questionswhat is the best cellphone for a senior citizen?

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I am a senior citizen; I prefer my very simple prepaid Nokia with TMobil. It does not have pictures, a camera, or any of the toys. It can call out and receive calls, take messages, and otherwise not challenge me too much. HOWEVER, I know and observe the very elderly all the time, and last evening at a concert at my church, the number of seniors with their fancy phones including flashlights reading messages, playing games, etc. holding the phones near the floor was astounding. I sat next to a man who was probably around 80 who played games on his iphone throughout. I guess it all comes down to what ability they would have and what wish they would have to utilize all the bells and whistles that can be had.

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I like Consumer Cellular's basic phone line up and plans for someone who wants big buttons and maybe 100-300 minutes a month or less. If you already have a cell phone family plan it's usually pretty cheap to add a line to the account and just share your minutes. Verizon also has a couple that have the bigger buttons and the easier to open flip phones. Almost every carrier has at least one phone catering to a flip and talk customer.

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I would say it would depend on how tech savvy they are. As an example, my Mom is a technophobe. She has no idea on how to even add a number to the address book on her phone. Dad, while he was alive, was quite proficient with most tech. (He was a wiz on Photoshop.)

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Guess we need to do some more research. I'm with Verizon and my ex (don't ask) is with T-Mobile. Neither of the in-laws can turn on the DVD player or set their security system without it going off. Gee...maybe I should just get them a puppy instead.....

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Depends (no pun intended) entirely on who they are, what they like & what the phone will be used for. I have a Virgin pre-paid cell. It's ONLY for emergencies; bought it for use in the car in case of a breakdown. Car, not emotional or otherwise. No one knows my number; even me. I do not like cells; and find it quite disturbing (annoying is a better word) that people are tethered to them. Would never use a 'gifted' one w/camera & a bajillion apps.

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Not Jitterbug. For the love of all that's holy.

Just like anyone, it depends. How familiar is this person with technology? Are they adaptable, or more of 'in a rut' and not really willing to put in the time and effort to learn more technology?

My grandmother loved the atari when that came out, and got a PC back in the 90s to learn how it works. While now she's suffering from some mild Alzheimers, she still is completely capable with a basic phone and loves asking us all about her grandkids' smart phones. Someday I expect she'll start asking for one.

My other set of grandparents don't quite understand that their phone stores hundreds of contacts, instead of setting up speeddialing for the numbers on their phones like on the old land line. They also don't think that people really need those new fangled computers. They also have 3 grandkids that are software engineers (I'm not one of them).

I'd suggest taking this person to a store and letting them poke around.

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To clarify about the Jitterbug, it's overblown. You can't program in any of your own contacts or speeddials, while old landline phones let you do that. It also assumes you're incredibly stupid. Jitterbug requires you to call the operator and have them dial for you, for a 'nominal' fee.

If this person is at all capable of being taught how to open contacts or program any in, or at least bother you when they need one programmed in, steer very, very, very far from Jitterbug. It's rather poor technology that preys upon luddite-ism.

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We can't take them to look around. It would confuse him and she's not interested, just wants it delivered to the couch. For him, the phone would be used more than he should use it. He butt dials right now with his old phone and can't retrieve any numbers. It has to be very simple. No apps, camera, texting etc.... She, on the other hand, will more than likely leave it on the bookcase and complain that the battery is dead...

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I think the butt dial thing means they'll need a clamshell cell is all. Though if they're so disconnected from this process, why do they even need one then in the first place? That would indicate to me that it's time to let this one be.

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@maggie3052: "I'm with Verizon and my ex (don't ask)..."

Um, why do you think we'd ask? Or care?

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magic cave: you are correct. Sorry, habit.

figgers3036: Thank you. Lots of things to think about and research. Still leaning towards the puppy. That will keep them young.

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@maggie3052: Verizon has a prepaid plan that is $100 a year, you can get a basic flip phone with it for 20 bucks or less. You mentioned you have Verizon, if you already have a family plan I would go with the Samsung Haven and add a line to your account for $10 a month. Its basic, but it can receive pictures (though not take them) and has a charging dock included if they have dexterity problems. Bigger display, big buttons and a hardware button for in-case-of-emergency numbers and information (allergies, medical conditions, etc.)

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From what I understand jitterbug is kind of a scam, crappy phone and service just so you can get a phone with less buttons and options.

I just suggest going with any simple phone as long as it prepaid since they don't need tons of minutes or data or whatever. Then just be nice and spend the time required to set it up properly for them and teach them how to use it. They will appreciate the time you spend with them regardless :-)

I currently use virgin mobile and just got my mom on it as well. We both love the great service for little money.

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@figgers3036: There are several Jitterbug models that let you dial your own numbers. They just don't come with address books.

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The Sprint Tahoe is good for seniors? It is water resistant, rubberized for texture and drops, and it has big buttons

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I think that the Tracfone SVC is the best for seniors because it is a clamshell, there is no contract and it is really low cost. It also has great reception in most areas.

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Since I just got my mom the SVC phone, I'm going to have to recommend that one. Has many of the same low tech features as the other services, but much cheaper and without any contract. The monthly service is also, I think more affordable, than the others and pretty easy to re-load. Will have to see about the coverage area.