Phones with Big Numbers and Caller ID for Seniors

If you are living away from your elderly parents you’d definitely appreciate a reliable means of communication with them. For our parents, as well, it is particularly important that they be able to call the doctor or the caregiver, in the event of any emergency.

Mobile phones or smartphones are great; however, they may get too complicated for us as we age. Especially, for our earlier generation, who have not grown up in a gadget-savvy world. In such a scenario home phones with big numbers are a great solution. And if they have the feature of caller ID, that is wonderful! 

The table below gives a quick snapshot of some of the best phones with big numbers and caller ID. If you are interested in more detailed comparisons of the products, you can scroll down for individual phone reviews.

Editor’s Choice
PANASONIC Bluetooth Corded / Cordless Phone System with Answering Machine, Enhanced Noise Reduction and One-Touch Call Block - 2 Handsets - KX-TGF382M (Metallic Black)
Color
Black
Power Source
2 AAA Batteries
Telephone Type
SIM
Caller Identification
Prime
Price
$94.08
Value for Money
AT&T CD4930 Corded Phone with Digital Answering System and Caller ID, Extra-Large Tilt Display & Buttons, Black
Color
Black
Power Source
Line-powered
Telephone Type
Landline
Caller Identification
Prime
Price
$43.92
Panasonic DECT 6.0 Expandable Cordless Phone System with Answering Machine and Call Blocking - 2 Handsets - KX-TGE432B (Black)
Color
Black
Power Source
4 AAA Batteries
Telephone Type
Cordless
Caller Identification
Prime
-
Price
$118.91

Home Phones for the Elderly

As we age, unfortunately, we may no longer possess the best of our sensory abilities. Our vision may get impaired, we may suffer from hearing loss or worse still we may suffer from loss of our cognitive abilities.

There is a whole array of diseases that cause slight or significant hand tremors. Sadly, our elderly parents may suffer from one or multiple of the above conditions and it is of vital importance that they are able to rely on a communication device which is easy to understand for them – and resolves their problem.

The problem with today’s smartphones is that the elderly have not grown up using them and therefore, simple steps like downloading and installing apps may seem to be an uphill task for them.

There are a lot of apps in the marketplaces which have multiple features that the elderly can use in the case of emergencies. However, the catch is, that your cognitive abilities have to be sufficient for you to be able to use a smartphone – which is, sadly, often not the case.

Also, your parents may loathe tech advances, so much so that some elderly pride themselves in being techno-phobic. If such is the case, then the smartphone isn’t much better than a brick in the hands of the person, with absolutely no use. At least you can try to defend yourself with a brick!

This is the exact reason why landline and cordless phones with a large dialing pad, with big numbers and a big screen with caller ID, still exist. It may seem like an archaic device to a teenager, fit to be in the museum; but it may just turn out to be life-saving one for his grandparents.

What to Consider When Buying a Phone for the Elderly

  • Number pad: For the elderly who have partial vision impairment or hand tremors, you should be choosing a phone which has big and bold numbers, for ease of dialing. Often these users find it difficult to type on the typical smartphone number pad and this feature will ensure a lot less of mis-dialing.

  • Talking digits: Some phones will have the option of announcing the digit that you just pressed. This is very helpful for the elderly who have vision impairment, but normal hearing abilities.

  • Speed Dialing: Often, it is difficult for the elderly to dial-in the entire number; Therefore, the phone should also have the option for speed dialing which is nothing but being able to dial a pre-stored number by just pressing one key. You will have to store specific numbers against each key, numbers that belong to you and your parent’s loved ones.

  • Volume settings: The phone should ideally have a volume setting for adjusting the volume of the ring. Most of these phones can ring out quite loudly for the benefit of users with hearing impairment.

  • Emergency dial button: You should make sure that the phone you end up buying has an emergency dialing button which, when pressed, call a pre-stored number. This number can belong to the caregiver, a nearby hospital or a nurse (or even 911) who can cater to the needs of the user within a short span of time.

  • Ringing lights: If your elderly parent has substantially lost hearing abilities, a loud volume is not going to help beyond a point. To help in this situation, there are many phones which light up to indicate an incoming call, along with ringing. These are LED lights attached either on the receiver of the phone or under the number pad.

  • Photo Dialing: For the elderly with significant loss of cognitive abilities, it is difficult for them to remember speed dialing numbers or dial-in entire phone numbers. For them, some phones provide the option of photo dialing, where you paste the photo of a loved one on a large dialing switch and store the corresponding number in the phone memory, linked to that switch.

We are reviewing a few landline phones in this article that are fit for the elderly to use. Hopefully, it will help you in making a purchase that is the best fit for your elderly parents.

#1 AT&T CD4930 Corded Phone

The phone is ideal for the elderly. It comes with large orange back-lit display with large numbers of display and number pad.  The phone has an equalizer and audio assist button which can be used to manage speech characteristics to make it more audible.

AT&T CD4930 Corded Phone

Pros

  • One button helps you to switch to speaker phone and offers easy volume control
  • Back lit large and clear display for better visibility of caller id information
  • Light indicator on top of screen helps to understand that phone is ringing, in case you are suffering from impaired hearing
  • Can be wall mounted for convenience or used as a desk phone
  • Speed dialing options can be set up.

Cons

  • No automatic handling of day light savings time; Also, you need to reset the time every time there is a power outage
  • No emergency call button; emergency numbers can be set up through speed dialing option
  • Photo dialing option not available
  • Speaker and mute button are closely located and you may press the wrong button by mistake

Find out more on Amazon

#2 VTech SN5127 Amplified Cordless Senior Phone System

This product is meant for use of seniors with large buttons, a large display and up to 90 Db ringer volume. The phone also has the option of photo dialing for up to four numbers. The product can be purchased with an extension ringer if your home is bigger.

VTech SN5127 Amplified Cordless Senior Phone System

Pros

  • Easy to use for the vision impaired, with option to announce dialed digits
  • Has the ability to make speech easier to understand by enhancing sound frequencies
  • You can block a call and a number by pressing a single button
  • One touch SOS or emergency button available for quickly dialing pre-stored SOS number
  • Easily adjustable volume settings, for incoming voice volume or ringing volume
  • Option to announce the caller, if number is pre-stored; very helpful for elderly users
  • Photo dialing option present for up to 4 numbers

Cons

  • Placement of ‘mute’ button can be improved; Users may accidentally press mute button while actually trying to press the ‘talk’ button
  • The size of the buttons for photo dialing can be larger for better viewing

Here we have a video on how to set up speed dial keys.

Photo speed dial keys setup and operations with VTech Careline SN5127

Find out more on Amazon

#3 Clarity XLC3.4+ DECT 6.0

This clarity product is built to suit people with impaired hearing and can be operated on backup batteries (that must be kept charged) for incoming and outgoing calls during a power outage. The device is expandable for up to three handsets, for easy access to the phone from different rooms.

Clarity XLC3.4+ DECT 6.0

Pros

  • Ringer volume can be increased up to 95 Db, making it possible for people with hearing disabilities to hear incoming call alerts
  • Compatible with hearing aid devices
  • Has the option to amplify incoming and outgoing speech for better hearing experience for the user and others
  • Large well-spaced buttons on the number pad and high contrast caller id screen
  • Voice assist dialing feature reduces mis-dialing
  • Can be operated on backup batteries to call and receive calls during a power outage

Cons

  • There is no emergency or SOS button available for urgent help; no speed dial option either.
  • The unit and its controls may seem to be too complex to an elderly person
  • May be a little out of budget for the elderly

Find out more on Amazon

#4 Panasonic Bluetooth Corded / Cordless Phone System

This product is an advanced phone system that can be expanded for up to 6 handsets and the base can be wall mounted. The product is available in two colors – gold and black.

Panasonic Bluetooth Corded / Cordless Phone System

Pros

  • Speed dialing option available; You can set it up for emergencies
  • Large tilted caller id screen for ease of use
  • Expandable for up to 6 handsets, with hand-set locator option
  • Easy call blocking feature for up to 250 telemarketing numbers
  • Phone battery back up lasts up to 12 hours; very useful during frequent and long power outages

Cons

  • Feature heavy and may be confusing for the elderly; You may need to help your elderly parent with the initial set up
  • No dedicated emergency button

Find out more on Amazon

#5 Panasonic DECT 6.0 Expandable Cordless Phone System

This is a cordless phone system that can be expanded up to 5 handsets. The phone is feature rich with easy block option available to block up to 250 telemarketing callers. It has an optional key detector feature and an answering machine as well.

Panasonic DECT 6.0 Expandable Cordless Phone System

Pros

  • Easy switch to speaker phone and one button easy call block option available
  • Large and well-spaced numbers on the dialing pad to reduce chances of mis-dialing
  • Compatible with hearing aids
  • Talking caller id feature for ease of use for the visually challenged
  • Key detector feature helps to find misplaced keys

Cons

  • Display size can be bigger for easy visibility for the elderly with partial loss of vision
  • No emergency or SOS option available for urgent calls

Find out more on Amazon

#6 VTech CD1281 Corded Big Button Telephone

This product comes with large number pad, large buttons and an extra-large emergency button for easy use by senior people. The phone requires 2 AAA batteries to operate, with easy access to volume control for ringer volume, speaker volume and handset volume.

VTech CD1281 Corded Big Button Telephone

Pros

  • Large emergency button for exigent situations
  • Large screen for caller id and large number pad reduces instances of mis-dialing
  • Easy one button volume controls for ringer, speaker and handset volumes
  • Indicator light on top of caller id screen that indicates that phone is ringing or is use
  • Can be used with extended handset for easier access from another room

Cons

  • No photo dialing option
  • No option to announce the dialed digits

Find out more on Amazon

Conclusion

If you have an elderly parent who is living alone , one of these devices is essential for her to have. Even when she is staying with you, these devices will help her to stay connected with her extended family and friends.

Once you invest in one of these devices, not only will you have more peace of mind, it will make your parent’s life much easier. From ordering for groceries to getting quick access to her care giver, these phone systems often end up being critical instruments in your parent’s daily lives.