency numbers to particular keys. Remember that in the times of emergency the phone might be the biggest help around.

    Almost all phone companies these days offer phones with very intuitive interfaces, including the iPhone, the Android smart phones, Windows phone and even Nokia. Some people may like BlackBerry but then again due to its QWERTY keyboard it might be difficult to use for the elderly.

  • A bigger screen size: A bigger screen size not only allows you to display more information it also lets you increase the size of the fonts and the icons.
  • Sturdy as well as easy to carry around: They may drop the phone multiple times and they may also end up losing it if it is not convenient for them to carry the instrument around. So also keep this in your mind while purchasing a phone for your parent. Does he or she normally carry the phone in hand, in a purse or in a bag? Can he or she carry the phone around his or her neck? Does the phone come with a study encasing so that nothing happens to it in case it falls on hard floor? How is the battery life?

Remember that phone is a very critical part of modern lifestyle. Your parents are not going to use the phone for day-to-day communications and information updates, they will also be using it in the time of emergency. So buy a phone for them keeping that in mind.

Image source: the Telegraph