Cell Phones for Seniors – More than Just a Telephone

April 6, 2015

Cell Phones for Seniors - Text for Exercise

Cell Phones Have a Unique Function For Seniors

Once upon a time, mobile phones were a luxury; today however, many seniors use them for emergencies and as a way to improve their quality of life. Statistics show that in 2012, over 4.2 billion people worldwide will subscribe to at least one mobile network. Mobile phones seem to have become a necessity.

Some companies have begun to manufacture mobile phones that are designed with elderly persons in mind. The screens and keys are larger, easier to see and manipulate with brighter displays. The software has easy or advanced capabilities. The sounds are designed with a wider range of  audio sensitivity and the ability to download louder sounds. Even the size  is designed with arthritic hands and fingers in mind.

While a mobile phone obviously cannot replace traditional conversation, it does provide an opportunity to communicate more frequently with loved ones living far away. Using them to text is actually an innovative way to assist your elderly loved, ones including those in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI);  really, in any case where mental, emotional and physical mobility is affected.

Improve Senior Mobility Through Texting

1. Encourage Brain Activity

Problem: The function of the brain declines as the body ages and brain cells die off. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Lewy Bodies, and other dementia further inhibit the brain’s ability to think, reason, process and remember.  Activity is vital to maintain mental function and life!

How Cell Phones Can Help Seniors:

  • Exercises thinking ability.
  • Encourages reading, reasoning and response comprehension.
  • Stimulates concentration and perception.
  • Images included in texts serve as stimulation for visual perception, reasoning, and comprehension.

2. Improve Mental Cognitive Skills

Problem: Memory, thinking and judgement abilities decline. Important information formerly recalled, such as recent events, appointment, or conversations become difficult or even impossible. The ability to make sound decisions, judge the sequence of events or steps, or the time needed to complete a task decreases.

How Cell Phones Can Help Seniors:

  • Improves decision making and judgement abilities and visual perception when the brain must choose letters or numbers to formulate words, sentences and written conversation. Most phones have the ability to correct word misspellings, encouraging the brain to think about choices and improve the ability to correct.
  • Exercises language, communication, and reasoning skills.
  • Improves self esteem.
  • Assists memory and emotional well-being. Texts, love notes, and friendly chats from family and friends can be saved to be reread again later.
  • Assists memory. Texts can serve as reminders for many things, activities or events, such as; taking medication, social functions, daily or weekly appointments, and doctor visits.

mobility personal care aids - seniors use cell phones to text

3. Stimulate Hand-Eye Coordination and Dexterity

Problem: The transmission of messages from the brain to the eyes and muscles changes, causing physical coordination and dexterity to slow, become less accurate, and more prone to mistakes.

How Cell Phones Can Help Seniors:

  • Repetitively using (exercising) the transmission signals from the brain to the muscles helps maintain muscle tone in the smaller muscles of the arms, wrists, hands and fingers (also known as fine motor muscles).
  • Slows the progression of  loss of muscle tone in the fine motor muscles due to regular use.
  • iPads and Tablets require the use of both hands thus stimulating both sides of the brain and the body

Alzheimer’s and dementia are two diseases that have encouraged loving caregivers and medical professionals to think outside the box. As time passes, personal care aids become necessary to maintain mobility and seniors find themselves needing wheelchairs, canes, long scrub sponges, ergonomic tweezers, walk-in showers, and bathroom grab bars. Mobile phones are unique mobility care aids. Think outside the box! Use the mobile phone daily to text your loved one(s) for mental, emotional and physical exercise!

Do you or your kids text Mom or Grandpa? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below! 

Writer, KC Morgan

Karla and her husband, Art, have been married 31 years. They have two children. She grew up in Houston, TX. She has always loved to read, cook, swim, travel and crafting of all sorts. One day she would love to say she has traversed the whole earth. She taught Montessori school for many years and has tutored many students over the years. She has been interested in the medical field for many years and has been a caregiver for several friends and family members over the past 10 years. Her love of reading has motivated her to try a new challenge, writing.

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