The modern world offers many conveniences. One of those is the convenience of constant connection and communication. Thanks in large part to cellular phones, connection to family, friends, and emergency services are rarely more than a few button pushes away. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, one hundred percent of people between the ages of 18 and 49 own cellular phones, and most of those are smartphones. Yet, among the senior population only approximately 92 percent have cellphones, and only 61 percent of those are smartphones.
Jitterbug phones are intended to bridge the gap between the capabilities and preferences of senior citizens and the convenience of using modern technology. If you have a senior loves one you want to protect, it is important to empower him or her by providing an easy means of communication and connection with the outside world, especially in an emergency. A Jitterbug phone can do exactly that.
What Are Jitterbug Phones?
Jitterbug phones were originally created by a company called GreatCall. GreatCall, which is now called Lively, was founded with the specific purpose of giving senior citizens easy access to essential services and useful technologies. There have been several models created since the original Jitterbug. Each model has been designed with the same goals of ease of use and protection for seniors. The original Jitterbug quickly became quite popular after its release in 2005 because it provided easy phone access for senior users with particular needs. For example, a larger screen and larger buttons catered to seniors with vision problems and hand tremors.
Jitterbug phones are also well known for being among the first phones to provide one-touch direct emergency contact options. They work similarly to emergency alert pendants. The difference is single-button connection to emergency alert services is provided directly on the cellular phones, rather than on other independent devices like receivers within homes. Thus, users can call emergency services from anywhere that the phone has a signal. However, various levels of emergency services connection and monitoring are optional and subject to additional fees.
Today's Jitterbug Phone Models
Today, Lively offers two Jitterbug models. The first is the Jitterbug Flip2. It is a flip phone, which makes it appealing for seniors who have trouble adapting to newer technology. Features of the Jitterbug Flip2 include:
Amazon Alexa Integration
Emergency Response Call Button Capability
Large Buttons and Screen
The second model is the Jitterbug Smart3. It is a smartphone with a simple, streamlined design perfect for seniors. The 6.2 inch screen allows easy viewing. Other useful features for seniors include:
On-Screen Emergency Call Button Capability
Simple List, Allowing Easy Access to All Phone Features
On-Screen How-To Guides
Video Chatting Capability
Optional Voice Typing
Jitterbug Phone Plan Types and Costs
Lively provides Jitterbug phones with no long-term obligation. Each plan is paid for on a month-by-month basis. As of December, 2021, they are as follows:
The Value Talk & Text Plan costs $14.99 per month. It provides the user with 300 talking minutes per month. Each text costs ten cents.
The Unlimited Talk & Text Plan, as the name suggests, provides unlimited calling and texting. It costs $19.99 per month.
You must also choose a data plan when applying for a Jitterbug phone. There are five options from which to pick. The least expensive option provides 100MB of data for a $2.49 monthly fee. Other limited data options range from $5 to $15 per month. For $30 per month, you can join the unlimited data plan.
Carriers That Offer Plans for Jitterbug Phones
Several phone carriers offer plans for Jitterbug-like phone plans. However, actual Jitterbug phone plans are only offered through Lively. Lively uses the Verizon phone network to provide its service, but you cannot sign up for Jitterbug service directly through Verizon. You must do so through Lively.
Buying a Jitterbug Cellphone Directly from Lively
Unlike many cellphone providers, Lively does not have brick-and-mortar locations you can visit. Therefore, you only have two options when purchasing a Jitterbug phone directly from Lively. The first is to contact Lively directly by phone at 1-800-650-5918. The second is to order your Jitterbug phone using the shopping cart service on the Lively website. When you order by phone or online, your Jitterbug is delivered directly to the address you specify. Choose your own address or have the phone delivered directly to your senior loved one.
Buying a Jitterbug Phone from Other Retailers
Although you can only purchase Jitterbug phone plans through Lively, you can purchase the Jitterbug phones themselves from various resources. In fact, Lively provides an online store locator tool you can search by zip code to find retailers in your area when Jitterbug phones are sold. Availability varies at each location, but retailers that commonly carry Jitterbug phones include:
Advantages of Jitterbug Phones for Seniors
Jitterbug cellphones are designed specifically with the needs of senior citizens in mind. Their simple designs and special features make them far easier for seniors to use than typical cellphones. Seniors can use the specialized bright, clear, large menu buttons to access all of the functions and features they need. Texting, browsing online, and voice or video calling are all simpler on a Jitterbug. Access to emergency services with the press of one button also helps keep seniors safe and keep their loved ones from having to worry about them.
Jitterbug Phones Offer High Returns with No Risks
When you purchase a Jitterbug phone plan for your loved one you provide him or her with more independence and confidence. There is no more need to squint, strain to hear, or struggle with confusing menus and options. There are also no major financial investments or risks involved. The monthly, no-contract plan allows total flexibility. You can even change data or calling plans if you discover your loved one's phone usage does not quite follow the pattern you initially anticipated. Finally, if you ever need to cancel the service, you can do so at any time. The same cannot be said of many other phone services, which often require annual or multi-month subscriptions.