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Types Of Telephones For The Elderly

Video Transcript For The Hard Of Hearing:

One of the terms most often entered into Google when we’re looking for phones as the type that you see here are, phones for the elderly. Of course, that can often mean that people are looking for a variety of different features and benefits that these phones can provide. And so I thought it might be helpful to talk about some of the phones and range of phones and styles of phones that we have here at HearingDirect, with a particular view to providing them for somebody who I’d say certainly from sort of mid 80’s onwards in terms of defining the phones for the elderly. Anything under the age of sort of 85 I guess, we have a big and broad range of phones that might well suit.

But I’ve chosen three models here that I think are particularly good for those with – the typical challenges is if you like of growing old, and probably in the sort of 85+ category. So taking them individually, this is a phone for the home, it’s a desk phone, it requires plugging into the mains power and also into the telephone socket. This one is called the AmpliPower 50 from Geemarc. We actually have several phones that look very much the same in terms of the shell, the carcass. I have chosen this one because it is actually our loudest desk phone that we do, but we do have ones that aren’t quite so high in volume but they have a lot of similar features. Typically those that are mature in years are going to have similar parallel challenges. Some of them are going to be hearing related, some of them are going to dexterity related, and some of them are going to be related to vision. So the phones that I’ve chosen here are designed to hopefully help with all three of those issues at the same time.

So if we take this desk phone, as I was talking about, several features here I would draw your attention to. The tone and volume control for this phone can be set by moving these sliders. And once set they are going to revert back to type, therefore they can stay – left at the desirable position. The numbers clearly are very much larger and you’ll note they are white numbers on a dark background, and those are very important factors with regards to improving the visual aspect of being able to see the numbers and being able to use the dialing facilities.

Another benefit here you see these colored buttons up here, these are speed dials and they can be preprogrammed with friends or family or relatives, whoever that they may need to call most often. And in the case of some kind of an emergency, it’s great to have a set of numbers here that are already preprogrammed, instantly just lift the receiver and dial the number.

One of the other benefits of this phone with regards to being specifically good for those sort of 85+ is, I was talking about dexterity. Well, this handset, as you see here, is actually a much easier to grip handset than, for example, you might find on some of the more traditional desk phones that are available out there through the normal distributors. It is a very traditional design, it’s very easy to grip and it’s very difficult to drop even if you haven’t got great strength in your hands. And it’s also very easy to relocate within the unit, so it won’t move around, it’s very easy to replace. And I certainly would steer people, anybody in the direction of a phone that needed for all of the issues with regards to visual limitations, dexterity and volume. This by far and away is the best option of all phones in my opinion, not just this model but this type of phone as opposed to the cordless phone that you see here or indeed the mobile phone that you see here.

But there are some people and there are some circumstances that they might need a cordless phone or a mobile phone, possibly even in addition to desk phone. But my first piece of advice would be, if you’re looking to try and get the phone for somebody over the age of 85, I’d definitely steer you or encourage you in this direction to go with this type of phone, ahead of a cordless phone. I’ll explain why I do think this is probably one of the best cordless phones we do if you are going to go down the root of a cordless phone for the elderly.

The reason I like this is that it is simplest to use, it’s a big button, again it has this dark background with the white text on it. It isn’t packed with a load of features that are unnecessary, and therefore makes a good option. It’s called the BigTel 200 from Amplicomms. And as I said, I think it makes a good option for a cordless phone if it is to be used as a cordless – as a solution. The reason I caution against cordless phones, full stop, although this is the best of the bunch for the circumstances, you will see that, for example, on the side of the phone you have got the volume control for up and down. It is also typically located very close to where one might hold the phone for use in terms of conversation. And again if you have dexterity challenges or you are struggling to hold or grip the phone, it’s very easy-to-use these keys by mistake or in accident.

The other thing is that it is one single width, all the way up and down unlike the receiver here, and therefore gripping or holding this requires more dexterity. And as I said, in general the buttons are smaller because they are part of the phone. So it has also a lot of the same features, it’s got the speed dials up here, it does have volume control, it does have bigger buttons than a normal cordless phone. But in general, I would caution against getting a cordless phone particularly for the sort of over 85 mark here, but if you do that it might be an appropriate solution, I would definitely recommend the BigTel 200.

Finally, just moving onto the mobile phone, this might seem strange thing for somebody to buy for or indeed buy for themselves or buy for somebody, who is over 85, primarily because mobile technology is not particularly well looked upon by people of that age. That said, actually there are some great reasons and great advantages to having a mobile phone. One of the main reasons is that depending on where the person concerned is living, particularly if they are living in a some form of assisted-living environment or indeed in a nursing home of some sort, then the idea of a mobile phone is great, because you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ve got their own phone line in, which either one of these two would require. It’s simply a case of putting any SIM card of any major operator: T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange, etc. etc., O2. Any of their SIM cards will work in this phone and you don’t have to have a contract, that can just be prepaid, and in fact most of the time they can just receive calls. But they are a great way of staying in touch with somebody that perhaps struggles to find the right environment for either one of two of these. And also if the person concerned is actually still relatively mobile, and out and about, and moving independently, shopping or whatever they may be doing, it is also a great thing to have because these sorts of phones are a way of immediately contacting someone if there are any problems.

In this case this particular phone has an SOS feature, so that when that’s enabled, which it can be left permanently enabled, it can then mean that it will then result rather in a preprogram set of numbers being dialed by the phone until a human response is obtained. So there are some good features and some good advantages to having a mobile phone, full stop.

And in the case of this particular model, this actually is the M6500 from Amplicomms or the PowerTel M6500. Actually I would recommend the model below this, the M6200 purely in terms of its simplicity and price. However, this is a good option too in a sense that it does have greater levels of amplification, and if volume on the mobile phone is required, this is a great one to go for. It’s much louder than any of the other traditional mobile phones that you might find in a standard high-street shop. So I’d definitely consider this type of mobile phone with amplification, again, with a dark background and the light numbers making it easy to distinguish, and a simple answer and end call facility.

And this one, the M6200 and the M6500, both of them have good levels of technology, the M6500 is superior and does have a lot more features, but also has the volume, but if you’re looking for a really simple, very basic easy-to-use mobile then the M6200 from Amplicomms is a good phone to go for if you don’t need particularly loud volumes.

So that gives you a good idea of the sort of phones that are available from HearingDirect, particularly for the elderly. However, I would absolutely advice calling one of our own great customer services team. They are available 9 to 5 five days a week on 0800-032-1301 or you can email us after-hours in the evening and weekends at . We normally respond within 24 hours. We’d be happy to provide further advice if you were looking for a phone for the elderly, a friend or relative or indeed if you’re looking one for yourself, we’ll be happy to provide a whole raft of advice and more detail on the range that’s available from HearingDirect.

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