Some friends bought their mother, another Golden Oldie whom I know and adore, a cell phone — mainly to keep with her when she was out and about in case of emergency. They purchased the phone and service, charged the phone, and went over the instructions for use in detail with their mom.
P.S. To their great frustration, their mom never used the cell phone and they wound up returning it!
If your Golden Oldies need a phone that is easy-to-use as well as easy-to-read, check out the Jitterbug cell phone by Great Call. No extra frills like cameras, browsing the internet or text messaging; it was created and designed to meet the needs of our aging parents whose hearing, sight, and/or eye-hand coordination may be slowly diminishing.
Watch this quick commercial by Jitterbug below to see it in action:
Jitterbug cell phones come in two models and they both feature:
Bright screens with large text and numbers for easy viewing
Powerful speakers for clear sound
Soft-ear cushions that shield outside noise and make it hearing-aide compatible
Large (fingertip size), backlit and bright buttons make dialing easier
On/Off switch with a familiar dial tone so you know it’s on
Yes/No buttons for easy navigation
Operator button to reach a live Jitterbug operator 24/7 who can make calls, provide directory assistance and add names to phone lists
The One Touch model simplifies the design even more by having only three large buttons. One connects to the Operator, the other to 9-1-1 and the third to a preprogrammed number of your choice.
Battery life is good, approximately 3+ hours of continuous talk time. The only negative physical feature is that the plug-in connection to the phone charger appears small.
Even Jitterbug’s web site is clear, easy-to-read, has detailed phone demonstrations, an extensive Frequently Asked Questions section, customer support contacts, and a store locator to find out where to purchase one.
Each model costs $147, with no long-term service contract needed. Service, also provided through Jitterbug, starts as low as $10/month, although usage charges apply. There is a $35 one-time set up fee. If not satisfied with the phone, they have a “friendly 30 day return policy.”
A girlfriend who bought her Mom a Jitterbug phone told me,
“Customer service was great. You have the option of calling them to set up all your speed dial numbers or doing it over the internet. You can add and delete numbers at any time . . . I think they are used to working with older people and had tons of patience.”
Our aging parents’ needs and abilities vary tremendously. If your parent is still active and wants to stay in touch with family and friends, it could be a great asset. However, if your parent is starting to show signs of memory loss, it may be too difficult for them to use even the One Touch Jitterbug model. I think it should be fairly easy for you and your parents to decide whether the Jitterbug cell phone is something to consider trying.
And, it would make a wonderful birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or anniversary gift to Golden Oldies, while insuring our peace of mind that they can be reached, or reach you, whenever desired.
An important tip for cell phone users of all ages: Use the light from your phone screen as a flashlight if you’re caught short without enough light. I must give credit to my husband, who first used his cell phone screen light in a dimly-lit restaurant when we couldn’t read the fine print on the menu! 🙂
Have you or anyone you know bought a Jitterbug? What has been your experience? I welcome your comments below.
Here’s to more Tender Loving Eldercare in our world!
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