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  • Cameron Oglesby

5 kinds of phones for 5 kinds of seniors

Some older people love to use the latest cell phones with all the bells and whistles and take photos with the latest built-in multi-megapixel cameras. Some prefer to stick to phones with just simple functions. And some are somewhere in between.

It's definitely not one-size-fits-all.

Recently, Wirecutter, a New York-based product testing service, tested 18 cellphone models. The testing broke down into three categories:

The best phones for older adults who like technology and want to upgrade to one with the latest functions and features. The best for those who prefer a smartphone with fewer features, as well as those undergoing vision, hearing, or dexterity issues. And the best cell phones out there for those who need specific accessibility features because of physical or cognitive issues.

Here are their picks:

The Apple iPhone 15 plus is loaded with great technology. Of course, you pay more for it. It has an easy-to-read 6.7-inch screen, the most robust health and safety features (including, but not limited to, off-grid SOS, personal safety check, and plenty of customizable options for seniors with vision and hearing loss and speaking or dexterity problems. $899.

For seniors who've been using an Android device, the Google Pixel 8 may be just the ticket for you. It's a high-end, reasonably priced smartphone that, too, has a 6.7" screen with an excellent camera and many health, safety, and accessibility features that can help with vision impairment, hearing loss, hand tremors and more. And it costs a lot less than the Samsung Galaxy, at $699.

For a simplified smartphone that's affordable, the Lively Jitterbug Smart4 is hard to beat. Like the Apple 15 Plus and the Google Pixel 8, it also has a 6.7" screen. But unlike the others, it doesn't have icons. Instead, it has a list-based menu for easy navigation. It also has voice capabilities and a number of heath and safety services, including round-the-clock emergency monitoring. $150.

The RAZ Mobility Memory Phone, as its name implies, is specifically designed for seniors with memory problems or more advanced cognitive decline. Its simple functionality lets elders to stay in tough with family and friends while reducing unnecessary calls to emergency services spam, and fraud. It also has a dedicated on-screen SOS link that can alert up to three contacts, GPS tracking, provides caregiver controls and more. $349.

Finally, the Snapfon ez4G is a phone for people who don't want or need all of a smartphone's functionality. This cell simple phone has large buttons, big sceen type, and an SOS emergency button of the back that will alert up to five preselected contact by by call and text. $100.

It's funny how many seniors have different caregiving needs. What's not funny is how so many caring services don't even take the trouble to find out what those needs are before they start offering "solutions".

Senior Insights isn't like that, and never will be. Before we recommend any care, we conduct a thorough three-part assessment of your physical, emotional, cognitive, and psychosocial needs with you and your family. Only then do we create a custom-designed holistic coordinated senior care management plan built around your individual priorities, values, preferences, schedule, hobbies and interest, and trade-offs you’re willing to make. And rather than keep that plan static, our monthly registered nurse visits include mini-needs assessments, to make sure your care matches your needs as they change over time.

Please contact us to learn what a difference that can make

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