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cross-posted in caregiving, para_quads and my own lj:

Hi, I'm posting this for my mother's sake.

Awhile go, my mom had a series of disabling strokes which has made it almost impossible for her to answer a regular phone on her own.

She is wheelchair bound, and can't reach over to pick up a phone. She can use her hands.

She gets confused easily by all the buttons on a phone. A phone with large numbers and buttons isn't the solution. She can see very well.

So, I'm enlisting all of you here at in "The great search for the one-button, voice-activated/speakerphone cell phone."

Does the perfect phone for my mom exist? Requirements:

1) Preferably a cell phone;

2) Light weight enough to wear on a cord around her neck;

3) Has one button to answer and end calls;

4) Is voice activated (if not too complicated) ... ie: "Phone, Wake up!" ... "Call Nancy." ... "Hangup phone." Anything more complicated than that most likely will be too confusing;

5) Has a speakerphone so she doesn't have to hold the phone up to her ear;

6) Preferably a "candy bar" style phone as opposed to a flip phone. Having to open the phone to answer it might be too confusing.

7) Not sure what "International compatibility" is. If it means, the phone can't make international calls, then that would be a problem.

8) Not a necessity, but if the phone has video recording/display during a call that would be fun for my mother.

I've been trying desperately to find a cell phone with all of these features for my mother.

I've looked at a variety of websites: (too) high-tech sites; sites for the disabled; sites for the mentally and/or physically disabled; cell and regular phone sites; aged/dementia sites.


No gold.

Did happen upon some cool stuff. Ideo created a really cool wrist phone ... though it might be only a prototype.

Any good suggestions?!

My mother would really appreciate any suggestions.

Thank you so much in advance.



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 8th, 2005 11:00 am (UTC)
International capacity is the ability to use your phone while visiting Europe.

The phone I've got can lock the keypad so you can only dial out to numbers that are already programmed in. This can be using in conjection with voice dialing. However, there are atill a lot of buttons even if they are turned off.
May. 8th, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)

I've missed you so.

And here you are responding to my post in this community!

Thanks for the thoughts.

Hey, I found this cool phone geared at kids, but really it should be geared at the elderly with dementia ... the phone needs some treaking, but it's getting there.


May. 11th, 2005 02:02 am (UTC)
Ah, dang it all ...
i'm so overworked, i thought you posted this in the para_quads community.

shit, i need a break WITHOUT guilt.

May. 9th, 2005 10:51 am (UTC)
Have you seen Ameriphone's RC200? It's a speakerphone with a wireless remote. The company I work for sells them, but we're currently out of stock.


May. 9th, 2005 11:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Hello!

Thank you for your links. I bookmarked both the phone page and the main page to the site.

Looking at the first phone, the answering a call is awesome. Dialing out would be a problem. She would definitely need some assistance with the steps to go through.

The second phone has too many steps to take in order to make a call.

Yesterday, we experimented with several voice-activated phone w/speakerphone feature, and it was difficult. We both felt badly. She was embarrassed.

I feel like I have to invent the ideal phone.

But looking at your company's website helps releave some of my angst.

Thank you, again.
May. 10th, 2005 10:33 am (UTC)
No problem!
I've heard that there is a 100% voice activated phone out there, but I don't know who carries it.
May. 11th, 2005 02:00 am (UTC)
Re: No problem!
If you ever find out, please let me know!

Thank you. :)
Jun. 1st, 2005 02:00 am (UTC)
A friend of mine is a deaf tech geek/web designer/etc. and is well-read about people using technology to overcome various disabilities, so I'll ask if she has heard of anything like that.

Also, I feel your pain. My mother has the opposite problem: A lung disease has left her so short of breath that she is rarely able to hold a phone conversation.
Jun. 1st, 2005 02:46 am (UTC)

That's very cool. I'd love to hear from her.

Oh, you may have noticed I posted that wi-fi plug ... had to rejoin grandrapidsmi community to post it. too many band plugs for my taste. no big deal.
Jun. 1st, 2005 03:55 am (UTC)
Which is ironic, because I'm pretty sure creating a forum for band plugs is why nathew made it in the first place, insatiable indie kid that he is.

And, I'll forward whatever she says to you.
Jun. 1st, 2005 11:04 am (UTC)
She said,
    A lot of cell phones are voice-activation programmable. It's fairly
    common - I've known a few people that have had that ability.

She doesn't know of any that are just a box with one button, though. Sorry.
Jun. 4th, 2005 01:35 am (UTC)
hey sckot, thanks for this info.

i need to edit this entry or create an update to it.

my mom "failed" the voice-recognition test ... she's not able to focus enough and gets confused easily. I have all of these visions from the future of what would be ideal for her ... way off in the future we will find them.

the one-button idea can only be found on the "firefly" phone for kids ... who hate these cellphones.
Jun. 4th, 2005 02:05 am (UTC)
For a long time I've found designing technological systems for the disabled to be a very interesting area, sort of an outreach from my fascination with ergonomics. If only I had some venture capital beating down my door...
Jun. 4th, 2005 02:36 am (UTC)
venture capital


we know where our venture capital is going/has gone: the bush regime.

A new Argentina ... ... from Evita ... Eva Parone ...

ps: it's gettin' late ... and we're going to bed really soon.

so, i'm gonna make one more reply, and then sign off.
Jun. 4th, 2005 01:31 am (UTC)
haven't heard of guitari2600 ... but the name lends itself to that kind of community.

grcommunity would be great if there were less band plugs, and more info about the city or something. like the wifi trials ... tee-hee.

i don't know. maybe it's fine as it is. what do i know, i'm barely over 40.
Jun. 4th, 2005 01:54 am (UTC)
Many people (self included) like seeing notices for upcoming shows, theater, movies at the UICA, and tra-la-la, but it wouldn't hurt to have it balanced out by other slants on the city. I'm more of a foodie, for example...

I'm strongly considering forming an alphabetical dining club (or something), but don't know that I could necessarily afford to participate regularly, alas. We would meet up once a week (or twice a month, or something) and work through every restauraunt in the phone book, in alphabetical order. (There's been one in Toronto for over ten years now. Oh, inspiration, and Toronto is a wonderful city.) A full cycle here would be quite a bit shorter, of course...but either way, it'd be a great excuse to discover all kinds of disregarded restraunts in the city. Ethiopian reggae lounges? Hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese pho restaurants? Awesome pastry shops? It's all there somewhere, and I've already found a couple.
Jun. 4th, 2005 02:47 am (UTC)
a few friends were doing the restaurant rounds on a monthly basis for awhile. it's fun, but yes, very costly. right now, we can't eat out much.

what would be cool is if the grcommunity lj were broken up into several categories ... i'm a novice website builder, so wouldn't know if it could be done in lj land ... then you could decide if you want to peruse the club/band section of the community or ignore it.

a good design website that has done that is: <a href="http://www.commarts.com>communications arts</a>. they have only three categories, but a fourth could be added in their particular format ... or another format could be something like 12 squares (topics) from which to link. With this new lj redesign contest, I wish I had thought of that idea to share. Couldn't have built it, but could pass the idea on to someone who can. another idea for "segmenting" grcommunity would be something like what this one ljer did below: awhile back, i friended someone who had several subjects that she wrote about all the time. she was considerate enough to create friends' filters based on our likes and dislikes. then i didn't have to read about her passion for buffy the vampire. blah. 'night, guy.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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