Approximately 3.6 million elderly people live alone in the UK, and having access to a mobile phone can improve the quality of life for senior relatives who may otherwise feel lonely or isolated. Whether it's through social media or a regular phone call, a mobile phone is a fantastic way to stay connected.
To help seniors regain independence and keep in contact with loved ones, we've ranked the top 10 best mobiles and smartphones for the elderly in the UK. From handsets with large buttons, to the Android Accessibility Suite, we compare mobile phones from Apple, Samsung, Doro and more.
Picking the right mobile phone for seniors can be a difficult prospect, due to difficulties with dexterous tasks, poor eyesight, and the fact some may find modern technology overwhelming. Whether they're tech-savvy or not, we'll go through all the features to look out for in our handy buying guide below.
The most important decision to make is what type of phone is best suited to the person who's going to be using it. Choosing between a smartphone and a more traditional design is the first step in picking the right one.
While it's easy to underestimate how tech-savvy some seniors are, there are a large number of elderly people who find using modern smartphones and computers incredibly stressful and intimidating. Thankfully, there are many phone manufacturers who still make traditional button-based phones that are easy to hold and operate.
If your elderly relative has mobility issues, like arthritis or tendonitis, then we'd recommend a phone with large buttons that are comfortable to press. That said, traditional phones with smaller buttons can be frustrating to use, so you may be better off choosing a simple smartphone aimed at the elderly with large icons instead.
Nearly everyone over the age of 40 develops a condition called presbyopia which causes you to lose the ability to focus on small print and objects. So when choosing a mobile phone for an elderly relative, you want the screen to be as big and clear as possible. Undoubtedly, smartphones offer the biggest and highest definition screens around.
You may be surprised at how up-to-date many seniors are with modern technology, as almost 10 million people in the UK over the age of 55 have a Facebook account. Having a smartphone with internet capabilities is a great way for them to stay connected with younger relatives who may not be able to visit often.
Picking the largest screen possible isn't always the best idea, because large phones can be very difficult to hold and operate. Those with large dimensions also tend to weigh more than smaller handsets. Flip phones offer the best of both worlds when it comes to large screen devices that are easy to operate.
Flip phones are often lightweight and simple to use, folding down into a neat little package that doesn't take up any space in a bag or pocket. There are many flip phones that are aimed exclusively at the elderly thanks to their ease of use, long battery lives, and cheap pay-as-you-go plans.
Size and weight are crucial when picking the best mobile phone for a senior relative. So it's worth giving some time and consideration to make sure that the phone is comfortable in your hand and pocket.
In terms of weight, we wouldn't recommend anything over 200 g for a smartphone, but that depends on how much strength and mobility your elderly relative has in their hands. For more traditional designs, you shouldn't have much difficulty finding handsets that are around 100 g or less.
When looking at dimensions, there is some payoff between the overall size of the phone and the size of the screen, but 17 cm in length should be the uppermost limit. It's also worth looking out for "simple modes" or other features that increase the size of the icons and text.
Having a phone that can hold a battery charge is extremely important when it comes to everyday use, but more importantly, you want it to be available in case of an emergency. Batteries are measured in milliamp-hours (mAh) and the higher the number, the larger the battery capacity.
For smartphones, anything with a battery of 3000 mAh or higher can deliver multiple days worth of charge, provided it's not being used to watch videos for hours on end every day. When it comes to simpler, more traditional mobiles, even those with relatively small 800 mAh batteries will keep a charge for a full week on standby.
Now that you've had a chance to look through the different features that make mobile phones more suitable for seniors, it's time to check out our top 10 recommendations! Whether you're thinking about picking up an inexpensive smartphone or a handset with large buttons, there's something for everyone.
|Dimensions||13.8 x 6.7 x 0.7 cm|
|Dimensions||13.8 x 9.7 x 4.9 cm|
|Dimensions||12.9 x 8.7 x 7.4 cm|
|Dimensions||16.34 x 7.72 x 0.88 cm|
|Dimensions||4.8 x 11.1 x 1.42 cm|
|Dimensions||9.4 x 4.83 x 1.7 cm|
|Dimensions||15.99 x 7.51 x 0.84 cm|
|Dimensions||15.2 x 7.6 x 0.9 cm|
|Dimensions||16.52 x 7.57 x 0.91 cm|
|Dimensions||19.5 x 15.7 x 5 cm|
F200 Flip Phone
Big Button Mobile Phone
Big Button Mobile Phone
The Smartphone Specifically Designed for Seniors
A Budget Option for Tech-Savvy Seniors
Emergency Functions for Vulnerable Relatives Living Alone
Accessibility Suite Makes Navigation Easy
A Solid Flip Phone With Camera and Radio
A Reliable Phone That Holds Charge
An Entry Into the World of Smartphones
Included Dock to Keep Phone Safe and Charged
Big Button Phone for Those Not Worried About Surfing the Web
Considered the Best Apple iPhone for the Elderly
|Type||Smartphone||Smartphone||Big Button||Smartphone||Flip Phone||Big Button||Smartphone||Big Button||Big Button||Smartphone|
|Dimensions||19.5 x 15.7 x 5 cm||16.52 x 7.57 x 0.91 cm||15.2 x 7.6 x 0.9 cm||15.99 x 7.51 x 0.84 cm||9.4 x 4.83 x 1.7 cm||4.8 x 11.1 x 1.42 cm||16.34 x 7.72 x 0.88 cm||12.9 x 8.7 x 7.4 cm||13.8 x 9.7 x 4.9 cm||13.8 x 6.7 x 0.7 cm|
|Weight||175 g||175 g||106 g||189 g||190 g||73 g||197 g||118 g||150 g||148 g|
|Battery||3200 mAh||5000 mAh||1000 mAh||4500 mAh||800 mAh||1020 mAh||4000 mAh||1400 mAh||1400 mAh||1821 mAh|
The evolution of smart tech has resulted in a plethora of consumer electronics that can help elderly relatives retain their independence and manage daily tasks around the home. Whether that's voice activated smart plugs, or key finders to help locate misplaced items, we've linked some of the top recommended tech for seniors below!
A mobile phone is an inexpensive way to really help elderly relatives feel more connected to their families. Whether through a daily phone call, or being able to scroll through pictures on social media, every senior should have a mobile phone of some sort, even those who are technophobes!
Author: David Sexton
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