Searching for and selecting the right cell phone can be overwhelming, and cell phone plans for seniors add a further layer of complexity to this exercise. Fortunately, a process exists to achieve success.
Finding the right cell phone is the priority, and this exercise requires a methodical approach because “one size” does not fit all because of differences in personal needs, design features, cell phone usage, and budgets.
This article provides a visual highlight of the initial key factors to consider as an infographic that makes the information easier to understand.
First Things First Before Diving into Cell Phone Plans for Seniors
A 2017 Pew Research study found that 80% of people over the age of 65 now own a cell phone. Making the right choice is important. Consider these 5 key factors that will help you select the cell phone to buy and phone plan to sign up for:
Cell Phone Plans For Seniors – Preferences
- Personal use: How do you plan to use the phone – talk, text or use apps which will require data?
- What is your cell or data usage needs? Cell usage involves talking and texting alone, while data usage comes into play when you start using social media and uploading photos, listening to music, or streaming music. This can quickly become very expensive as they become “add-ons” if you did not choose the right cell phone plan. As most cell usage is unlimited, focus on data usage when comparing cell phone plans.
- Choice of cell phone type: If you plan to store a lot of photos, apps, music, and videos you will need a smartphone with a large storage capacity. On the other hand, basic cell phones like the flip phone have limited storage.
If you only need talking and texting capabilities, a basic cell phone will probably be adequate for your needs.
Cell Phone Plans For Seniors – Design
- Design features for seniors: Phones specifically designed for seniors have many features not found in smartphones. These include large dial pads, large buttons, large font size text, phone address books, and one touch emergency buttons.
Smartphones generally have higher-quality cameras than flip phones and other basic mobile devices. If you plan to take and share a lot of photos and video, a smartphone is the better choice.
Review the design features and ONLY select the “must have” rather than “nice to have “features to keep cost down.
- Your budget: Factor in the cost of the cell phone plan or you may be in for an unpleasant surprise bill at the end of your purchase. While cost should not be the major factor, ensure that you do not significantly exceed your proposed budget for both the phone and the plan
Cell Phone Plans for Seniors. Getting Senior Discounts
Senior discounts are quite common and vary. This senior “perk” may be triggered by age range of 55+ and 65+. Getting older often bring many senior discounts, including saving money on cell phone plans by many service providers
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) and its Canadian counterpart CARP membership benefits include discounts on cellular services. Anyone over age 50 can join these associations.
Know The Benefits of Cell Phones for Seniors
- Help with recall of date, time and phone numbers of family members and important information
- Improve connection with family
- Provide entertainment and emergency benefits. These include the emergency one-touch SOS button, several health apps which help to monitor and record health information, such as blood pressure readings, and, for medication reminders. Smartphones can be used for other fun activities such as different kinds of games which help mental stimulation.
- Reduce loneliness
Next Steps – Compare Cell Phone Plans for Seniors
Having successfully addressed the 5 keys factors and selected the cell phone you wish to buy; the next step is to compare types of cell phone plans for seniors.
Decide on Prepaid or Contract
Personal circumstances determine which of these options will be the most suitable.While contracts may be beneficial, they can be restrictive.
Prepaid phones, on the other hand, provide the freedom to do what you want with your phone at any time. They are usually cheaper, and you do not have to worry about cancellation fees.
Understand Your Usage Needs
Before you choose a plan, it is important to understand the difference between cell usage and data usage as many seniors often find this confusing.
Talking and texting is cell usage, and just about every option offers you unlimited access (except pay as you go).
Once you start engaging on social media through your favorite accounts on Facebook and Pinterest, reading news clips on the internet, listening to your favorite channels, or live streaming videos, things can get a bit tricky as all of these use data.
This is where things can get expensive.
As you begin to use a lot of data, it quickly becomes apparent that an inexpensive, basic cellular phone may not be able to process such huge volume of data, and you will need to upgrade to a smartphone with apps.
Since most cell usage is offered as unlimited, data usage is more important when comparing cell phone plans.
Choosing phone plans for seniors requires a process to achieve success. The process begins with considering five key factors which end up providing guidance not only on the cell phone type and functionality, but further guidance on phone plans.
This How To Start Infographic is a helpful visual tool for seniors that do not like wading through articles for information. Another post presents the Plan Types infographic.
If you found this article useful, kindly leave a comment for us.
Crail C (2022) Guide To The Best Senior Cell Phone Plans 2022 https://www.forbes.com/health/healthy-aging/best-cell-phone-plans-for-seniors/
Guide for selecting cell phone plans for seniors https://www.lively.com/heallth-and-aging/guide-for-selecting-cell-phone-plans-for-seniors
Pew Research Center https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/
16 thoughts on “Cell Phone Plans For Seniors – How To Start Infographic”
A friend of mine is taking care of a senior in a wheelchair and only yesterday he told me that the screen of his cell phone was cracked because the man punches the keys on the keyboard really hard. When I found this article I immediately thought of him and I will share it with him. Maybe it is something he will want to consider.
Thanks Christine! I hope he finds value in the article as well.
As you age, your needs may change
Your cell phone plan should too
There are many plans to choose from
tailored to those 55 and up
whether you need a small or large amount of data
You can get a great phone at a discount,
or choose a plan with just the basics
There’s no need to be stuck in a contract,
you have the freedom to switch or upgrade!
What a useful website for people like us – and beyond!!
Thank you for a useful resource!
All the best!
Great observations Julia. The key is knowing and having a little understanding of the various plans is helpful. Knowledge is certainly power!
Very interesting. I never know that 85% of seniors used smartphones but actually, it does make sense. Both my parents are older and have used smartphones for a lot longer than I have. So yes I think there are a lot of variables that go into choosing a smart device for everyone. I love your infographic – keep up the good work.
Yes a lot of seniors use smart phones and knowing what to consider before buying is so important. Delighted that you loved the infographic! 🙂
I notice how some seniors are very adept in using cell phones, while others have no desire to use them at all. My father-in-law will never text, and still has a flip-phone. On the other hand, I have another older relative who keeps up to date with technology, and I text with him all the time.
What I found important is to let them decide what works best for them. Others have tried to get my FIL to switch to a smart phone, but he needs the simplicity. Your infographic should help him decide on his next phone. As he is now in his 90’s, showing him that there are specific design features for seniors should be a great help.
Thanks for your observations Willow. Yes, a senior should always go with a phone they are comfortable with, otherwise, they will never use it. I hope the infographic helps your FIL.
This is a thorough article about choosing the right cell phone and the plan for seniors. I’ve heard that people paid expensive bills on their cell phones because they chose the wrong plans, so this article explained everything & provided value. I think your post helps them make the right decision without paying too much for data usage.
PS. The infographic looks very good and provides lots of details. I will share it with my friends. 🙂
Thanks for the red and comment Matt! Delighted that you found value in the article.
Thank you for this article, it s true that many seniors are using Android smartphones and i think wireless headphones are also a good option with a good unlimited plan. This article will surely be of great help to every elderly person to find the right solution 🙂
Thanks for the read and comment Zvezdan!
My 90-year-old mother has been given my nieces ‘old’ smartphones every time they upgrade. The devices are never more than a couple of years old and are ‘top of the line.’
Luckily, my nieces are around a lot, because mum does need help in using these phones. And I’m often left wondering if she would be better off having a simpler model with fewer features to use.
She does get frustrated at times, but she also likes having the girls come over often to help her out!
I’ll show her this article and see if it gives her an insight into maybe getting something more suited to her needs.
Thanks for the information.
I think your 90 year old mother will also find this article very helpful
This is an article for the older population that is not as familiar with the latest technical achievements as the current young generation. This is understandable, since they spent most of their lives without cell phones, like my parents. So this article and infographic can help them a lot in what factors they should take into account when choosing the right cell phone.
All the best!
Thank you so much for reading the article. The aim of Metamorphosis Hub is to educate seniors on some of those things such as technology which seems to be a challenge for them.