Elderly Parents and Cell Phones

Over the past several years, it’s become increasingly apparent that elderly people and technology don’t always mix very well. Whether it’s because it just seems like something too confusing, or because they simply have no desire to learn about them, older people and smart phones often go together about as well as a bull in a china shop. However, as our parents get older, we want to have ways to keep tabs on them even if we can’t be around to do it as much as we’d like. That’s where getting them a cell phone can help tremendously. For this article, let’s look at four ways that an older parent can benefit from having a cell phone.

  1. Keeping active through social media—While Facebook may be the bane of a younger generation’s existence in some instances, there’s no denying the power it has to keep people connected to each other on a near constant basis. Being able to keep up with friends from way back and stay in touch with family that may live out-of-state are good ways for seniors to stay active. Also, internet dating among the senior population is also steadily gaining popularity, especially with those who have lost loved ones or who have been divorced. 

  2. Remain mobile across town or country—Having a cell phone can allow for the older generations to easily find favorite or new places by using built in apps like VZ Navigator or Google Maps. It’s also perfect if they want to go on a road trip while still being able to keep in touch with family and friends via email, text, pictures and so on. If they get lost or turned around, need health information, or just want to see what places are nearby, a smart phone might be just the thing they’re looking for.

  3. Stay connected with grandkids—It is a well-known fact that no one knows more about technology than today’s kids and teenagers. If they are open to the idea, they can use this to their advantage as a way to get closer to their grandchildren. It will also better allow them to keep in touch with each other, whether near or far away.

  4. Getting help in emergencies—Family members of elderly individuals may feel more at ease about their loved one’s situation or conditions if he or she was able to easily get in touch in case of an emergency. Having a smart phone can handle just such an occasion, as the phone can easily store important information that can be used to alert family members if a situation arises. In less extreme cases, smart phones can be a valuable asset in situations where the car breaks down on the side of the road.

If a loved one remains hesitant about getting a new smartphone, however, an easy-to-use, basic phone might be your best bet. For those who think they’ll be okay with a smart phone, Verizon offers free workshops that will teach them how to use it. It’s important to find one that offers just the right amount of functionality needed for their particular situation as well as an easy-to-understand user interface.

For those users who are visually or hearing-impaired, there are also options available to them as well, and your wireless carrier should be able to tell you more about them.