Unfortunately, many seniors deal with dementia and problems that come with it. Of course, the severeness of dementia varies from case to case, and in most severe cases, there is probably best for that person not to own a phone as he or she will misplace or lose it in no time. However, for those less extreme cases, there are several phone alternatives that can help out immensely.
In today’s article, we will focus on the best cell phone for seniors with dementia to help out those affected by this common medical condition of memory loss.
Should Dementia Patients Have A Phone?
The answer here is not all that simple as it depends on the severeness of the case, however, it has been proven that the right type of phones or even mobile phones, can help a senior out noticeable. That why we decided to devote this article to this topic and present you with the best cell phone for seniors with dementia.
Not only can phones actually save lives when used to call for help in an emergency situation, but it also turns out that those simple enough stimulate dementia patience to use their brain constructively when using the phone, which helps slows down the loss of memory in many cases.
As such, we firmly believe that the majority of dementia patients should definitely have a phone. Getting the best cell phone for seniors with dementia is the key. Thus, continue reading to learn more about specific cell phone models.
If you suspect that a senior’s dementia case is too severe for that person to handle a cell phone, it is important to observe that person’s ability to use the phone. Also, check the phone bill to see if there are any strange calls and other activities that a senior knows nothing about.
Furthermore, keep in mind that call blocking works both ways, thus you can block who can be called and thus prevent accidental calls from taking place.
What Is The Cheapest Cell Phone For Seniors With Dementia?
There is no single cheapest cell phone model we could point out here. The 6 best phones for seniors with dementia will be presented in the following section. However, there are two main points you need to consider in order to obtain the cheapest phone or even a free one.
No Contract Cell Phones
If you were to use the cheapest cell phone for seniors with dementia, you must definitely go for a no-contract cell phone. There are many reputable providers all across the nation. The costs are reasonably low, especially, considering the fact that a senior will most like be fully covered with only minutes (no need for texts and mobile data). These are so-called prepaid plans.
Free Cell Phones
If a senior is a part of a low-income household or a household that has a member that participates in one of the government-supported programs (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as Food Stamps), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, Tribal Programs (and live on federally-recognized Tribal lands)), he is eligible for the Lifeline support, which means that by finding a local wireless provider that participates in a Lifeline program, a senior could simply apply and obtain a free Government phone and a free plan.
Keep in mind that with this option, you do not get to choose a specific device; the company chooses it regarding their current availability. However, at the time of applying, you may mention whether you’d prefer a smartphone or a basic/flip phone and they might be able to accommodate your request.
6 Best Cell Phones for Seniors with Dementia
With the knowledge you’ve gained thus far in the article, you could easily go out there and find a cell phone that would fit a senior with dementia needs. However, we decided to make things even easier for you by presenting you with the 6 best cell phones for seniors with dementia. Simply go through the list and select one that you believe is the most fitting.
This phone has a calculator-like look, which won’t impress the younger generations. However, the features it offers are very impressive. It comes with a keypad lock side switch that prevents accidental calls. Another highly useful feature is the speaking keypad that provides voice instructions. That way a user just has to listen to what the keypad says and follow the steps accordingly. The phone is also able to dial automatically on the behalf of the user.
- The speaking keypad is amazing. Never worry about complicated functions and memorizing the steps.
- The keypad lock is super useful.
- SOS button that can connect to as many as 5 emergency contacts
- Hearing aid facility
- 4 alarm modes to alert the user while receiving calls
- Due to the most advanced features it is more expensive than the other options
Easyfone Prime-A4 with GPS Localization
The Easyfone Prime-A4 with GPS Localization has everything you can ask for someone who has dementia. It even packs a camera if a senior wants to snap some photos. It enables the user to listen to songs and even watch movies. However, the most important function that this model has to offer, is to get in touch with the emergency contact in any case of emergency. It also comes with the built-in GPS, which makes it possible for you to check on your loved one in a flash.
- Pressing the SOS button on the phone sends the phone’s GPS location to an emergency contact
- Big, bright, and easy to see 2.31″ screen
- Big enough SOS button
- The model is relatively new and offered by not such a well-known company, thus there is not much track record
Flip Phone Unlocked
The Flip Phone Unlocked provides a combination of various essential features that most seniors can benefit from. For example, it offers larger fonts and bigger buttons, which will help seniors navigate the phone with ease. Additionally, this is a flip phone, which means that it offers great simplicity and compactness by its very nature. Simply flip the phone after the call. It is great for keeping it in a pocket.
- Crystal clear sound quality and no interruption
- Speed dial facility eliminates the need to remember how to access the phonebook
- Maximum simplicity
- On-screen instructions to make the use even simpler
- The dual display of the phone allows the user to see the time and also the name of the person calling
- The SOS button to connect with the emergency contact number
- Large numbers on the keypad
- An off-brand phone without much history which means there is a lack of reviews and proper user feedback
The Sonim XP3
The Sonim XP3 is another best cell phone for seniors with dementia. It is a basic phone, which means it offers simplicity. However, it is also a tough phone, which means it is built to survive drops and other tough conditions. This rugged phone is also waterproof. It supports 4G calling. It also offers great loudspeakers that ensure the calls are of high quality. It also offers an advanced option to whitelist and blacklists certain numbers, which can come in handy.
- Rugged design
- Amazing call quality
- 3-year warranty
- Poor camera
- Weak vibration
The Doro PhoneEasy 626
Speaking of simplicity, the Doro PhoneEasy 626 comes at the top of the list. This simple flip phone offers big buttons and a reasonably large display with large fonts, which all make the use of this phone very simple. This phone fits every pocket perfectly and just what an average senior with dementia needs. It doesn’t offer some of the advanced control features, which makes it more suitable for mild dementia cases. This model also packs an emergency button, which can be a real life-saver.
- Very easy to use
- Highly affordable
- High-quality audio and solid volume
- SOS button
- No internet and email access (which is not a problem for most seniors
Jitterbug Flip is another great option for seniors, even those with dementia. This phone was designed with seniors in mind and as a result offers large keypads, large display, and huge fonts. As a flip phone, it naturally comes with the simplicity of opening the phone to answer calls and closing it to end them. The phone also has an SOS button to be used in case of an emergency. The Jitterbug Flip is also very affordable and thus a great choice for seniors on a tight budget. The phone packs a long-lasting battery to eliminate the worry of too often need for charging.
- The menu offers great simplicity
- Large and bright screen
- Backlit keypad
- Long battery life
- SOS button
- Limited internet and email access (which is not a problem for most seniors
Dementia Confusion and The Telephone
As mentioned previously, the ability of a senior with dementia to properly use a phone will mainly depend on that senior’s dementia severeness. However, there are additional steps that family or caregivers can take to prolong an individual’s ability to use a phone.
Here are the precaution steps to avoid dementia confusion and to detect problems with phone use:
- Check the phone bill to make sure there is not a strange activity
- Block calls from people you don’t want calling
- Put a block on who they can call
- Get a phone with surveillance services
- Make the telephone available only at certain times of the day
How To Find The Right Phone For Seniors With Dementia?
In this section, we want to present you with the properties that the best cell phone for seniors with dementia should have. Those are not much different from the ones that all phones for seniors should possess.
Whether you go for a basic phone, flip phone, or a smartphone, it should offer very big buttons to make the navigation of the menu and calling as easy as possible.
Large & Bright Display
Most seniors also deal with compromised vision, thus it is important that the best cell phone for seniors with dementia has a large and bright display. The size of the screen doesn’t matter as much as the size of the font and icons!
Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC)
Compromised hearing is another common condition that seniors often face. Thus it is important for the best cell phone for seniors with dementia to offer the highest grades of hearing aid compatibility. This should be M3 or M4 and T3 or T4.
The problem with these features is that they usually take some getting used to and may not be suitable for all seniors with dementia, however, things like voice control can be extremely practical. Getting as many accessibility features in a phone is a smart idea, however, always make sure that those will be easily learned by the user.
The best cell phone for seniors with dementia should be able to go on a single charge for as long as possible so that it is enough if only family members visiting every couple of days charge the device.
It is smart to get a phone that is built to survive drops and does not crack if a person sits on it. Seniors didn’t grow up with phones and tend to be less cautious with them. Drops and sit-ons are very common. This can be solved by going with a tough phone or adding an additional protecting case to the phone.
This makes a lot of sense for seniors with a more severe case of dementia.
A mobile-monitoring-service could track the location of a phone, conversations over the phone, and internet usage. Most providers usually charge a small amount for a monitoring service. Alternatively, you can get an app (in the case of smartphones), but it is better to get this service from a trusted provider.
We find this feature extremely helpful. It can be a real life-saver. It typically comes in a form of a red button that can be assigned to automatically dial 911 or a specific family member or other emergency contacts.
Things like big buttons and large displays fall into that category as well, but we mainly want to point out the importance of a simple menu and functions. Any complexity should be avoided at all costs. Keep the menu as simple as possible. One-press button shortcuts can be of great help in this aspect.
Many seniors are not willing to spend a fortune on a phone, thus it makes sense to look for the most affordable options or even consider the free options presented above (if available). However, if you are a family member or a caregiver for a senior with dementia, you may want to invest in the best cell phone for seniors with dementia that will check all of the above points.
What is dementia?
Dementia is a general term for loss of memory. There are many ranges of dementia severity.
How can dementia phones help people?
“Dementia” phones offer maximum simplicity, menus with instructions, surveillance features, and other options to make things as simple and practical for the user and his family and caregivers.
Does Verizon have a phone for dementia?
Verizon does not offer a phone model that would be particularly intended for people with dementia. However, they offer Alcatel GO FLIP V, which is a basic flip phone and could serve that purpose.
Also, keep in mind that all smartphones can be turned into a simplified model and thus be suitable for people with dementia, assuming they can get used to the touchscreen.Check out more Verizon compatible phone