As I speak to more operators and administrators of independent and assisted living facilities in regards to their telephone infrastructure strategy. It is clear that they are no longer providing telephone service as a standard amenity in their homes. This is for two main reasons; First they don’t want to have the hassle of billing like they are a phone company. Also, with all the phone options available today, senior citizens are also taking advantage of cable telephone, VoIP and cellular options. In fact, much like their grandchildren seniors in retirement communities are choosing to only use cellular service instead of having a landline or both. When I first started my sales career fifteen years ago middle aged people would come in and complain about how complicated the cutting edge bag phone and flip phones were. I sometimes laugh at this now because comparing those phones to the Palms, Blackberrys and iPhones of today is like comparing telegraph to the touch tone phone. However, companies like Jitterbug Cellular Phones are focusing on the senior citizen niche and making simple cell phones because not everyone needs a computer in their pocket.
The Jitterbug J, may be the perfect option for seniors wanting independence or who are living in independent and assisted living facilities. It can give their families who are always worried about eldercare, peace of mind, because they know it’s a phone simple enough for their elderly parents to use. We will look at what makes this generation of phone different?
The Jitterbug J, “the phone for everyone,” starts with a large bright color display that uses a large easy to read font with clarity. The keypad has large roomy backlit buttons that are laid out for easy dialing for the elderly. The earphone eliminates background noise, has a dial tone similar to landlines similar to landlines when you open the phone with a powerful speaker. The phone eliminates confusing menus and only requires a yes or a no. They offer 24/7 U.S. based customer service and operators who can update the phone book, connect calls and provide directory assistance.
The rate plans start at $ 14.99 per month and offer upgrades like the Jitterbug Complete Care Bundle. The bundle provides roadside assistance, handset replacement and Jitterbug LiveNurse through a partnership with FONEMED. LiveNurse gives loved ones 24/7 access to registered nurses in English or Spanish. They can assist in connecting them to a large pre-recorded health information library with current information on a variety of topics. The nurses can also help document a users personal health history.
With technology simplified, better customer service, and cheap and easy billing, it’s no wonder more seniors are using cell phones with assistive technologies for safety and security.
John Dondero has spent ten years in the medical equipment industry. He has sold radiology systems to hospitals, medical hardware and software, and now RFID devices including Senior Safety equipment to Senior Living facilities.
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