Phones are an essential tool that allows seniors to stay in touch with loved ones and get help in an emergency. Unfortunately, many phones aren’t designed for seniors in mind. Many phones on the market can be difficult for people with vision or hearing loss to use. Using the phone also presents a challenge for seniors suffering from dementia.
Thankfully, there are some companies that are taking the needs of seniors into consideration. The best cordless phones for seniors with answering machines have features that other phones lack. All of these phone models are a terrific option for elderly individuals that struggle to use to phone.
Reviews: Senior- Friendly Cordless Phones with Answering Machines
Here are more detailed reviews of these phones with an explanation of why I chose them as a top pick.
Panasonic KX-TGM420W Amplified Cordless Phone
Many seniors struggle to keep up with phone conversations, especially if they’re hard of hearing. This Panasonic phone offers volume boost control up to 40 dB. The phone also offers a slow talk feature that can slow down speech in real-time. This can make it much easier for seniors to understand what is being said to them.
The phone has a large backlit display and oversized buttons, which makes the phone easier for seniors to use. It also offers a variety of smart features, including talking caller ID and a talking keypad.
While some cordless phones can’t be used during power outages, this phone comes equipped with two backup batteries. Even when there’s no power, the phone can operate for up to 3 hours of continuous use. With a phone like this, seniors will feel more secure in emergencies.
- Answering machine can record up to 17 minutes of incoming messages
- Up to nine numbers can be speed-dialed
- Phone includes noise reduction, allowing clear calls from noisy locations
- Phone provides audio and visual call alerts
- Handset is heavy and can be uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time
- Some users have had issues with Panasonic’s customer service department
- Easy to accidentally change volume settings
VTech SN5127 Amplified Cordless Senior Phone
This cordless phone offers a photo dial system which means seniors don’t have to remember the numbers of the people they want to call. With a simple press of the button, seniors can easily dial the people they want to reach. This is really helpful for elderly people with dementia or Azheimer’s. The oversized buttons are comfortable to use and the system is easy to set up.
The 50dB audio assist allows the phone’s volume to be increased by as much as 50dB which means even people that are hard of hearing will be able to carry on conversations comfortably. The phone also features a 90Db ringer, which means calls can be heard from anywhere in the home.
While the basic system only comes with a single handset, more handsets can easily be purchased though. Seniors that have mobility issues can make sure they always have a phone nearby. The answering machine can record up to 22 minutes of incoming messages.
- The phone comes with talking prompts that provide guidance during the setup process
- Extra-large earcup makes the phone more comfortable to use
- One-touch SOS button makes it easy to call for help
- Numerous accessory devices available
- Only four numbers can be programmed with photo dial
- Additional handsets and other accessories must be purchased separately
- Mute button is located next to talk button
- Handsets can be damaged when dropped
Clarity 53714/D714 Amplified Cordless Phone
This hearing aid compatible phone offers a range of volume settings, making it ideal cordless phone for hearing impaired seniors. Incoming sound can be amplified by up to 50 dB. Outgoing speech can also be amplified by 15 dB, which means that people on the other line can clearly hear what is being said to them.
The phone comes equipped with a loud speakerphone that allows for hands-free conversations. For seniors that prefer not to use speakerphone settings, the unusually-designed handset allows for comfortable calls, even when the phone is being used for a longer period of time.
The caller ID screen uses a larger font and the backlit screen makes names and numbers easier to read. Talking caller ID settings also allow numbers to be read aloud in either English or French. The talking caller ID is also able to provide voice notifications when new voicemail messages are left.
- Specifically designed for seniors with hearing loss
- Voicemail indicator makes it easy to see new messages
- Fully TIA-1083 compliant
- Phone can easily be connected to assistive listening devices or bluetooth phone headsets
- Sound quality drops when speakerphone settings are used
- Pressing talk button can disconnect calls when the handset is connected to the charger
- Handsets are easily damaged when dropped
- Phone’s design means accidental button presses are common
Panasonic KX-TGD530M Expandable Cordless Phone System
This senior-friendly phone is available at a budget-friendly price. While it doesn’t offer the same kinds of options as some of the more expensive phone systems on the market, it’s still an effective choice that’s loaded with appealing features.
The phone features a talking caller ID system, allowing seniors to hear who’s calling them. The system is bilingual and is able to read numbers in either English or Spanish. Telemarketers and scams can easily be blocked with the phone’s one-touch call block settings.
The high-contrast display makes the phone’s display screen easier to read. The oversized buttons are simple to press, and the lightweight handset can comfortably be used for long calls. Additional handsets and other accessories are available to purchase.
- Inexpensive phone system that can easily be upgraded
- Large ringer ID library
- Bilingual caller ID makes this phone ideal for Spanish speakers
- Answering machine can record up to 17 minutes of messages
- Limited features for users that are hard of hearing
- No flashing light indicator for voicemail
- Handset does not have plug-in functionality
AT&T EL52213 2-Handset Expandable Cordless Phone
This dual handset system offers duplex speakerphone functionality. Seniors that struggle to hold handsets for long periods of time can enable this system and use speakerphone settings with minimal issues.
The phone has an oversized backlit display that is easy to view, even for users that are hard of hearing. Because of the lighted keypad, seniors can read buttons and make calls in dim lighting conditions.
It’s common for seniors to forget to charge cordless handsets, rendering phones unusable. This phone system doesn’t just come equipped with multiple handsets; it also is designed to limit power consumption so that handsets have longer battery life. Even a handset that hasn’t been charged for hours can be used to make calls.
- Excellent speakerphone functionality
- Phone directory can be programmed with up to 50 numbers
- Ringer can temporarily be silenced when seniors are sleeping
- Remote answering system allows messages to be accessed from anywhere
- Volume settings aren’t appropriate for users that are hard of hearing
- Answering machine picks up calls quickly
- Internal clock has to be reset after power outage
- sSome customers report issues with AT&T’s support
Recommended Features: How I Chose These Models
Whether you are shopping for yourself or an elderly loved one, you’ll find that there are lots of options out there. Here are some features that you should insist on:
Large Buttons are Easier to See and Easier to Use
Cordless phones with big buttons are easier to see because they also have bigger print on them. You are also less likely to hit the wrong button even with arthritic fingers or failing eyesight. This can save you from dialing the wrong people or activating the wrong function.
Loud Ringers That You Can Hear Across Your House
Look for a cordless phone that has a loud ringer. The phone should also have several different tones and volume levels so that you can choose the best one for you and your unique situation.
Volume Amplification for Incoming Calls
If the user is experiencing some hearing loss, consider a phone that has built-in amplification. This system boosts the volume of the incoming call so that you can hear them better and more clearly.
One Touch Dialing Memory Functions for Quick and Easy Dialing
Memory dialing and quick dial features are helpful because you can call someone at the press of a button. Many cordless phones have memorial dialing built into the screen and menus. But, quick one touch dialing buttons are a better and quicker option. Especially in an emergency.
Loud Speakerphones are Sometimes Easier to Use
Many seniors, including my own grandmother, use their speakerphones as volume amplifiers. They are also convenient for making calls if the handset has been misplaced.
Battery Backups Make Sure the Phone Works in a Power Outage
I also think it is important that the cordless phone have a backup battery in it so that calls can be made if the power goes out. This could prevent an emergency situation and reduced the need for a backup phone.
Summary and Final Recommendations
It’s important for seniors to have phones that they can comfortably use. With the right phones, seniors will be able to stay in touch with their family members and other loved ones. Phones can also help seniors get the help that they need in emergency situations.
It’s equally important for seniors to have phones that are equipped with answering machines or voicemail functionality. Seniors will frequently miss incoming calls. When a phone has an answering machine, it’s easy to leave a message for your loved ones.
If you’re looking for cordless phones that are easy for the elderly to use, any of these phone models would be a fantastic choice.