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The use of phones by elders with disabilities: problems, interventions and costs

Assistive Technology

Author: Mann, W., Hurren, D., Tomita, M., Charvat, B.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1996


Recognising the important role the telephone plays in the life of frail elders, this study sought to gain a better understanding of the problems elders have in using their phones. Out of a sample of 354, 35 or 10% were having problems in using their phone. 22 of this 35 were randomly selected for an assessment of their impairments and phone setups in the home. Interventions were provided to 19 of the 22 subjects with 2 subject refusing intervention. Phone usage increased for subjects provided a phone intervention. Average cost of equipment was $70.45, cost of personnel time was significantly higher. A number of recommendations are made to address these phone-related problems including: Vision problems: larger number pad, back-lit phones, redial feature, pager feature (to find cordless phone) Mobility problems: locate phones close to bed, cordless phone, answering machine Fine motor problems: large buttons, redial, shoulder holder, gooseneck holder, speaker phone cognitive problems: memory buttons, picture phone hearing problems: voice amplification, external speaker, ringer amplification safety: place jacks, wiring along wall, add phone to bedroom reachable from bed

Further Details

Publish Dates: 1996
Full Title: Assistive Technology
Pages: 23-33
Volume: 8
Issue: 1
Accession Number: December, 2010
Keywords: assistive device, mobility, vision, hearing, older, telecommunication
Reads: 178