Best mobile phones for older adults

April 2018

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Many older adults are reliant on technology to maintain their independence. This could be an adaptation in the home such as a stairlift or a walk-in bath, or a mobility scooter to help them get about out of doors. One of the key areas that technology can help older adults is through security and communication. From staying in contact with loved ones and letting them know you are safe, to be able to take doctor’s calls on the go and stay up to date are two ways mobile phones are a great investment for older adults.

However, as technology continues to advance with additional apps, voice and finger recognition and AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistants, mobile phones become more and more confusing to older adults. Once this is coupled with small font, touch screens and the removal of buttons, it is no surprise that the older generation finds the latest handset difficult to operate.

Instead of losing all hope and opting for a phone you can’t use, look at the guide below and find the models that are still friendly for older adults without being overwhelming.

Doro Secure 580

For those who want the simplest possible phone, the Doro Secure 580 is a great handset. It is durable and splash proof but mostly it offers peace of mind. It has four large and easily identifiable buttons that relate to four pre-set numbers. These speed dial keys allow you to call those most important to you without any fuss. The phone also has a GPS system for those who suffer from dementia or feel less than comfortable going out in public.

The GPS localisation also enables the user when pressing the assistance button to send out SMS simultaneously to the four numbers with a pre-determined message and their locality. The four contacts can be managed over the internet by a trusted relative. The phone is also hearing aid compatible and the key tones are loud and clear to alert the user. A speakerphone function is great for those who are hard of hearing but do not have a hearing aid.

The phone is charged using a cradle to avoid any struggles for those with dexterity issues or less than perfect sight. It also means that the charger is hard to lose.

Nokia 3310


The Nokia 3210 was iconic, the mobile phone that inspired a generation and changed the market from one that was associated with technology nerds and businessmen to a product that was accessible and available to everyone. Though over 20 years since the 3210 was released, the Nokia 3310 could offer the perfect solution to the overly complex phones of today.

The rounded and ergonomic shape fits snugly in the palm of the hand while the nine separate buttons are great for those who struggle with touchpads. The screen is large and is polarised for improved readability in sunlight and offers clarity for people with reduced vision. The handset comes in four colours including a bright yellow and orange making it more difficult to lose and easier to find in the case of an emergency.

The Nokia 3310 has a longer battery life than most modern smartphones, so users do not have to feel tethered to a plug socket or concerned the phone will turn off at a crucial moment. Instead, they can have complete confidence in their chosen model.

The Nokia 3310 also has a camera, so you can capture key family moments and send them to family members as well as mp3 and radio apps, so you can listen to your favourite tunes.

PowerTel M6350

For a phone that looks slick and fulfils its purpose, look no further than PowerTel M6350. It has an extra loud and adjustable ringer which makes this an ideal phone for those with auditory problems. Those who have impaired hearing will also benefit from this phone as it works with hearing aids.

The buttons on this phone are large and easy to use so there is no concern for users who struggle with vision or have reduced dexterity. The phone has the standard alarm and calendar apps to help users organise their lives and keep on schedule. It also has a call SOS option where a pre-chosen number is alerted to the user’s distress. You can also include a photo in the phone contacts to aid recognition when a person calls or to help the user when they are choosing who to call.

The charger is a cradle, so it is not easily misplaced and does not take hours of concentration to plug in.

Doro 8030

Some people may want more from their phone than the basic functions but still, find the latest apple or android products overdesigned. If this sounds familiar than the Doro 8030 combines the best of the technology available and a simpler design to make it accessible to users of any age.

While the Doro 8030 is still hearing aid compatible and offers the same clarity people have come to expect of other Doro products, it also connects to the internet and has 4G connectivity. So, despite the assistance buttons and visual ring indicator, you can check your emails, stay up to date on Facebook and other apps.

The Doro 8030 also has a camera and video recording function as well as the photo phonebook to help the user recognise their contacts quicker. The handset charges through a cradle and avoids the fiddly process of plugging in to charge.

The Doro 8030 also has the capacity to store games allowing the user to fill empty time by being entertained by their phone. In all the Doro 8030 is a great transition phone, either for first time smartphone user or for someone who is no longer dexterous enough to continue to use their current smartphone. While it has many capabilities, it remains simple enough to be accessible for everyone.

This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Image Credit: jcfrog (Pixabay)

Best mobile phones for older adults
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