It's not at all uncommon for elders in the beginning stages of Dementia or Alzheimer’s to struggle with usin the phone. Some days are better than others, of course. Often, the problems show up as forgetting common phone numbers. Sometimes, they may not even remember who is it they are calling. Phones are meant to be one of the most important means of communication. But, they all too often end up becoming a challenging piece of tech for seniors. There are easy to use phones for seniors with dementia though. Read on to see what options are available. And, how you can find the best one for you or your loved one.
So, what are the common problems people with dementia or Alzheimer's have using telephones? Most, of course, have to do with memory problems and not being able to recall neccessary information. Especially in an emergency.
Elders with dementia, or even Alzheimer’s, may sometimes have difficulty recognizing even a very familiar voice. If you are calling your parents or loved ones with dementia, constantly remind them your name and your relationship with them. They may sometimes fail to make that connection on the phone themselves. Frequent reminders are helpful.
Sometimes, your loved ones will start confusing the TV remote control with the cordless phone. They may try to answer the phone by picking up the remote! If this happens, it may be a good idea to pick up an old vintage phone that they may find more easy to use.
Dementia patients may end up randomly calling family and caregivers. It's not at all uncommon for some to call 10 - 15 times a day even. They so this either due to anxiety or simply because they have forgotten that they have already talked to you earlier in the day. To keep yourself sane and maintain your own peace of mind, thnk about getting an answering machine and screen these calls. You can always call back your loved ones later. Or call them right back if they leave an important message.
There are many phone options to choose from. But, if you want to select a phone for somebody with dementia, you could consider a phone with the following features:
Every senior or elder has different needs based on how well they function. Some may need a phone with all of the options above. Some may only need basic features - especially, if they are in the early stages of dementia.
Keeping the suggested shopping tips above in mind, here are a few of my recommended phones. These phones have a blend of the features above and are all pretty affordable.
Finding the right phone for your loved one with dementia is a huge help in them maintaining independence. This is also very important for them getting help quickly during an emergency. Picture memory phones are a great way to help seniors get over the frustration of not remembering who they are calling. Quick, easy to access emergency buttons reduce confusion during stressful situations. These facts are especially true for people with early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. (Check out this article about games you can play with seniors with dementia.) These people need reliable phones they can use to contact people and loved ones.
Tell me about your telephone experiences with seniors in the comments below. Do you have a suggestion to make phones easier to use? Did you find a particular product helpful? Let me know below! Also, if you found this article helpful, I'd appreciate a share on your favorite social site!
I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.
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