Best Cell Phones for Seniors with Dementia

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In this article, we have reviewed the best cell phones for seniors with dementia. If you are in a hurry, the table below gives a quick snapshot of the top ones.

Jethro SC490 4G Unlocked Senior Cell Phone, Big Buttons, Large Display, Loud Volume, SOS Button, Charging Dock Included, Gifts for Elderly & Kids, FCC/IC Certified
What's great?
Compatible with hearing aids; is 4G enabled; SOS feature has GPS
What could be better?
Nothing much
Editor’s Choice
Easyfone Prime-A1 3G Unlocked Senior Flip Cell Phone, Big Button Hearing Aids Compatible Easy-to-Use Flip Mobile Phone with Charging Dock(Black, 3G)
What's great?
Compatible with hearing aids; 2MP camera
What could be better?
No GPS function with SOS feature
Value for Money
USHINING 3G Unlocked Senior Flip Phone Dual Screen T Mobile Flip Phone Unlocked SOS Big Button Large Volume Basic Cell Phone with Charging Cradle for Seniors(Black)
What's great?
Large 2.8" screen; Dual-sim
What could be better?
Not compatible with hearing aids

Cell phones are very handy devices, allowing you to stay connected with the rest of the world. However, for people with dementia, using a cell phone can be quite a challenge. There are around 50 million dementia patients in the world, with 10 million new cases arising every year[1]

Dementia Patient

Dementia severely inhibits a person’s memory. It can make remembering names and phone numbers very difficult. With time, the disease worsens, and carrying out daily activities becomes increasingly difficult, including operating a mobile phone.

Our Top Choice – Jethro 4G Bar Phone For Seniors

The Jethro SC490 4G Unlocked Senior Cell Phone, Big Buttons, Large Display, Loud Volume, SOS Button, Charging Dock Included, Gifts for Elderly & Kids, FCC/IC Certified is our top choice for cell phones for seniors with dementia, for the following reasons:

  • It is 4G enabled, while most competitors are only 3G enabled.
  • The phone is compatible with hearing aids, which comes in handy for people with poor hearing
  • The SOS feature is GPS enabled, which means any emergency message sent out will carry the location coordinates of the phone
  • It has a 2MP camera

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Cell Phones for Seniors with Dementia

#1 Jethro 4G Bar Phone For Seniors

This bar phone from Jethro supports 4G and is compatible with hearing aids.

Jethro 4G Bar Phone For Seniors

Features and Benefits

Jethro brings out this multi-functional bar phone for senior citizens. At 2.8″, the screen on this phone is one of the biggest in the market. The keypad is also designed to have large keys which elders would find easy to use.

There is an SOS button at the back of the phone which can store up to 5 numbers, including 911. When pressed, this will send out an SMS to an emergency number along with the GPS location of the phone.

This product does not compromise battery life. The 1600 mAh battery is one of the most powerful among all phones for seniors.  The phone is 4G compatible and can support most networks in the US. However, it may not work on a Verizon network.

Senior citizens, especially those with dementia may lack fine motor skills. In order to spare them the difficulty of fumbling with a wall charger, this phone comes with a charging dock into which the phone may just be placed.

Jethro also offers very good customer support across the USA and Canada.

Why should you buy it?

This 4G phone offers many essential features. It is compatible with hearing aids. The SOS button comes with a GPS feature that sends out a message with the location of the phone, which can be handy in tracking the user.

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#2 Ushining Flip Phone For Seniors

This dual-sim phone from Ushining has a larger than average screen which makes for good viewing.

Ushining Flip Phones for Seniors

Features and Benefits

Ushining’s 3G phone is ergonomically designed and equipped with all the basic features necessary for use by senior citizens. This phone has a 2.8″ internal and a 1.77″ external screen. These are larger than most competitors and make for a very good viewing experience.

It comes with a 1200 mAh battery that, according to the manufacturer, offers 300 minutes of voice calls and 200 hours standby. It is packed with quite a few features. It has an FM radio, a calculator, a unit converter, a currency converter, and an MP3/MP4 player. It also comes with a flashlight and is blue-tooth equipped.

The buttons are large and easy to use by elders. The phone comes with an oversized dock-charger where the phone can be slid into to charge. This saves the users from the trouble of inserting a small charging jack into a socket.

There are two dedicated dial keys named M1 & M2, while all number keys from 2 to 8 can be used for speed dialing. This saves the users from searching for or manually dialing numbers.

It has slots for 2 sim cards: a regular sim slot for 3G and a nano sim slot for 2G. It also has a provision for a micro SD card of up to 16GB capacity. These come in very handy.

Please note that the phone may not work well with carriers that do not use the AT&T network. This phone has a few drawbacks. It neither has a flashlight nor an SOS button. Both these are essential for senior citizens.

Another area which the manufacturer could have improved is the camera. At 0.3 pixels, it leaves a lot of room for improvement.

Why should you buy it?

You should go for this product if you need a dual-sim phone that can be used by elders.

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#3 UNIWA Senior Cell Phone

UNIWA brings out this compact bar phone for senior citizens.

UNIWA Senior Cell Phone

Features and Benefits

To being with, this UNIWA phone does not have a flip design but has a more classic bar one. There is a key on the right side of the phone which can be used to lock & unlock the phone, to avoid any inadvertent and accidental dialing.

The phone comes with large buttons and a 2.31″ curved TFT screen, that displays a 320×240 pixel definition. The numbers on the buttons are embossed, aiding people with deteriorating eyesight.

Like most other competitors, the number keys 2-9 on this phone can be set as quick dial buttons to reach family and friends. This phone also comes equipped with an SOS button for emergency access.

Most phones for seniors in the market come with only a cradle charger. Though this is definitely more convenient to use while at home, the charger is a tad bulky to use during travel. UNIWA solves this problem by providing this phone with two types of chargers-a wall charger, and a cradle charger.

This phone also comes with a horde of features including an FM radio, a basic 0.3-megapixel camera, an MP3/MP4 player, an alarm clock, and a calculator. The product description also says that this phone is email enabled, but users have not reviewed this feature.

The 1400 mAh battery is supposed to provide you with a 6-hour voice call back up and 10 days of standby.

Why should you buy it?

You should buy this phone if you are looking for a bar phone for seniors with multiple charging options.

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#4 Easyfone 3G Senior Flip Phone

Easyfone comes out with this phone which has a big screen, big buttons, and high volume which make it easy for elders to use.  A big advantage of this phone is that it is compatible with hearing aids.

Easyfone 3G Senior Flip Phone

Features and Benefits

This phone for seniors has a very good clamshell design, where the lid can be opened and closed. It comes in two colors (black & red). Its  2.4″ main screen is sufficiently large to enable comfortable viewing.

Apart from the large main screen, this phone also has a 1.7″ external display on the outside of the flip shell which displays the date & time, basic information about the caller, including their picture (if already saved), reminders, tasks, and alarms.

The keys are made of rubber and are backlit, making them viewable even in the dark. There are two speed dial buttons that also support quick dial.

Another advantage of this phone is its camera. While most products in the market offer a 0.3MP camera, this one has a 2MP one, making for superior image capturing.

This phone has a provision for a single 3G/2G sim card and works best on AT&T or on a carrier that uses the AT&T network. It comes with a disclaimer that the phone will not work well with CDMA carriers or with Verizon, Sprint, Boost, PagePlus.

On the back is the SOS button, which can be used in case of an emergency. The phone can store up to 5 SOS numbers and will quickly dial one after the other when pressed.

The phone is also equipped with a flashlight that can provide illumination to a distance of around 50-100 meters, and comes in very handy in case of electricity failure or if elders need to move around in the dark.

It has a provision for a micro SD card. Users have mentioned that the battery life of this phone is very good.

Why should you buy it?

If you want a phone for senior citizens that is compatible with a hearing aid & has a long battery life, you should look no further. It also has a good camera.

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#5 Ushining Hearing Aid Compatible 3G Phone

This hearing aid compatible bar phone from Easyfone comes in black color and has a large screen.

Ushining Hearing Aid Compatible 3G phone

Features and Benefits

Ushining has come out with this easy-to-use bar phone.

This phone has a 2.4″ HD screen with a resolution of 320×240 pixels, which is easy on the eyes. The buttons also have big fonts which are ideal for people with poor visibility. The phone is enabled with an SOS button, pressing which can call up to 5 stored emergency numbers.

The phone also boasts of M4/T4 hearing aid compatibility, making it usable for people wearing hearing aid devices. The powerful speaker ensures that the audio is loud and clear. The built-in MP3 player can be used through the speaker without the need for headphones.

The flashlight is rated to provide illumination of about 30 meters. However, please remember that there is no dedicated button for the flashlight. Long-press the 0 to turn it on or off.

The phone can be charged by placing it into the dock. At 1000 mAh, the battery is not as powerful as its competitors. Another drawback of the phone is that it only supports 3G networks, that too only AT&T and dependent carriers.

Why should you buy it?

If you are looking for a 3G phone for senior citizens, which is very loud and easy to use, look no further.

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What should you look for in a cell phone for seniors with dementia?

Type of phone: Smart vs feature and flip vs bar

Dementia patients may find it incredibly difficult to operate a smartphone with a lot of features. It may hence be advisable to give them a simple feature phone with calling and messaging features.

They may use a flip or a bar phone based on their convenience. While a flip phone may fit into the palm of a hand when folded, opening, and closing it may be complicated with those lacking fine motor skills. In such instances, a bar phone may be simpler.

Screen size

As we grow older, our vision tends to deteriorate. Seniors must hence be provided with a phone that has a large display. Given that most phones used by seniors with dementia are feature phones, a screen size of over 2.4″ may be considered.

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SOS button

One of the most essential features of a phone for seniors is the SOS button. Dementia patients may often get lost or need urgent attention. In such instances, they may not be able to dial numbers to reach people.

The SOS button when pressed, calls up a set of emergency numbers including 911. Some phones even come with a GPS feature, which sends out a message to the emergency numbers with the user’s location.

Network connectivity

Another big feature of phones for seniors is network connectivity. Most phones in the market are only 2G and 3G enabled. With 3G technology in its twilight, users of carriers like Verizon may not find it possible to use such phones.

It may hence be wiser to for phones which use 4G technology. Such phones are few and far in the market, and due diligence should be done to identify them.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Cell Phones for Seniors With Dementia

Do seniors with dementia need cell phones?

Cell phones can be both a boon and a challenge for seniors with dementia. However, it is important that they are able to be in touch with their loved ones. Cell phones give them a certain level of comfort and are therefore necessary for them.

Is it difficult for seniors with dementia to use cell phones?

With receding memory and cognitive abilities, seniors with dementia may find it challenging to use electronic devices. However, with practice, they too can manage to use a cell phone to stay in touch with loved ones.

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How much do cell phones for seniors with dementia cost?

Cell phones for seniors come at a variety of prices. However, the most popular ones cost between 50 and 70 dollars, depending on the features provided, like the SOS button, flashlight, 4G connectivity, multiple sim slot, etc.

What precautions should be taken when seniors with dementia use cell phones?

As with most other cell phone users, seniors too are prone to telemarketing calls. However, unlike others, they may not be able to identify them and may end up wasting a lot of time on them.

Seniors with dementia should be taught to not answer the phone from anyone they do not find familiar. They must also be taught to not use the SOS feature unless absolutely necessary.

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In this article, we have selected the best cell phones for adults with dementia, based on the features mentioned in the buyers’ guide and the ratings and comments mentioned by actual users on Amazon.

In our opinion, the Jethro SC490 4G Unlocked Senior Cell Phone, Big Buttons, Large Display, Loud Volume, SOS Button, Charging Dock Included, Gifts for Elderly & Kids, FCC/IC Certified is the best choice among the various options that we have considered because it is 4G enabled, compatible with hearing aids, and the SOS feature is GPS enabled.

If you are looking for a value for money option, you can also consider the Easyfone Prime-A1 3G Unlocked Senior Flip Cell Phone, Big Button Hearing Aids Compatible Easy-to-Use Flip Mobile Phone with Charging Dock(Black, 3G), which offers great value and features at a very reasonable price point.

For more senior-friendly devices such as laptops, intercoms, and home phones; don’t forget to visit our other reviews.