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The Best Jitterbug Phone For Seniors To Have In 2022

Staying connected to your loved ones are essential for every person — more so for senior citizens. However, with the current market focused on smartphones with high-tech features, how can older generations keep up? 

Introduced in 2005, the Jitterbug was marketed because of its supposed simplicity. Fast-forward to 2022, they’re marketed primarily for senior use. Jitterbug phones highlight functionality and ease of use, making them the best phones for the elderly.

Continue reading to learn more about the advantages of Jitterbug phone for seniors and how you may purchase one for a loved one for both their comfort and your peace of mind.

Types Of Jitterbug Phones For Seniors

A Jitterbug phone is one of the best ways to introduce technology to senior adults. If you are planning to buy a Jitterbug phone for your senior loved one, you may select one of two types: the Jitterbug Flip Phone and the Jitterbug Smart3 Phone. 

They both offer ease and practicality for seniors, making them some of the most ideal purchases for older folks looking to be more reachable. The Flip Phone offers basic functions— receive calls and send text messages. As opposed to the Smart3 Phone, it provides more features— cameras, video chat, voice typing, to name a few.

Product NameJitterbug Flip Phone Jitterbug Smart3 Phone
Price$74.99$112.49
Size4.3 x 2.19 x 0.75 in0.32 x 2.93 x 6.25 in 
Weight0.13 kg0.17 kg
User-friendlinessBig buttons, list-based menuLarge screen and list-based menu 
Amazon Alexa YesYes
Voice typing NoYes
SOS buttonYes
Urgent Care AccessYesYes

1. Jitterbug Flip Phone

Jitterbug Flip Phone

Pros

  • Simple keypad with large buttons
  • Loud speaker with healing aid compatibility
  • Large print text aided with a magnifying tool

Cons

  • No voice-to-text feature
  • Poor battery life than the Smart3
  • Does not have an advanced camera

The Jitterbug Flip Phone delivers a sense of nostalgia with its classic design. This simplistic model from Lively is an ideal pick for senior citizens because it delivers on basic modes of communication, with features that aren’t overwhelming for seniors.

You won’t have to worry about fussing over apps with the Jitterbug flip phone because they are too small. It boasts a sleek, clamshell exterior, available in red and graphite colors. With extra large, legible buttons, texting and navigating is faster, even for users with vision impairments.

For easier access by people with vision or dexterity concerns, the Flip is equipped with access to Amazon Alexa. By using voice commands, users can access calls, texts, weather information, or set reminders.

Though no one wants emergencies, this phone is equipped with a star-shaped SOS button for the user to press for Urgent Response. With this service, a senior will be connected to a trained operator who can assess and manage the situation.

2. Jitterbug Smart3 Phone

Jitterbug Smart3 Phone

Pros

  • Large backlit screen with large, readable fonts
  • Talk-to-text feature and video chatting
  • Simple and accessible touch-screen menu

Cons

  • Weaker audio than the Jitterbug Flip
  • The touch screen may be hard to navigate for seniors with dexterity issues
  • Slower internet processing speeds than other phones

If your loved one can handle a little more advancement, the Jitterbug Smart3 Phone is a better choice. It looks like your traditional smartphone with features and apps for customization, but instead of confusing users with complex features, it puts simplicity and safety at the forefront.

Senior users with visual problems will appreciate the responsive touch screen with larger fonts. The menu is very straightforward to avoid confusion and encourage quick navigation. For those with visual impairments, this smartphone has a voice-typing feature that simplifies the messaging function.

Aside from being a communication tool, the Jitterbug Smart3 is a safety device for seniors. Users are a phone call away from board-certified doctors and nurses. Plus, seniors may also use the Health and Safety Packages offered by Lively to make it a medical alert device, sending help at the press of an emergency button.

Choosing A Simple Phone For Seniors To Use

When shopping for a phone for seniors, it’s important to look for a device that will be able to meet their specific needs, while ensuring that the cost is within your budget. Moreover, seniors may not be able to adapt to high-tech devices, especially if you consider their physical limitations like failing eyesight and hearing.

Comparing two Jitterbug phones is all it takes. Though both offer similar solutions, they still have their own distinctions. So, before you decide on going for a Jitterbug Flip or a Jitterbug Smart3, here are some factors you should look at.

Screen 

When choosing a smartphone for seniors, you should ensure you get one with a large screen that shows everything clearly. Many older adults have trouble seeing well, so the screen size, font size, and brightness of the screen all play into how easily they can use it.

Most seniors that purchase smartphones would rather have a more prominent display, especially with the touch-screen feature. They would need a 5.5-inch screen at the very least, so they will be able to clearly see the menu, as well as comfortably touch the buttons on the screen.

Even if they opt for basic flip phones, they also need a screen with enough space to feature large icons and vivid, high-contrast colors for easier readability. 

Internet Access

With everything being accessible via the internet, it’s no surprise if your senior loved one would also want to have access at the touch of your fingertips.

As a carer, you have to conclude whether your senior needs internet access on their phone or not. Some seniors might get overwhelmed with all the accessibility a smartphone provides.  However, some senior adults see internet access as a necessity, especially in these cases:

  • They utilize social media to reach out to their friends and family members.
  • They love going out and you want them to utilize the GPS system to have map access or share their location with you in case they get lost.
  • They love using video chat features to get in touch with the people in their lives.
  • They cannot go out a lot and need means to shop for their needs.
  • They need to watch out for their health, as well as have means to request for urgent assistance.

Health Monitoring 

Most smartphones possess the capacity to sync with various programs that may help monitor and track an individual’s health condition. Health monitoring apps make aging easier for seniors, family caregivers, and medical professionals. It is an important feature to consider, especially if you want to keep your senior loved one safe and healthy.

Health monitoring apps can help in tracking nutrition, sleep patterns, and medicine schedules. Some also have features that help in monitoring their heart disease, diabetes, mental health, and more. 

Image Storage

Seniors like to shoot and show off images of loved ones or the areas they’ve seen. Suppose a loved one utilizes the phone for a camera. A smartphone with good quality cameras and sufficient storage might be a good choice in that case.

If photography is something they enjoy doing and sharing with their loved ones, you should ensure that their phone features a camera. Though the Flip has a camera, it is limited to a 2-megapixel camera. It can take photos, but not as clear as the Smart3.

With the Smart3, you get a 13-megapixel camera, definitely a huge jump, and is at par with regular smartphones on the market today.

Special Features

It is the added touches that make Jitterbug phones one of the best options for seniors, apart from the standard features. They come with health and safety features that ensure senior’s connection to their loved ones and emergency response services:

  • Urgent Care - Jitterbug offers their customers a connection to medical professionals without having to go to the hospital. At the simple press of a button, seniors can consult doctors and nurses to help them stay connected during a potential home emergency.
  • Urgent Response Service - Jitterbug also offers emergency monitoring services, seemingly turning a basic phone into a medical alert device. Jitterbug phones feature a red-star button. Simply press the red star and get connected to operators that will send first responders to your location and help you.
  • Brain Games - Jitterbug phones also feature brain games, an option to keep your brain sharp and give a source of entertainment. These fun activities enhance memory and spatial skills, helping the mind stay active and moving.
  • Personal Operator - Jitterbug phones also connect its users to personal operators who can help seniors find important information like phone numbers and physical addresses.

Benefits Of Owning A Jitterbug Phone

While older adults may not exactly be tech-savvy, the Jitterbug Smart2 is marketed as a device for seniors. Older adults and users may not have been exposed to these cell phones or gadgets in their heyday, but it is never too late to start.

Moreover, the best part about Jitterbug phones is that they were designed with seniors’ needs and preferences in mind. At their very core, these phones are simple, straightforward, and easy to use. Even the clumsiest elderly person can handle using them!

Here are the key benefits seniors can enjoy from using Jitterbug phones.

More Engagement And Heightened Mental Activity

Jitterbug phones come with numerous features that can help in engaging the mind. First, the Lively Health and Safety Packages come with brain games. These are digital puzzles that may mitigate memory loss, improve attention, and keep seniors mentally active.

Additionally, seniors can still reap the benefits of a traditional smartphone and take pictures of certain moments and memories with a 13MP camera. They can keep in touch with their loved ones as the Jitterbug Smart2 has a 5MP camera for video chat.

Also, they will have internet access and can stay up-to-date on the latest news and information with some guidance. Though these things may be simple, they keep the brain awake and active. 

By stimulating the mind, memory, and critical thinking, seniors will have the opportunity to improve memory retention, cognition, and other brain functions in a subtle, not strictly educational way.

Quick Responses For Emergencies

Having a medical alert system allows users to signal for help during emergencies with a simple click of a button. Its Urgent Care lets users get in touch with an on-call medical professional, nurse, doctor, or NAED-certified agent immediately, whether to refill a prescription or to seek medical advice even without an appointment.

Through the 5Star service, people contacted can track the user's location if needed. Caregivers can help users download the GreatCall Link app to stay updated on their patient's whereabouts and needs. They will also be notified when the 5Star button is used and then dial 911 if necessary.

During emergencies, even dialing 911 can be taxing for seniors. The 5Star button offers convenience and accessibility that reduces the effort in seeking for help into one single press of a button. In cases where a person suffered from deep injuries or situations where every single second curtains, these quick response features can be a lifesaver.

Senior-friendly Features

It has features that are precisely senior-friendly and thus, easy to use. Its loudspeakers are ideal for adults who have hearing aids. In fact, it comes with the highest rated hearing aid compatibility of M4/T4 to minimize static altogether. Users can dial and text by voice as well.

The cell phone has particularly large buttons with backlights to make dialing easier. Similarly, its large display screen and font are ideal for those who are visually impaired, especially with its simplified list-like menu. One of its pre-loaded apps is the Medication Reminder for those who need specific alerts.

For seniors who have dexterity or visual problems, the Jitterbug Flip2 is equipped with the Amazon Alexa feature. Users can use their voice connected to the smart home system and access their phones. They can use Alexa to make calls, send texts, set reminders, and check the weather. All they have to do is call on Alexa and the phone’s listening ability will be activated.

Purchasing A Jitterbug Phone For Seniors

Have you decided on the best Jitterbug phone for you? It’s time to make a purchase. Here is the process of getting a Jitterbug Flip2 or Smart3.

1. Sign Up And Select Your Phone

First, sign up at the Lively website and choose your desired Jitterbug phone. Don’t worry — there is no need to sign long-term contracts. On the contrary, you are free to enjoy the phone during a 30-day trial so you can test out the device. If it is not up to your standards, you will be charged a $10 restocking fee and you can pick out a different one.

2. Choose Your Phone Plan

The next step is to pick your phone plan. As discussed, Jitterbug phones have their specific plans, some with talk and text features, while others with added data. These phone plans come with Caller ID, Call Waiting, Long Distance, and Roaming options, with additional charges.

You should also consider checking out the Lively Health and Safety Packages to help you elevate your regular phone to a medical alert device.

3. Install And Set Up

To use a Jitterbug phone, you have to prepare a $35 activation fee. Once that is settled, you can wait for the phone to arrive. You will be directed to the Lively website with instructions on phone activation, as there are no physical stores where you can do these activities.

You will be asked for your zip code, and will be prompted to provide the following information:

  • Name of the device holder
  • Carer or caregiver information
  • Serial number of the device
  • Email address
  • Password for your Lively account

If you want a former number to be ported to your Jitterbug phone, you have to reach out to the activation team at 866-397-9291 to check if this is possible.

4. Reach Out To Customer Service

Should you encounter trouble during the installation or setup process, Jitterbug has an exemplary customer service team. Customer support offers help in troubleshooting the issues you have with the device, setting up calls, or even booking transport rides for you.

Moreover, you can avail the add-on services from Lively to have other support services accessible to you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Phones For Seniors

Jitterbug phones offer numerous benefits to seniors who need a communication device. Learn more about using simple phones for old people as we answer the following questions:

1. Can you download apps on the Jitterbug smartphone?

Yes, absolutely. We’ve mentioned that the Jitterbug today is a highly modified product to make function easier for seniors. At its core, it is still an Android-based device that you can load various apps from your Google Play Store. 

2. How much is the Jitterbug phone's activation fee?

In addition to $149.99, the Jitterbug Smart3 has a $35 activation fee. A talk, text, and data plan will also need to be added. These plans range in price from $17.48 for Value Talk & Text plus 100 MB of data to $49.99 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data.

3. Do Jitterbug smartphones have GPS?

Yes. Both the Jitterbug Flip Phone and the Jitterbug smartphone have GPS tracking. It is an essential tool provided as part of the Lively Healthy and Safety Package. The feature is accessible via the GreatCall Link function. There you can even designate family members to keep track of your status and whereabouts. 

4. Where to a buy jitterbug phone for seniors?

Only on the Verizon network, under Network Performance and Connectivity, can you purchase a Jitterbug phone. The Jitterbug phone uses the Verizon network and is run by GreatCall, an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator).

5. Will jitterbug phones work in 2022?

In 2022, wireless providers will stop supporting 3G smartphones. It won't be long before older 3G Tracfone, flip phone, Jitterbug, and other models start to disappear from networks. In addition to being unusable normally, 3G devices won't even be able to call or dial 9-1-1.

Only The Best Cell Phone For Seniors

Both types of Jitterbug phones have many similar and synonymous features. As we’ve already covered, the two were designed with simplifying their respective interfaces for senior use. 

Collective downsides for both flip phones and smartphone include:

  • Low battery lifespan
  • Lack of shared Jitterbug phone plans 
  • No more than two phone choices 

In terms of individual strengths, the Smart2’s access to the internet and applications hold up as well as any other android device. The voice-typing function and simple list-based menu make it easy to navigate without complications. 

Overall, these are the best phones for seniors since they provide good value for money and basic functionality. If you're wondering whether the Jitterbug phones are for you or the elderly loved one in your life, but can't quite decide, read through more of our blogs at Senior Strong to get more insight on senior health care and safety.

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