The hallmark of a progressive society is taking care of its senior citizens. Providing free cell phones for seniors is one of the best ways to cater to senior citizens. Due to health issues linked with aging, older adults tend to get lost or lose track of time which makes it essential that they have a cell phone with them. Cell phones help senior citizens to talk with their friends and family in emergencies constantly.
Seniors can get a free cell phone from wireless carriers like Qlink, Assurance Wireless, Dart Phone, and more. Alternatively, those who may not qualify for the government assistance programs can get a free phone from websites such as Craigslist and giveaway sites.
The lifeline assistance program offered by the US government gives free phones to needy households, seniors, and the disabled. The program started in 1980 but the Federal Government revised the program in 2005, and communication services got included for American citizens.
This article will provide readers with the necessary information concerning free cell phones for seniors.
Why Free Cell Phone Is Necessary For Senior Citizens?
The government saw the need to give free cell phones for seniors for various reasons. A common disease amongst senior citizens is dementia. Dementia may cause the sufferer to become forgetful and delusional. Senior citizens that suffer from the disease will need cell phones in case of emergencies. The following paragraph will highlight why the free cell phone is necessary for senior citizens.
Seniors require cell phones for medical and personal safety. Older adults are prone to illness, and they need a phone close in case of attack and injuries. The cell phone will usually include emergency contacts of their children and medical experts.
Older adults are one of society’s most vulnerable groups. They are prone to robbery attacks and violent crimes because they are easy targets. Furthermore, most senior citizens are abandoned and left to care for themselves. These situations make it essential that senior citizens have easy access to phones to respond to emergencies.
The mental breakdown is quite common amongst older people due to their aging brains. Diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and bipolar are prevalent in their age demographics. Access to cell phones will ensure that they get the help they need during mental health episodes.
Contact With Family And Friends
Cell phones for seniors allow them to be in touch with their families. Senior citizens prefer an independent lifestyle, making it challenging to keep in touch with their loved ones. A senior citizen should have a phone nearby if their children call to check in on them. As senior citizens grow older, it becomes more vital to communicate to those they love.
Many phones come with fitness tracking apps. These apps allow seniors to track their wellness and exercise activities. Some cell phones have features that follow the users’ daily steps and note how many flights of stairs the senior citizens have climbed.
Some wearables sync to the fitness app, tracking blood pressure, sleep patterns, heart rates, and calorie intake/output.
How To Get Free Phones For Seniors ?
There are two significant ways to be eligible for the phone assistance program. The first way is for the senior citizen to prove that their income is below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If the senior’s income is below the Federal Poverty Guidelines, they are eligible for a free phone.
The second way is to know if the senior citizen is currently benefitting from a government assistance program. Below is a list of government assistance programs that will make a senior citizen eligible for a free cell phone.
- Temporary Assistance For Needy Families(TANF).
- Supplementary Security Income(SSI).
- Low-income Home Energy Assistance Programs(LIHEAP).
- Bureau Of Indian Affairs General Assistance.
- Food Stamps.
- Federal Public Housing Assistance.
- National School Lunch Program.
- Tribal Head Start.
- Food Distribution On Indian Reservations(FDPIR).
Features To Look Out For In Senior-Friendly Cell Phones
Most senior citizens are not tech-savvy, which is why choosing a phone for a senior citizen is different from when buying for a young person. Fortunately, smartphones have a lot of features that will benefit older people. The following paragraph will highlight some of those features.
Voice Capabilities is an essential feature in phones for senior citizens that find it difficult to press the on-screen keyboard. Due to arthritic fingers and calloused hands, older adults may find it challenging to use a touch screen. This is where speech-to-text becomes a blessing for seniors. Seniors that use iPhones can use Siri to give commands to their cell phones. It also dictates text messages and responses and prompts the phone to read texts aloud.
Smartphones tend to have a larger screen which makes it easier for people to read the texts. A senior citizen will benefit more from a large screen phone due to their failing eyes. The message may be adjusted to become more legible and easier to read. So, when buying a phone for a senior citizen, the screen size should be a vital consideration.
Blue Light Filter
It is common knowledge that the blue light the phone screen emits is harmful to the human eyes. These emissions are even more dangerous to the eyes of a senior citizen. Cell phones come with in-built apps that can block the emission of harmful blue rays. Also, there are available blue light filter apps for download on phone stores like Google Playstore.
The internet will make it easier for seniors to see weather reports, health reports, and calendar notifications.
High Volume Options
Senior citizens with hearing loss will benefit from phones with Bluetooth that can connect to their hearing aids.
Some cell phones often have cameras with zoom abilities. These zoom cameras will aid senior citizens in reading small prints in books and restaurant menus.
Alerts And Timers
Alerts and timers will help to serve as reminders for seniors on timed medications.
Closed captioning is important for both old seniors and young phone users. This feature will aid seniors with hearing problems to watch their favorite shows by reading the caption.
Due to diseases linked to old age, seniors may often lose a sense of direction when walking or driving. A phone with a GPS location will always help them know where they are going.
Fingerprint And Face Unlock
Many smartphones come with fingerprint and face unlock as a security measure. These features are especially vital for older adults who may forget their phone passwords.
Best Cell Phones For Seniors
Cell phones come in different shapes and sizes; while some may have buttons, others will have a touch screen. Whatever the case is, the best cell phone for a senior has to be easy enough to use. Below are some excellent categories of phones for senior citizens.
1. Slider Or Block Phones
Slider phones share a similarity with flip phones. They both function the same way, except that slider phones don’t have the “flip” ability. Block phones come with a keyboard and screen on just one side. Slider phones also have a large screen which makes them perfect for seniors who may have problems with their vision.
Smartphones are large touch-screen phones that can make calls, access the internet, and send text messages. The phone’s screen is large enough so that those with poor vision won’t have a hard time seeing the screen. These phones also offer a blue-light feature that softens the light from the screen.
Senior citizens will find that smartphones are very similar to their personal computers. Smartphones will allow them to check their email, access social networks and keep in touch with their loved ones. There are many different options for smartphones in the market.
3. Flip Phones
Flip Phones have a simple design, long-lasting batteries, and easy-to-use technology. They open and close on a hinge to reveal a small button keyboard. Flip phones are a good choice for seniors who want to talk and send SMS messages on their phones. Although Flip phones aren’t as popular as they once were, they remain very relevant to the older age demographics.
How To Qualify For Free Cellphone Service?
A senior citizen will qualify for free cellphone service if their income is proven to be below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. They will also be eligible if they participate in government assistance programs. These government assistance programs include; Food Stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance For Needy Families, etc.
What Kind Of Free Phone Can Seniors Get?
There is usually no definitive way to know what kind of phones the government will give. The senior must first apply for the lifeline assistance program and be approved. Although the wireless services offer decent phones, they may not provide flagship phones like iPhone 11, 12, etc.
Wireless services like Assurance give users a chance to check out the phones they may get using their website. However, seniors are most likely to get phones such as CoolpadHeylo, ZTE Prestige 2, and REVVL4.
The Best Providers Of Free Phones For Seniors On Social Security
Free phones for seniors are gotten using the lifeline service providers. Some of the lifeline providers cover most of the states. Below are some of the best providers of free phones for seniors.
1. Safelink wireless
Safelink company covers more than 40 states in the US. Their broad coverage makes them a pretty reputable company for getting free smartphones. They offer various data and talk time services. People that want to benefit from safe links will have to register for the lifeline program. The applicants can bring their phones to register with the service, or they can sign up to get a free device.
In Massachusetts, the voice-based plan offers 1000 minutes and 16GB of data per month. The data-based program offers 350 talking minutes and 2GB of data. Those in California will get an unlimited voice plan and 3GB of data.
2. Assurance wireless
Assurance Wireless is a lifeline assistance program offered by the US government. Seniors that qualify for the lifeline assistance program will get unlimited talk and text through Assurance Wireless, as well as 2GB of data per month. Seniors who use Assurance Wireless can also get a free Android phone.
3. Infiniti Mobile
Infiniti Mobile is a reputable company that partners with the government to provide free smartphones. The company gives eligible participants smartphones through the lifeline assistance program. Users will receive 750 minutes of talk time and nationwide roaming coverage. If the participant is an American native, they’d be eligible for free 1000 minutes of talk time and 2GB of data.
Infiniti Mobile coverage includes states such as South Carolina, Nevada, Maryland, Vermont, Oklahoma, and Georgia.
4. Easy Wireless
Easy Wireless offers free 25MB data with about 250 free texts with many minutes of talk time. They provide their coverage services in Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Non-tribal beneficiaries can enjoy the unlimited text and 2250 minutes of talk time.
5. Qlink wireless
Qlink wireless is one of the best free SmartPhone providers. They offer additional free 500 unlimited texts to their customers. Qlink wireless users will also benefit from monthly call minutes when using the promotional offerings. Qlink wireless is available in Maine, Indiana, Vermont, Iowa, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Puerto Rick.
6. Dart Phone
Dart Phone operates in Oklahoma and offers users free prepaid phones. They are a reliable government Smart Phone company. Users can enjoy 2GB of free internet data and unlimited texting services.
7. American Assistance
American Assistance offers free cell phone service to low-income earners and seniors. They offer free minutes, data, and unlimited text messaging. American Assistance uses the T-mobile network.
8. FeelSafe Wireless
FeelSafe offers its plans in states such as; California, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. They give low-income earners free talk time, and data offers monthly.
Seniors may have problems with their hearing and vision. Therefore, having an easy-to-use phone is essential. Free phones for seniors is a government phone service that has aided seniors in staying in touch with their families and loved ones.