If your loved one lives alone at home, it’s quite likely you’ve encouraged them to get a mobile phone. Whilst the younger generation still lead the way when it comes to using technology, a recent study found that 71% of 55-75-year-olds now own a mobile phone. The research suggests that the age group has seen a faster adoption rate than any other over the past five years. However, it also highlights that members of the demographic tend to use their phone less than younger people.
Why do we need a Mobile Phone?
The younger generation use their phone for pretty much everything, but the older generation may not use it for the same reasons. Here are a few common uses for your loved one:
- Making emergency calls.
- Keeping in touch with family.
- Chatting with friends.
- Checking the weather.
- Keeping a diary through the calendar.
- Set reminders.
- Tracking health through different apps.
- Accessing the internet.
Potential Benefits of Having a Mobile Phone
Having a mobile phone can help your loved one to combat boredom, especially if they live alone. Features like audio books and podcasts are a great way of keeping their minds active. More so, it’s easier for those who have limited eyesight and find it difficult to read books or newspapers.
In addition, there are many free game apps available which can help to keep them challenged and entertained.
If your loved one has a mobile phone, they will probably feel more connected to their friends and family. Phone calls made through a landline telephone are not as common as they once were. Whilst this is still popular with the older generation, younger people don’t tend to take part.
With a mobile phone, loved ones can easily keep in touch in lots of different ways. Family members can easily send and receive pictures and videos, as well as sending the occasional text. Having a mobile phone can also enable video chatting, which is especially helpful for those who like far away from their family and grandchildren.
As well as game apps, there are also lots of practical apps which help to make life easier and more efficient:
- The alarm clock can be set at specific times, daily, to ensure medication is taken at the right time.
- The timer can be used when cooking so the oven isn’t left on or the gas ring still lit.
- The weather app can help to plan the day or receive severe weather warnings.
- The health app can be used to track steps and see how active they have been.
If your loved one would like to sharpen their thinking, they can use brain-training apps. These apps can help to improve memory and logical thinking. As a result, this can help to slow the ageing process and help keep them feeling mentally fresh.
Potential Disadvantages of Having a Mobile Phone
Lots of Options
Smartphones come with hundreds of features, which can be overwhelming. Especially when your loved one only wants to use a few of the basic features, like texting or looking at the date and time.
An Extra Expense
Even a very simple mobile phone will cost at least £100, some one the top-of-the-line phones can reach the £1000 price point. Additionally, some phone providers can lock your loved on to a long-term contract. This usually means they will be paying a monthly fee for at least a year or more.
A lot of the elderly population can be reluctant to learn an entirely new set of skills and feel they don’t have to. It can sometimes be frustrating trying to learn something which is so alien, especially when it’s almost second nature to the younger generation.
Virtual Assistant – Most of the latest mobile phones come with a virtual assistant. For example, iPhones have ‘Siri’ who responds to voice commands and questions.
Electronic Tracking – If your loved one often misplaces their glasses or keys, it might be useful to buy electronic tracking tiles. They can add the items they lost the most and then track them with their phone. Turn on the alert from your phone and the tile added will make a bleeping noise, leading to the misplaced object.
Volume – All phones come with adjustable volumes. If your loved one is hard of hearing, they can easily change the volume without having to search for the right setting.
Larger Text – To make it easier to read the content of the phone, they will be able to adjust the size of the text to make it bigger.
How to get the most out of your mobile phone
Having a mobile phone helps older people to live more independently at home. It can improve their social life and teach them new skills about modern technology. However, it does have its draw backs for some, and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends.
Another great way to stay independent and secure at home is a Careline Alarm. You can learn more about our service in our in-depth guide, by getting in touch with our Customer Service Team on 0800 101 3333, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.