July 27, 2018

Mobile Phones For Seniors Australia | Quick Comparison Chart 

What is the best mobile phone for seniors in Australia?

Mobile Phones For Seniors Australia | Quick Comparison Chart 

Sound like a familiar question,? You’re not alone. How do you find the balance between the most up to date technology coupled with simplicity + taking into account various ailments, such as hearing loss and poor eyesight. As we get older we become less patient and any new technology can always seem daunting resulting in frustration and giving up. Take a moment to read through our investigation into the Mobile Phones for Seniors, so that you too can make an informed decision.

Buying for a loved one? Here are some key points you need to consider 

Is the user mobile? Do they venture out of the house i.e do any of the following: shopping, driving, restaurants or social activities etc. If you have answered yes to any of those then you should also consider getting some sort of protection for their phone. Nimble hands might result in the mobile phone being dropped causing damage and frustration. 

Is the user home / retirement home based / cared for? Then a simple mobile phone with a cradle will be all they require.

Does the user use the internet / make many calls or have any kind of cable TV? If not then a Mobile Phone for Seniors is a great way to reduce their hard-earned savings and do away with costly monthly landline rental, saving roughly $29.00 per month. Particularly in a retirement village / nursing home, landline fee’s can cost a fair bit, especially with regards to new connections with either being new or changing rooms.

Which Mobile Phone Network Provider? There are some good deals out there, for the conscious user, but non of that matters if you’re not able to make / receive calls. When choosing your mobile phone network provider / SIM card, take into account where the user is based and connectivity in that area. This is quite important for those not based near a metro area and / or live in an apartment where mobile signal is not strong.

Why a smartphone may not be the answer

At Hear for Less we are inundated with enquiries, mainly from the sons and daughters of a frustrated parent. Sadly, in a lot of cases, the user has been to a high street mobile phone provider and upsold to a smartphone. Yes, smartphones have some great features and functionality geared towards the hard of hearing / vision impaired user, however it’s the usability that causes major issues, headaches and frustration.

Top five most common issues with Smartphones for seniors

Mobile Phones For Seniors Australia | Quick Comparison Chart 

1. The most obvious, like with any new technology is that smartphones are easy to use, when you know how; however smartphones can quickly become frustrating for seniors and prove the technology is too much for them to handle, especially with the touchscreen.

2. Ageing skin on smartphone touchscreens. Feedback, as voluntarily provided by consumers or loved ones, is that smartphones don’t behave the way they’re supposed to when touched by seniors. Touchscreens require static electricity from our fingers to swipe, text and navigate a smartphone. The feedback we receive is that smartphones respond poorly to ageing skin resulting in the smartphone acting up – photo’s pop-up all over the phone, misdialled numbers, if they can be dialled at all and so on.

3. Messaging can become a big issue as there are no tactile buttons, meaning typing becomes ’blurred’ and wrong keys are commonly hit by mistake; add in predictive texting on top of that and the simple task of messaging can quickly become a minefield.

4. Apps are great and make our life easier, but can also chew through data. With lots of digital mobile advertising these days, a user can accidentally click on an ad app which, unknowingly to the user, create bill shock through unwanted monthly subscriptions. And there’s the fun and frustration of having to contact your local network provider to get that removed and money refunded, if it’s caught early enough.

5. With the latest craze in curve screen technology and a super smooth outer shell, smartphones have become slippery little things. Smartphones are becoming larger, wider for better entertainment viewing and there’s not much depth to grip onto, which can result in sore hands or even dropping the phone regularly.., a costly exercise.

These common issues lead to frustration and loss of confidence in the use of today’s technology and ultimately result in the device not being used at all.
How do I choose the best mobile phone tailored for seniors?

Now that we’ve covered off the main common issues for seniors and smartphones, you can easily make an informed decision on what’s best moving forward.

So let’s discuss what makes a great mobile phone for seniors.

Mobile Phones For Seniors Australia | Quick Comparison Chart 

Here we have compiled a list, in no particular order, for you to consider.

Size does matter?

1. Large Screen This makes incoming call numbers and texts easy to read.
2. Large tactile buttons. This heavily reduces the user pressing too many or the wrong buttons at once, which can lead to misdials or incorrect messaging.
3. Grip. As we get older we may lose the grip in our hands; having a medium wide phone can make a world of difference.

Make it work for you:

4. A Cradle charge is a great way for seniors to keep their phone charged and ‘give it a home’
5. Unlocked to any network is a great way to give you control over which carrier you wish to choose
6. Speed dials make calling someone instantly a much easier experience
7. Bluetooth gives you options to connect with other devices, such as hearing aids
8. Simpler-technology. The more bells and whistles on a phone, the more issues there can be
9.One-touch easy access buttons. This saves having to navigate through the menu to achieve simple tasks, enlarge text, lock screen, volume control..
10. SoS button, especially for seniors, this feature could be a lifesaver. But it’s extremely important that the SoS does not terminate at someone’s voicemail.
11. A lightweight phone makes it easier to carry around
12. Long battery life is a great way to keep the phone active, if not charged for a couple of days
13. Having a mobile that looks like a home phone will also be a winner. The less complicated it looks, the more use it will get

A phone that suits my condition

1. Hearing; If you wear Bluetooth or Telecoil (Tcoil) enabled hearing aids, then you will want a mobile phone that is M4/T4 compatible. Once connected you use the phone as normal, however, the quality of sound is amplified through your hearing aids creating a much better conversational experience. Loud ringtones and call volume are also key here.
2. Vision; If you experience issues with your vision then getting the right mobile phone is key. A large screen with the simple ability to enlarge the text will provide for a much better experience.      
3. Osteoarthritis / limited dexterity; A medium body mobile phone allows the user to maintain a better grip, a lightweight phone reduces the users' hands from becoming inflamed, tired and finally large tactile buttons makes pressing each key easier. One touch phone features will offer a form of respite
4. Quadaplegic, paralysis or non-use of the hands. If a mobile phone is required then you will require a mobile phone that can answer upon voice command to hold a conversation.

Save on monthly phone line rental bills

With the rollout of NBN, or users being in a retirement village / care facility, a mobile phone with cradle charger is a great way to mimic a portable home phone, without the extra monthly landline fee’s

What's the difference between 3G and 4G Technology

"G" standard for Generation, however, 4G was created with Smartphones in mind. Bigger bandwidth for all of the data streaming, Apps and internet usage. If you're not looking to get a Smartphone and use lots of data, then 3G is the best network for your phone. 2G has recently closed down network by network to release much needed frequencies to help enhance the higher generation networks. 

Mobile Phones For Seniors Australia | Quick Comparison Chart 

There are lots of phones out in the marketplace for seniors for various different budgets, however At Hear for Less we have carefully selected and fully recommend the Olitech Easy Mate+ which has just been voted #1 Mobile Phone for Seniors 2018 by Choice Magazine.

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