Feature-Rich Phones for Seniors - Blog Entry from The Village at Waterman Lakein Greenville, RI

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Feature-Rich Phones for Seniors

​Internet and phone connectivity are required for the Captel technology.

Accommodating Phones for Seniors

There are numerous types of phones on the market today, with variations within each type and brand. While many people have forgone the use of a home phone, also called a land line, altogether, for many seniors it is still a fundamental piece of their home. Home phones now boast features for seniors that go beyond just large print buttons and amplified sound. The phones of today offer a closed caption display that will transcribe everything the caller is saying, and do so with remarkable precision and clarity.  Likewise, caption telephones, which display the dialogue directly on a large screen, are extremely helpful for seniors with hearing impairment. Captel is successfully designing phones with this feature and are available to some for free, via a state program that assists the hearing impaired. (Details on how to apply for a free Captel phone can be found below.)

Cell Phones

Yet we can all agree that mobile devices are clearly becoming the primary mode of communications for the young and old alike. So let’s take a look at some other exciting phone options for seniors available today, particularly within the cellular phone market.

Now there isn’t a mobile phone on the market today that does not offer some kind of “accessibility” feature to assist the hearing and/or sight impaired. These features include visual magnification, voice amplification and in some cases, the ability to read aloud the text on the screen for users who have difficulty seeing or reading typed messages.  These features, while beneficial, only begin to satisfy the unique and varied needs of today’s seniors. 

Now consider GreatCall’s Jitterbug Touch 3 by Samsung, a phone that boasts unprecedented support to the user with things like emergency preparedness, personal health and accessibility to information. In addition to all the great features cell phones nowadays typically offer, GreatCall’s Jitterbug Touch 3 provides the user with a 24/7 emergency call service capable of instantly connecting him or her to a doctor or nurse for consultation, right over the phone. This phone is a great tool for emergency preparedness and accessibility.
Key features:

• 5Star Urgent Response – A paid service utilized via the Cellular network.
• Urgent Care -
• GreatCall link - to easily stay connected to family and friends in an emergency
• Personal Assistant – Friendly unlimited 24/7 assistance with anything!
• GPS Positioning in case of emergency
• Caregiver app lets adult children know where their parents are
• Attachable heart rate monitor to provide important data during doctor calls
• Email, Text, and phone service.
• Bright Color Screen

GreatCall also has a mobile device called the Splash that is strictly for emergency services. This device is a 24/7 hub to connect with emergency response at any time. The device even has integrated fall detection which initiates an operator check-in to check the status of the potential incident. With a completely waterproof design and a mobile connection, the Splash can be brought anywhere!

Land Lines

Many people these days do not even have a land line anymore but for many seniors it is still a fundamental piece of their home. Despite the necessity of a home phone, the utility is lost for many with the inability to hear their callers or see the buttons they are dialing. The industry is now catching up to the needs of seniors with Caption Telephones which display the dialogue directly on a large screen for seniors with hearing impairment.
One of the best producers of these Captioned Telephones is Captel  by Ultratec.
You may be eligible for a free Captel phone through a State program by applying online:

Apply for a CapTel Phone
Rhode Island residents may be eligible to receive a FREE CapTel telephone through the Rhode Island Adaptive Telephone Equipment Loan (ATEL) Program.
Apply online for a Free CapTel Telephone at:
Or Contact:
ATEL Program-Department of Human Services-Office of Rehabilitation Services
5th Floor 40 Fountain Street
Providence, RI 02903
401-462-7857 Office
401-222-1679 TTY
401-222-3574 Fax