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Easy to use mobile phone suggestions please

(46 Posts)
Shandy57 Tue 30-Nov-21 15:55:58

Hello, my 84 year old has just phoned and her landline is out of action. She feels very anxious about it, and instead of a touch lamp, now wants me to buy her a mobile phone smile

I'm 300 miles away and have recently tried to help her with her tv remote control without success. I don't know if she can't see, or isn't pressing hard enough, so very simple suggestions please.

ninathenana Tue 30-Nov-21 16:02:16
Have a couple of very basic mobiles

Shandy57 Tue 30-Nov-21 16:04:48

Thanks ninathenana, I will have a look. She does have a mobile phone but said it's dead, I don't think she knows how to switch it on.

I'm just going to see which network has the strongest signal in her area.

Shandy57 Tue 30-Nov-21 16:06:13

For anyone on the IOW, the indoor signal is the most important for my aunt.

Shandy57 Tue 30-Nov-21 16:53:09

Just used Fb to phone her on her Ipad - she wants a contract too. I think I'll get her something that can offer wifi calling, the island seems to have dodgy coverage with 3, still checking the others.

tinaf1 Tue 30-Nov-21 16:57:01

Doro basic is pretty easy to use large numbers and screen too

Shandy57 Tue 30-Nov-21 17:30:21

Thanks tinafl but that's the one she says is 'dead', she had it as PAYG. I don't think she knows how to turn it on. She does want 'buttons'.

MerylStreep Tue 30-Nov-21 17:42:24

Might it be a good idea for the future for you and your aunt to have an Amazon Echo. That way she could phone you through voice control and you could see what her problems are with her remote etc.

MiniMoon Tue 30-Nov-21 18:57:35

MerylStreep, that was my first thought. Shandy why not invest in two Amazon Echo Shows. Then you could video call each other. I love the "drop in" function.

Shandy57 Tue 30-Nov-21 19:17:13

Thanks for the idea MerylStreep and MiniMoon, I've always avoided Alexa etc, not sure why, think I might have reached my peak of competence in tech! I'll have a look now.

tinaf1 Tue 30-Nov-21 21:02:05

No problem Shandy57, I had one and found it really easy mine was PAYG used to top up using my debit card , you don’t think she has just run out of credit do you.
I have a contract phone now but have kept my Doro as back up.
Although some good ideas from Meryl Streep and Minimoon

Shandy57 Tue 30-Nov-21 21:12:58

Thanks tinafl, that could be the case couldn't it. I doubt she could top up using her debit card, she is frightened of technology and gets aggressive about it. She spent eight weeks trying to make her new Freesat box work. I need to make it as easy as possible for her. Unfortunately I've not found any button contract phones yet.

Shandy57 Tue 30-Nov-21 21:42:46

I've just discovered Vodaphone are turning off their 2G in 2025. I'm stumped, most of the button phones are 2G only.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 01-Dec-21 10:31:48

If she hasn’t used her mobile phone for a few months the company might just have cut her off and taken the credit. It happened to me once with a PAYG phone and I got the service reinstated but the credit I had was lost and I had to buy more. I would look into that first (and of course check the phone is charged!).

Shandy57 Wed 01-Dec-21 13:23:42

Thanks Germanshepherdsmum, but now it's 'dead' she won't agree to do anything with it. I am going to suggest she give it to her neighbour, whose parents are very happy with theirs!

I've bought her a Nokia 130 with big buttons and a small screen, I think she'd prefer it to look more like a 'phone'. I was going round in circles trying to find the Vodaphone PAYG 1 deal where you pay £1 per day for use, and came across the 1pmobile SIM service. It's a triple SIM so should fit the phone, and I've paid £36 and it should last her for the year. It was the top up texts I was trying to avoid.

I'm having it sent to me so I can set it up before I send it, but dread posting it on - she does become so unpleasant when she cannot understand something and the 'thing' is stupid.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 01-Dec-21 13:32:32

Oh dear. She’s very lucky to have you!

M0nica Wed 01-Dec-21 14:12:02

Why not speak to Age UK. They run classes and the like to get older people using conputers. They may be able to recommend a tutor who could visit your aunt and suggest possible phones for her and then tutor her in them.

You could also prepare crib sheets for her. One headed, for example, Phone not working 1) The battery needs charging 2) You have not turned it on, sending her to crib sheets to help her do both.

tinaf1 Wed 01-Dec-21 14:17:45

Hope you get her sorted Shandy57 used to have an Auntie like this ,you end up tearing you hair out 😩

Visgir1 Wed 01-Dec-21 14:19:11


Doro basic is pretty easy to use large numbers and screen too

Yep, we go one for my 89 year old Mum.

Shandy57 Wed 01-Dec-21 14:33:01

That's the one that's dead Visgirl, she wouldn't entertain me talking her through it. Gets the best reviews!

Shandy57 Wed 01-Dec-21 21:35:03

I feel a bit annoyed. My aunt has a friend of a similar age who has put a note through her door saying she doesn't like to think of her without a phone, and hopes I'll be sending a mobile very soon!

4allweknow Thu 02-Dec-21 10:52:32

Isn't there any organisation, church that may have some who can physically help to sort out the technical problem and perhaps advise best solution. I have a 90 year old friend who struggles with phones etc. A member of the local Round Table helps her if she has technical problems.

Pearlsaminger Thu 02-Dec-21 10:52:40


I feel a bit annoyed. My aunt has a friend of a similar age who has put a note through her door saying she doesn't like to think of her without a phone, and hopes I'll be sending a mobile very soon!

If her friend is so concerned, she could buy her a mobile phone herself. That way she wouldn’t have to worry about her, and she could drop the phone off there and then - no waiting around for the postman! 😂😂

MerylStreep Thu 02-Dec-21 11:00:58

You might find your aunt likes Alexa. Your aunt could ask her all sorts of things and get a response.
There’s some good offers on Amazon at the moment.
I would also say Amazon have a very good help team with Alexa if there’s any problems.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 02-Dec-21 11:08:16

Good suggestion Meryl, though the aunt sounds as if she might bin Alexa if she didn’t get the reply she wanted!😁