Today’s advanced – and complicated – cell phones and smartphones have many features that enrich our lives. But, are they a good choice for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s? Probably not.
Seniors and elderly people who struggle with memory issues will find these new phones hard to use. Many will refuse to use them at all.
The best solution is to find an easy to use cell phone for dementia patients. You want them to understand how to use it especially if they need to call for help. The last thing you want is for them to be intimidated by a device that can be such a big help!
So, here are the best cell phones for seniors with dementia that should help you out with this problem.
Reviews: Dementia-Friendly Cell Phones
Different phones come with a variety of features. But the primary objective of these phones is to make sure that seniors with dementia can use them easily. They don’t have complicated functions to confuse the user.
Here are a few cell phones appropriate for seniors with dementia:
This easy to use cell phone for seniors features photo dialing, an emergency button, and displays the time, remaining batter, and signal strength. And, that's it! Plus caregivers can manage and control the phone settings through a simple portal.
Seniors can have a difficult time using any gadget. When you have dementia, the difficulty spikes even more. Unfortunately, it seems more and more manufacturers are designing phones with younger people in mind with complex settings that even younger generations struggle to grasp.
However, the RAZ Memory Cell Phone was designed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia in mind. Because of this, it offers quality-of-life features that can really benefit those with memory loss.
How It Benefits Seniors with Dementia or Alzheimer’s
Not only does it feature a single screen touch-based interface, but it now features names and pictures of up to 30 contacts. In addition, it features an easy-to-see red button to call “911” in an emergency situation. The phone also offers the time in the upper-right corner and the battery level in the upper left. As you can see, the interface is kept as simple as possible to avoid confusing menus or settings configurations. It provides zero distractions to the user.
How It Benefits Caregivers and Loved Ones
The RAZ Memory Cell Phone is capable of being remote-managed through a very simple and easy-to-use online portal. Through the portal, caregivers are able to do everything from creating and editing contacts, tracking the location history of the phone, and even restricting incoming calls including from known predatory sources.
As a caregiver and loved one, having this type of access can give you the peace of mind you need to know that your patient or loved one is safe and that you have the ability to track them if they end up lost.
New Caregiver Portal
Raz Mobility is constantly innovating their service and recently added a new Caregiver Portal. With this portal, caregivers can log in to a web app to monitor and control features of the phone. So, these options and controls can be used remotely no matter how far away you may live.
- Monitor Phone Signal and Strength. For example, the caregiver can check on the phone’s signal strength and remaining battery power. This is helpful if you can’t reach the senior or want to make sure they keep their phone charged.
- Control Use of Power Button. Caregivers and family members can also use the portal to disable the power button to keep the user from being able turn it off. This will help in cases where the senior has difficulty turning the phone back on or accidentally goes into the phone’s Safe mode.
- Control Incoming & Outgoing Calls. Finally, there is also “limit incoming calls” option so that only calls from preapproved callers make it through. This eliminates telemarketing and scam calls. The caregiver can add as many numbers to the white list as wanted. Thus, for example, if the caregiver wants the senior to receive calls from his doctor, but does not want the doctor to be a contact, this can now be done.
- Simplicity – A senior with dementia will benefit from the only screen offering them the information they need. Pairing the picture with the contact’s name can really make it easy to know who you are calling.
- GPS Tracking – Having the ability to track the phone through a remote online portal can provide peace of mind to caregivers and loved ones.
- Block Unwanted Calls – Having the ability to block calls from predatory sources and anyone not on the contact list can eliminate the threat of your loved one from falling victim to common scams targeting seniors.
- Volume Always On Maximum – Seniors often have trouble hearing and having a volume rocker can be confusing. The volume rocker is disabled and the volume is always on the maximum level for convenience and accessibility.
- Large Display – Small displays can be very difficult to read for seniors. This phone comes with a large and bright 6.3-inch display which makes it easier to see and use. The display is also always on.
- Large Phone – The phone is fairly large and hefty at 6.38 oz- a bit heavier than an iPhone 10. That being said, this can be seen as a compromise to make it more accessible for seniors.
This easy to use smartphones for seniors has simple, list basted menus with a large, easy to see screen. Even offers voice typing and mobile internet access.
Many seniors who love touch-screen phones will find this model useful. They don’t have to use the traditional keypad anymore. This 5.5-inch cell phone will fit in their hands easily. Plus, it is extremely lightweight.
Most importantly, the simple menu is so well-organized that no senior with dementia will have difficulty understanding the functions. The phone’s display is big enough to show letters and numbers significantly bigger. Once your loved one understands the functions of the phone, they will be able to make and receive calls without requiring help.
- Award-winning customer service allows you to contact the professionals if you don’t understand anything on the phone.
- It doesn’t come with cancellation or contract fees.
- The easy UI and bigger touch-screen makes it a pleasing experience to use the phone for anyone with dementia.
- The organized menu makes it easier for seniors to find all the functions in one place. Whether they want to make calls or send a message, they will find all the options in the menu.
- They can take photos of everything around them so that they can remember them later.
- The phone has a 13 MP that takes crisp images.
- Because it is a smartphone and has more features, it could be too confusing for some users.
This phone is ideal for seniors with dementia who don’t want too many complicated functions.
It has simple Yes and No options so that the user can follow the on-screen instructions easily. The phone has a power speaker that allows your loved one to hear your voice from a distance.
Plus, the bigger fonts and numbers make it easier for your loved one to dial. All they have to do is press the menu button and follow the instructions that come on the screen. They need to press the Yes or No button accordingly.
- There are no contracts or cancellation fees if you do not wish to continue using the phone.
- The speaker is significantly loud. Your loved one can hear the phone even if they forget where they kept it last.
- You can use GreatCall network on this phone. It is the best network providers in the US.
- There are no complicated functions in the menu that can confuse the user.
- You can link the phone with its app so that you know about the health and safety of your loved one.
- The screen is not big enough like the other models.
- Poor battery life is a common complaint so you’ll need frequent charges
This phone looks like a calculator. But don’t go by its looks because the features are far better than its competitors.
It has a keypad lock side switch that prevents accidental falls. Seniors with dementia may end up calling the same person over and over again. The keypad lock will prevent that from happening.
Another useful feature is the speaking keypad. Your loved one will not have to remember any instruction on the phone. They just have to listen to what the keypad says and follow them accordingly. The phone can also dial automatically on the behalf of the user.
- The speaking keypad is the game-changer for this model. Your loved one will not have to worry about complicated functions anymore.
- The buttons don’t function once the keypad lock activates.
- It comes with an SOS button that can connect to as many as 5 emergency contacts.
- The keypad lock prevents the user from calling someone frequently. However, it allows the user to take as many incoming calls as possible.
- It has a hearing aid facility and 4 alarm modes to alert the user while receiving calls.
- It is more expensive than the other options.
If you are one of those who want to present a sleek and stylish phone to your parent suffering from dementia, this is the model to buy. This phone has everything you can ask for someone who has dementia. Your loved one may want to use the camera, listen to some of his/her favorite songs, and even watch movies. But the most important function is to get in touch with the emergency contact whenever there is urgency. Thanks to the built-in GPS, you can check on your loved one in a flash.
- Pressing the SOS button on the phone will send the phone’s GPS location to an emergency contact.
- The large 2.31″ screen is big, bright and easy to see.
- The SOS button is big enough for the user to notice during emergencies.
- The price is well within the budget of almost everyone.
- This is a more budget friendly option from an off-brand company. There hasn’t been much of a track record for it yet.
This cell phone is a good option for people looking for a more budget friendly option. Whether it is your loved one at home or someone you know in your extended, this model provides a combination of various essential features that seniors can benefit from. For example, the larger fonts and bigger buttons will help them track the numbers easily. Plus it has the flip feature. Your loved one can just flip the phone after the call and keep it in his/her pocket.
- The sound quality is crystal clear. Your loved one will be able to hear your voice without any interruption.
- It has speed dial facility so that the user doesn’t have to remember how to access the phonebook.
- Even a person who is not tech-savvy can use the phone, thanks to the easy on-screen instructions.
- The dual display of the phone allows the user to see the time and also the name of the person calling.
- The SOS button can connect with the emergency contact number if there is an emergency.
- With bigger numbers on the keypad, the user can dial a number from the contact book easily.
- It’s an off-brand phone without much history
Recommended Features: How I Chose These Models
Here are some specific features and options you should look for when shopping for celll phones for dementia patients.
Simple Functions That Are Easy to Understand
It is somewhat obvious, but you want to choose a phone that is easy to understand and use. You want a phone with minimal options that don’t require navigating menus to access. Quick, one-touch functions buttons are best.
Big Buttons That Are Easy to Read
Look for big buttons with bold, well contrasted print. Not just the number buttons – all the buttons should be clearly labeled and easy to read
Long Battery Life Between Charges
Let’s face it. This population may forget to charge the phone often. So, get one with a long standby time. That way, it will hopefully be ready to go in the event of an emergency.
One-Touch SOS Emergency Button
I really recommend phones with one-touch speed dialing for quick calls during emergencies. Even better if it’s red or labeled SOS!
Bright, Clear Screen That is Easy to See
The digital screen should be brightly backlit with big, bold print so that it can be read easily – during the day and the night.
Summary and Final Recommendations
As you can see, there are several good cell phone options out there for seniors with dementia. Just look for one that is easy to use with large buttons that can be easily read. Think about emergency situations too. You want your loved one to have quick access to help if there has been a quick access to a medical attention after a fall or a medical problem.
Do you know of other cell phones that are good for seniors with dementia? Let me know about them in the comments below.