My 90+ year old dad ended up in rehab for a few weeks. The rehab center used to have patient phones but for some reason no longer offer them. The family started looking at cell phones he might be able to use but there didn’t seem to be anything that fit the bill. Why?

  • He’s technophobic. One of his big complaints with the cell phone he used to have was “It’s a phone. It should make phone calls. This photo and texting thing just means that the people who make them don’t have a clue.”
  • He’s unwilling to learn new things. He gets really mad when things change.
  • He’s got vision, dexterity and touch sense issues. A flip phone is very difficult for him to open and a touch screen doesn’t give him enough feedback.

We were about to get him a Jitterbug (link) and try to teach him when I stumbled across this LTE to house phone adapter on Consumer Cellular (link). I was pretty worried about the ability to get a signal in the building but the big antennas work just fine.

The huge benefit was that we would be able to bring his house phone over to the rehab center so he wouldn’t have to learn anything new. I’ve been keeping track of his phone minutes and he’s really getting good use out of it.

He started complaining a few days later about the volume on the phone receiver. He’d previously mentioned this so it wasn’t the base station, but I went and got him a new phone with an amplifier in the receiver. It was close in layout to his home phone so after 45 minutes of practice he was good to go.