Simplifying Smartphones for Seniors

With news that the next generation of iPhones are reaching a $1,000 price point, many are re-thinking their need for the latest and greatest technology.  And while many adult children encourage their older parents to stay connected with a smartphone, the choices can be overwhelming and intimidating for seniors who just want to make phone calls, exchange a few texts and maybe play a game or two.

Yes there are phones like Jitterbug or Doro aimed at older consumers but many also find devices with larger screens like the Samsung Galaxy Note in the “Easy” setting or the iPhone 6 or 7 Plus can also work well.  By installing a launcher app, a smartphone can be simplified for older adults using large, clear icons and an uncluttered screen.  Some to try include Seniors Phone, Wiser, Big Launcher or Necta Launcher.

Consumer Cellular also offers a discount for AARP members and provides a wide range of simple as well as more sophisticated phones or bring your own device from AT&T, T-Mobile or an unlocked GSM phone.  Certified reconditioned or pre-owned phones can save money and with new models flooding the marked, older phones like the iPhone 6 may be offered at a discount and can be a good choice for users with a shorter wish list for technical capabilities. In Canada try Zoomer Wireless which offers a free CARP membership and other senior benefits.

By increasing contrast, making text larger and bolder and adjusting the audio volume balance, most smartphones can be made senior-friendly.   There are of course many simple phones that could work well for seniors who only want to talk and text including snapfon, which has low cost plan options and can provide SOS mobile monitoring for an extra fee.   Large buttons, hearing aid compatibility, enhanced sound and a built-in help button make it simpler to keep in touch with elderly loved ones.

With a little research, there are many ways older adults can enjoy the benefits of technology without becoming frustrated, confused or overwhelmed.  To learn more about choosing a good smartphone for older adults visit The American Association of Retired Persons website by following this link.