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Mobile Phones for the elderly

(29 Posts)
Nagmad2016 Tue 24-May-22 14:53:17

My FIL is 87 years old and lives in a care home. He is hard of hearing, despite wearing a hearing aid, and particularly when using his mobile phone. Whenever he is on a call, invariably the call will end mid sentence, or he will complain that he cannot hear the caller.
I suspect that in grasping the sides of his phone, he is unknowingly adjusting the volume, to the point of muting his phone, or indeed, turning the phone off. This is very frustrating for anyone trying to contact him.
Does anyone have experience of a mobile phone specifically for the elderly, that would improve this situation?

Candelle Tue 24-May-22 14:55:58

If someone can show him how to press the speaker button, this will enhance the sound.

The downside is that everyone around will hear the two-way conversation but it very much louder and clearer. If your father in law is in his room, it would be perfect for him.

Nagmad2016 Tue 24-May-22 15:11:39

Yes, thank you, we have tried that. He is in his own room most of the time, so the speaker isn't really a problem. I think that the problem is caused by him grasping the phone exactly where the volume buttons are. My mother used to do the same, they hold the phone very tightly, for fear of dropping it, and inadvertently switch it off. I wondered if anyone could recommend a different make, with maybe alternative volume adjustment.

MiniMoon Tue 24-May-22 15:51:02

Would a protective phone case work. Maybe you could find one which has the control buttons slightly inset.
There are quite a few rugged cases, my DD has one for her phone as she has rheumatoid arthritis and is prone to dropping hers.

Nagmad2016 Tue 24-May-22 16:21:34

MiniMoon. That would be worth a try. I will have a look at his phone when we visit tomorrow and see if it would be suitable. Thank you.

Septimia Tue 24-May-22 16:45:37

I have a case on my phone and I still manage to press the volume buttons accidentally! It would need to be a rigid case to prevent that....

MiniMoon Tue 24-May-22 17:10:47

My phone is in a case which opens like a book. When using it I hold it as if I was reading.
Like this one.

Shandy57 Tue 24-May-22 17:24:33

I bought my aunt a Nokia 130 big button phone. Be warned, when I rang her just after it arrived she said it wasn't working sad She'd also said her previous phone, the Dorio, wasn't working. I am 350 miles away, her neighbour came in to help her luckily.

Link to the phone here - might be able to get it cheaper somewhere else.

www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B074PTD3GM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?psc=1&tag=gransnetforum-21&ie=UTF8

I searched for a way around the 'top up' problem, and found a provider called 1pmobile offering a £36 'year' SIM. Even having explained this to her, she's forgotten, she asked me how to top the phone up the other day.

Nagmad2016 Wed 25-May-22 15:34:45

Seems like a pretty common problem for older people. I tested his phone today, he already has a protective cover. I suspect the problem now lies with the reception. He was moved recently from an upstairs room into a courtyard, ground level room and the reception was very poor for all of our phones. Oh well. Many thanks for all of the suggestions here, I just wish someone would invent a tablet sized phone with clear, large icons on the screen to assist with sending and receiving calls, but that would be going full circle I suppose.

Shandy57 Wed 25-May-22 16:04:26

Does your Dad have a tablet Nagmad2016? If so, if you set up Facebook, he could phone you through Messenger?

The other thing to combat a bad signal is wifi calling, I had to change to '3' PAYG to get this.

Nagmad2016 Mon 30-May-22 14:01:50

Thanks for all of the suggestions. It seems the real problem is with the network signal at the care home. If he goes outdoors to the front of the building, the network reception is fine. I think the signal strength may need a boost. His phone already has a protective case, so I may have been wrong in my first assumption. Thanks again.

Shandy57 Mon 30-May-22 16:22:03

If his phone can operate wifi calling Nagmad2016, I do recommend it.

I hardly ever have a network signal here and would be stuck without the addition of wifi calling. '3' were the only people to offer this in a PAYG SIM when I researched it last March, others might do now.

Shandy57 Sat 11-Jun-22 19:07:12

I bought my aunt a new Nokia big button phone at Christmas, because she said her 'Doro' was 'dead'. She's just been away for a week and I said to take the phone so I could ring her - I tried about three times and it was off.

She's just got back, and guess what? The Nokia I bought her is now 'dead' too! So frustrating as I'm too far away to help, I'm sure she's got problems with her hands now. Either pressing too hard or not hard enough, or something. I've told her to take it to church with her tomorrow and ask one of her many friends to help her. Her lovely neighbour who has helped her for years sadly lost her Dad recently, and is staying at her Mum's, so her normal 'helper' is absent.

I hope you got your Dad sorted Nagmad2016!

Party4 Fri 24-Jun-22 19:02:36

AUNT WEARS DEAF AIDE RELUCTANTLY. DID EVENTUALLY ADMIT TO NOT BEING ABLE TO HEAR HER MOBILE.
WE OFFERED TO RESEARCH NEW ONE AND BUY FOR HER PENDING BIRTHDAY.
SETTLED FOR ONE FROM CORREVANS (ALSO AVAILABLE ON EBAY CHEAPER BUT AS A GIFT HAPPY TO PAY) HAS T3/M4 SUITABLE FOR MOST HEARING AIDES AND VOLUME CONTROL SAFE FOR HARD OF HEARING ALSO HAS QUICK PRESS BUTTON TO SELECTED NUMBERS IN EVENT OF CRISIS..
HER DH WITH DOUBLE AIDES THINKS ITS GREAT SHE IS NON COMMITAL THE COMPANY GET 5 *FOR SERVICE.

Party4 Fri 24-Jun-22 19:07:42

Sorry the firm is Connevans and the phone model was a Swiss Voice ??D26.

Fennel Fri 24-Jun-22 19:26:56

As an elderly person (86) I can tell you how frustrating this is.
I need hearing aids, wear glasses to see the numbers, my fingers are losing their dexterity.
So between looking up the number I want in my ancient address book, writing it down, , remembering the number, moving to phone and and picking up the phone and using my clumsy fingers to dial it correctly And on top of that I have an illogical aversion to, fear of, modern technology.
So I mainly use my landline with the volume up.
it's not so simple.

Fennel Fri 24-Jun-22 19:30:04

ps I have a fliptop mobile phone but only use it to call for help when I'm out. Button on the back.

Hetty58 Fri 24-Jun-22 19:49:27

Nagmad2016, doesn't he have a landline phone in his room? My mother did - with enhanced volume - and tended to use that. (Well, she did, until they had to take away both her phones as she kept calling 999 at night.)

NotSpaghetti Fri 24-Jun-22 19:50:45

Some cases actually block the signals more than others.
Might be worth looking at a signal-friendly case.

NotSpaghetti Fri 24-Jun-22 19:51:57

My 98 year old mother in law has a Doro. It seems to be ok - she does call me accidentally occasionally though!

NanKate Fri 24-Jun-22 21:23:57

My audiologist has linked my hearing aids to my mobile so the conversation comes straight to my ears. If I want DH to hear I press the square so we can both hear the conversation.

annodomini Fri 24-Jun-22 22:36:55

I've just tried holding my phone tightly and my fingers were not touching the volume control which is above the on/off switch. It's possible that the phone could be switched off by accident, though I've never managed to do that. I usually use the speaker option on my phone. And I suppose, at 81, I could be called 'elderly' though I abhor the term.

ElaineI Fri 24-Jun-22 23:36:55

DM can barely work big button BT landline phone now. She had a mobile (granddaughter's old one) a few years ago - fell on the bus and had to get a teenager on the bus to phone me as she had no idea how to use it. Bus driver ended up driving bus to AE where I picked her up. She is registered blind though now and tends to stab at numbers with her finger if she has left her magnifying glass in the living room. Technology has never been her thing - even when younger!

Shandy57 Sat 25-Jun-22 00:02:46

Good point ElaineI - I have my son listed as ICE - in case of emergency - on my mobile. What a lovely bus driver.

Even though I typed up very very basic instructions, along with pictures of the keys to press, my aunt has had her extremely kind neighbour in for the second time in five months to help her with it. I cannot understand why she can't do it, even following the instructions.

NanKate Sat 25-Jun-22 09:50:04

You’re not elderly Annodomini my 97 year old friend is as sparky as ever and if I forget a name of a member of our WI, she reminds me! 😀