Help, Information, Technology

Thinking of giving your phone to an elderly relative?

Mary is 86.  She had decided to step into the technology world and bought herself an android phone from a TV shopping channel and a tablet from a local computer store.

I met Mary at a coffee morning being held at the retirement living home where she lives and she employed me to give her lessons on both devices.

After the first session, we established what Mary wanted to achieve from her technology.  From the phone, she simply wanted to call her family and possibly send texts – It was an ‘emergency only’ phone – for now at least.  The tablet, however, was for her to play games, search the internet and possibly send and receive emails.

Understandably, Mary wanted to master the phone before moving onto the tablet.  After spending some time doing general maintenance on both devices (updates etc), I downloaded a card game app (so that Mary could see what her tablet can do) before introducing the various features on the phone.

After navigating around the phone, we moved on to practicing how to answer and make calls.  This was a whole new language to Mary but she was determined to conquer her ‘new toy’.  However, we came across a rather major stumbling block which was Mary had problems hearing the caller.  She wears hearing aids, which are problematic to her in themselves, but this prevented us from moving forward and helped us to realise that this particular phone was not suitable for Mary.

Rather than being defeated, we investigated the Doro brand. 

adapting modern technology so that it’s easier to hear, read and use – enabling people to stay closer, enjoy more of life and feel more secure ~ Doro.co.uk

I knew of Doro but I hadn’t worked with their smartphones before and I have to say I am really impressed. 

Sure, this smartphone presents all the possibilities any standard smartphone can offer.  However, it doesn’t feel essential to use them.  The ‘easy to use’ interface (there is an Android option too) has been designed to be so clean and clear, it’s not too overwhelming to the rookie user.

By switching, Mary has now mastered the magic of her mobile phone and feels  confident to move on to learn how to use her tablet.  This was fabulous news as it had only been a short time before when she felt intimidated, overwhelmed and terrified by both devices. Go Mary!!🌟

As Christmas is just around the corner and you may be upgrading your phone, or receiving a new one and considering passing on your current phone to an elderly relative or friend, please consider that it can be overwhelming.  You and I may find it easy but that doesn’t mean they will.  

I truly believe that we are in a world where most people need to become more au fait with modern technology but this can only happen if the new user is allowed to take baby steps.  Doro Smartphones are definitely a good place to start.

For more information on using mobiles and smartphones when having hearing loss, check out this Factsheet from https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk

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