Suitable Mobile Phones For The Elderly

Mobile technology is rapidly evolving. Besides a variety of hearing aids, the market offers numerous assistive products for people with hearing problems. Historically, when talking about hard of hearing phones, many referred to and had in mind phones for the home. However, amplified mobile technology is more widely available than ever before.

A number of companies such as Geemarc, Doro and Amplicomms now take into account the needs of people requiring hearing assistance and provide a range of mobile phones specifically suited to the special needs of the hard of hearing. Contrary to many people's apprehensions, hard of hearing phones look modern and can include extras such as a coloured screen, camera, Internet and many other features found on regular mobile phones and smartphones. When it comes to choosing a phone for an elderly person, however, it is necessary to pay attention to several important features. Growing older brings several different challenges not only for those with hearing loss but also with deteriorated vision and diminished dexterity. Therefore, choosing the right model for the individual needs to take into account the degree of difficulty that these areas present to that individual, some features to look for when choosing the right mobile phone

  • Affordable price - there seems little point paying for a multiple functions on a phone for those that simply won't use them.
  • Easy to access volume controls
  • Vibration ring alert
  • Large buttons for easy dialling and texting
  • Speakerphone
  • Large bright screen
  • Emergency call button
  • Simplicity of use

Always make sure that the mobile phone you choose has a suitable return period - you should be able to use the phone for a period of time to ensure its suitability.

Hearing Direct's catalogue offers a variety of options that include the above mentioned essential features. One of our clients' favourite phones with very favourable feedback is the Amplicomms PowerTel M7000i Clamshell Loud Mobile Phone. Its main characteristics are:

  • Handset volume amplification of up to 35dB
  • Bluetooth
  • Hearing aid compatibility
  • Large display and buttons
Another important factor to consider for hard of hearing mobile phones is the volume increase capabilities. For mild to moderate hearing loss you can choose a model with up to +24dB amplification of the receiving volume such as the Amplicomms M6750 Amplified Clamshell Mobile Phone, which is in the very price competitive range. This handy clamshell mobile phone is very easy to use, as its main function is to conduct phone calls and send/receive text messages. It is compatible with hearing aids, which have a Telecoil setting and some of its most valuable features include:
  • LED visual alert for incoming calls, SMS and battery charge
  • Phonebook stores up to 250 names & number entries
  • Backlit keypad
  • SOS function by physical button
For more severe hearing loss you can choose a phone with a +35dB receiving volume amplification such as the Geemarc CL8500, whose characteristics are quite impressive:
  • Clamshell design for easy answering and to prevent accidental button press
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Talking Caller ID (10 numbers max)
  • Talking keypad
  • Alarm clock with a snooze function
  • A keypad with large buttons
  • White backlight
  • Vibration selectable for incoming call
  • Loud Ringer (up to approx. 90dB @ 1meter)
  • An emergency button
  • User friendly navigation
Original article date 11/1/2012, updated 16/4/2014