Human beings thrive on communication.
And right now, when people are isolated and distancing, phone communication is more important than ever.
If you or someone in your life is a senior citizen, you might be worried about the ease of use in telephone communication—especially when you throw hearing, memory, or motor problems into the mix. The good news is that there are special types of phones on the market to solve this exact dilemma.
Here are our top picks for a home telephone for seniors:
1. Photo Telephones
If you're new to the senior home telephone market, you might have never seen these before. A photo telephone has images of important people on the handset.
Rather than dialing in a number, you'd just have to press the button with the right person's face. This way, even in moments of confusion, you or your loved one will know exactly how to get connected.
In a way, the pictures serve as a "speed-dial" option on the phone. If you want, you'll also have the option to leave the numbers on the keypad as well, so the phone can function as a normal phone with dialing capabilities when needed.
This is a great option for anyone who might have trouble dialing, not just those with memory or confusion problems. Besides, you can also use a smartwatch that can have a function to make a phone call or send a text message, which many seniors find useful.
2. Corded Phones
Do they still make corded phones these days? You might be wondering. The answer is: yes!
When cordless phones came on the home telephone scene, people loved them for their portability and neat look—no tangled cords! In your later years, though, you may find yourself missing the familiarity of a corded phone.
When a phone has a cord, it's more likely to stay in place. If you or loved one is the kind of person who might leave a random object in the fridge or under the couch by mistake, a cord is a great thing to have.
3. Amplified Phones
If you or your loved one is hard of hearing, the volume levels of the home phone are going to be of utmost importance to you. What's the point of a phone if you can't hear what anyone's saying?
These days, you can find home phones that are specially designed for hard-of-hearing users. The volume controls on these phones are easy to find, making communication much easier.
4. Wearable Communication
For an extra layer of safety, you might want to go with a communication system that someone can wear.
These aren't technically phones, but they fall within the realm of easy communication. You can wear these devices around your neck or elsewhere on your body, and simply press a button if you ever need help.
In terms of getting connected to someone, these are similar to a telephone. What's different is that these devices typically only have one contact, which is 911 or another emergency resource.
5. Wall-Mounted Phones
Part of getting the perfect home phone for yourself or a senior citizen in your life is figuring out where to put it. Location is key because phones can be hard to get to, for a variety of reasons. Someone might be forgetful or low on space, or they might have accessibility issues.
If this is the case for you, a wall-mounted phone could be a great option. This way, you can mount the phone in a spot that's at the perfect height for whoever will be using it. And when it comes to ease of use, a good placement can go a long way.
One nice thing about a corded wall-mounted phone is that it's very apparent when it hasn't quite gone back on the mount. You'll want to be aware of these things because a call won't go through if the phone is still "in use."
When it's on a desk or counter, someone might mistakenly place the phone near the handset instead of directly on it when they're done with a call. With a wall-mounted phone, though, you'll see it dangling and know something's wrong.
6. A Cordless Home Telephone
A phone with a phone might be familiar and easier to keep in its proper place, but there are still advantages to cordless phones you might want to consider.
For one, a cordless phone lets you talk from different places in the house or apartment. This could be good for someone who expects to talk on the phone often, and sometimes while doing something else.
If you're in the market for a few home technology products, you'll probably be able to find a cordless home phone at the same company you'll find a digital television. This can make the billing, shipping, and maintenance a little smoother since you'll only need to talk to one company.
A cordless phone can be easier to maintain as well. There's no cord to get tangled, and you don't have to be extra careful about keeping the cord out of the way.
This is also a nice choice for someone who has a cat at home.
Cats are notorious cord-chewers, and trying to train your cat not to eat your telephone connection might prove harder than expected. If it looks like this might become an issue, cordless might be the right option for you.
7. Backlit Phones
If you're worried about visibility or answering calls in the nighttime, it could be good to get a phone with a light nearby. You could get a lamp or small countertop light, but an even better option might be to get a phone with a backlight built-in.
The light on these phones is part of the handset—or sometimes the phone itself if it's cordless—and it emanates from behind what's printed. This lets you see the numbers and letters easily, even in the dark.
An Accessible Future Is Calling
If the hurdles of communication technology seem daunting, don't give up! Chances are, you aren't the only one to notice these difficulties, and you can get a home telephone designed specifically for seniors.
And if you enjoyed this list, we have plenty more for you! Check them out and see our top recommendations for consumers today.