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Need recommendations for cordless phone for 89 year old mother

Bronze Conversationalist

Need recommendations for cordless phone for 89 year old mother

My mother in law is 89 and lives alone in the house she's lived in since 1955. She has a Lifeline system (and she's been good about wearing the button) - the kind that senses falls. After an experience last fall where she fell and told Lifeline she was fine - but wasn't - we now have them call us whenever she sets off the button. We had multiple calls this past Sunday after midnight, and calls again early today because her phone line kept ringing busy (her Lifeline uses the land line in the house); both times we had to drive to her house - about 20 miles away - and found that the problem was that she wasn't hanging up her phone correctly. She doesn't like wearing her glasses so seems to be missing the "off" button. And she's got the TV blasting so loud there's no way she'd hear a phone alert 🙂 We're looking into a cellular Lifeline system now, and think we should also get her a new cordless phone, with big buttons. Any recommendations or good/bad experiences with these would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Hello!  Saw your post as I was looking for resources for some of my patients.  I am a neuropsychologist that works with brain-injured adults.  Not all are seniors, but some of the issues are certainly the same. 


In the past, I have suggested using a corded phone (so it doesn't get lost) that is linked to the cordless phone (for convenience).  VTech makes a phone with large buttons, has the call button to be worn around the neck, and the cordless phone.  It is marketed for seniors.  This phone has worked well although previous versions had much larger buttons, and only numbers (to avoid confusion/distraction).  You can program numbers in the phone and it has most other basic features.  Hope this is helpful; good luck to you and your family.


S. W. Anderson, Ph. D.

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AARP Expert

Sounds like you are doing all the right things! It's a good idea to get the built in cellular for the PERS system - some companies don't charge for that. 


For phones - check this article I wrote in my blog about technology. I talk about phones, and show a picture of a Uniden phone that I got for my parents and they loved. It came with a base unit (corded) and several cordless phones. If you can find one that lights up, has big numbers and perhaps flashes when it's ringing so she can see it if she has the TV on loud that would be great! 



There are other brands and options - if you go to Amazon or another online shopping service and do a search for "land line phone for seniors" some good options will come up. You can look at the features that will work best for your mom. You may find some options in a local electronics store - i've found it's hit and miss. Sometimes they have at least one option, but other times they don't. Always worth checking if you want to hold it etc. Otherwise if you buy online be sure to check the return policy in case once you see it you think it won't work for you Mom. 


Good luck and let us know what you end up with! 


Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

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