Hearing impairments make it a challenge to use regular smartphones. Seniors with mild hearing loss might find themselves shouting during phone calls, while those who wear hearing aids for seniors may hear an annoying interference from their cell phones. Patients diagnosed with more severe hearing problems may not even hold phone conversations anymore.
Should people who have trouble hearing drop mobile phones altogether? Not necessarily! If your senior loved one uses a hearing aid, gift them with the best hearing-impaired cell phones. The market offers dozens of variants. These devices provide voice-to-text translation and hearing aid compatibility, among other convenient features.
The Jitterbug Smart2 ranks among the best cell phones for seniors of all time. This phone was explicitly made for seniors. It even boasts an M4 and T4 rating for acoustic and induction hearing aids, which far exceeds the ANSI standard. Furthermore, the front-facing speakers on this phone make it easy to read and listen simultaneously.
Apart from being compatible with hearing aids, the Jitterbug also showcases an array of phone features that many seniors will find helpful. It can take voice commands, allows for text adjustments, and has a streamlined interface. You can also leave the phone on standby for up to two weeks or use it nonstop for more than eight hours thanks to its long-lasting battery.
The Alcatel Go Flip 3 has unique capabilities. It features the easy-to-use aesthetic of a flip phone and utilizes the multi-function features of modern smartphones. Moreover, this model has an impressive standby battery life of 17 days. Meanwhile, other phones would run out of juice within a few hours from having a phone conversation or two.
People with hearing impairment would also appreciate the M4 and T4 rating on the Go Flip 3. Whether you use induction or acoustic hearing aids, you can expect static-free, audible calls every time. The phone also filters out background noise during calls.
Since most seniors receiving only around $1,000 to $2,000 in pension every month, they might not be able to buy a modern, expensive cellphone. Luckily, you can try the BLU Advance 4 if you need an affordable, reliable phone. It only costs around $40 — two to three times less than the average modern-day mobile phone.
Despite its low price stage, BLU Advance A4 does not lag in functionality. It might not boast the latest technology. However, it does feature a straightforward, user-friendly interface that takes less than a few minutes to master. While BLU does not have an M4 and T4 hearing aid compatibility rating, their devices do not interfere with most hearing aid brands.
If you find old flip phones too bulky and smartphones too complex, try the VOCA V530 Unlocked 3G. This compact, multi-function flip phone showcases top-notch sound quality that many hearing-impaired seniors would appreciate. With its hearing aid compatibility technology, you also don't have to worry about static calls.
Apart from catering to hearing impairment needs, this cell phone also doubles as a medical alert system. It has an accessible SOS button. This feature would be especially useful in emergencies where the user has minimal mobility.
The Jitterbug Flip2 is a classic option when it comes to senior-friendly phones. Whether your senior relative has hearing loss or poor vision, this cell phone can still serve their communication needs. It's also one of the first devices to receive an M4 and T4 rating.
Apart from audible calls and easy-to-read texts, Jitterbug users also get to enjoy a soft-press keypad. Even someone with minimal wrist mobility can quickly press its buttons.
Hearing-impaired seniors who want to enjoy the bells and whistles of modern-day smartphones can opt for an iPhone. These phones are more senior-friendly than most assume. iPhone models upward of iPhone 11 have an M3/T4 rating and support TTY/RTT calls.
Perhaps the only downside is these come with a steep price tag. As of writing, the iPhone 12 sells for around $700, although the price quickly drops whenever Apple releases a new variant.
If you want the functionality of an iPhone without spending nearly $1,000, opt for the LG G8 ThinQ. It costs three times less than an iPhone but offers the same senior-friendly features and functionalities. Enjoy clear, audible, and static-free calls and utilize a streamlined interface.
The Jitterbug serves as the go-to smartphone for many seniors, but is it useful? Senior Strong can give an in-depth review! Use our comprehensive guide on Jitterbugs to learn more about how this cell phone can improve your senior relative's quality of life.
Smartphones are incredibly useful for seniors. Some common uses include making emergency phone calls, video calling family members, checking the weather, and even controlling other smart devices in the home.
Free caption phones are available under the Federal Communication Commission’s CaptionCall service. They have a landline as well as a mobile app option but keep in mind that you must certify that your hearing loss necessitates the use of a captioned telephone service.
The Google Pixel 3A XL is the smartphone with the loudest ringer, while the Samsung Galaxy S10 is a close second. That said, these phones do not have buttons — depending on your needs, it might be better to go with a phone that has buttons despite the ringer not being as loud.
Original Medicare does not cover hearing aids (and their corresponding batteries), but some Medicare Advantage plans are starting to offer hearing benefits.
Compared to traditional speakers, those you find in your phone are often shrunk and flattened to improve the overall functionality of your device. A bigger phone speaker would result in a bulkier phone, which is why even the most high-end smartphones are susceptible to poor audio quality in a noisy environment.
If you are buying hearing aid-compatible phones for someone else, make sure you consult them before pulling the trigger as people have varying preferences. Choose a cell phone model that does not produce interference from hearing aids, has a user-friendly interface, features a long-lasting battery life, and supports at least basic smartphone features.
Ensure that a company representative or agent teaches your aging loved one how to use the cell phone correctly. You cannot expect the elderly to navigate the phone functions by themselves. Many even struggle to make sense of the standard call and text features. Help your relative get a better grasp of their new cell phone by asking them to call you at least once per day.
Maintaining a good quality of life through old age goes beyond hearing-aid compatible phones. If you need more tools for the hearing impaired, Senior Strong can help. Check out our piece on technology aids for the elderly.