Easy mobile phone: What easy mobile devices are available for someone with dementia?

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What easy mobile devices are available for someone with dementia?


On behalf of a senior couple: The husband has dementia but is still able to ride his bike. His wife can track him on her mobile device using an app. However, he does not know how to use the mobile phone if he needs help. What device, maybe a pager-like device, might be best for him to have if he needs help? What is available that is easy for someone with dementia to use?

Our answer

Being able to remain in touch with a loved can provide a great deal of security. Some people may already own a mobile smart phone, but the interface is not accessible or user-friendly. This is a universal frustration and experience that has led to the development of applications that replace a phone’s interface. These applications are installed onto the users existing mobile smart phone and are set up to replace the phone’s pre-existing manufactures interface.  This process is meant to be user friendly and can be done by caregivers and users alike. Below are some options you may wish to explore:

  • BaldPhone by Uriah Shaul Mandel (at Google Play), is a free smart phone interface replacement app. It currently is only available on in the Google Play store for Android users.
  • Senior Safety Phone by Contacts by Company, Inc. (at Apple App store) is a smart phone interface replacement app that allows users five contacts they can call as photo buttons and 9-1-1. It’s currently only available on the Apple App store for IOS users. This app costs about $1 (CDN).

Two-way radio devices - similar to a handheld transceiver or ‘walkie-talkie’ provide an alternative to the ‘caregiver pager’. These devices are designed for great distances in diverse indoor/outdoor terrain. Although these devices may have up to five buttons, they can be easily programmed by caregivers to function with hands free operation.

  • Two-Way Voice Communicators, by Assistive Technology Services36 Mile Range Vibrating Alert Two-Way Voice Communicators by Assistive Technology Services (at ATS Online Store) is an indoor/outdoor two-way radio communication device that can be programmed by caregivers for accessible use by loved ones to make contact when needed while outside of the home. This device is only available through a U.S online retailer and costs between $100 to $110 (USD), plus additional shipping and handling fees.

Another option to explore is an accessible smart phone:

  • RAZ Memory Cell Phone by RAZ mobility (at Special Needs Computers Online Store), is a mobile smart phone that has been developed for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It has no applications, notifications or any smart phone associated distractors. A user can comfortably tap the photo of the contact they wish to call. This product costs about $430 to $590 (CDN), plus an additional shipping fees.

Personal alarm systems are similar to a pager, but some also include accessible and useful features such as fall detection, automatic text or email emergency messages, as well as direct calling from the device to pre-set contacts.

  • LiveLife 4GX Mobile Alarm by LiveLife Personal Mobile Alarms (at LiveLife Alarms Online Store) provides the wearer’s GPS location and can call up to six programmed contacts until one contact answers, with the push of a single button. It has a built-in microphone and speaker, is waterproof, and can be worn around the neck. This device costs about $490 to $500 (CDN), shipping is free across Canada.

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