Jitterbug Phone Overview
Jitterbug phones are in a category of their own. A hybrid of a simple phone and a medical alert system, the phone offers supportive technology for those who want to safely age in place. The cell phone’s intuitive interface makes it uncomplicated to connect with family to summon help in an emergency.
There are two Jitterbug phone options: the Flip2 (flip phone) and Smart3 (smartphone). Both the flip phone and smartphone are simplified versions of typical cell phones on the market, so users are able to get the most from all the phone’s features whether or not they are tech-savvy.
Jitterbug phones are senior-friendly in that they have a number of features to accommodate an aging adult’s health, safety, and comfort. First, the home screen is reliably simple for easy interfacing with the main menu. Features like the backlit keypad and large numerals, voice-typing, and amplified speakers accommodate those with vision and hearing impairments.
Dr. Lynn Anderson, who holds a Ph.D. in Natural Health, bought a Jitterbug phone for her elderly father. “He was having a hard time seeing the buttons on his cell phone,” she said. “When he changed to Jitterbug, suddenly he had buttons he could see and an easy way to use a cell phone.” She added that the Jitterbug flip phone for older adults accommodates those with dexterity issues: “Not only are the numbers bigger, but it is easier for arthritic hands to use.”
Lively’s Health and Safety packages make Jitterbug devices more useful than the average cell phone—these plans push Lively phones into the category of medical alert devices. Lively products are continually ranked among the best medical alert systems, and their phones also offer 24/7 emergency monitoring. Of course, a Lively phone isn’t your classic Bluetooth medical alert system with fall detection, and unfortunately, fall detection technology can’t be added to a Jitterbug. For fall detection, you may want to consider the Lively Wearable2 pendant.
Pros and Cons of Jitterbug Phones
Both phones have a large screen, simple navigation, voice-to-text communication, powerful speaker, and other features designed specifically for older adults
Can be used a medical alert device with an emergency button that connects to a 24/7 monitoring center
The Smart3 $149.99 equipment cost is affordable compared to standard smartphones
Multiple health and safety packages and data plans to choose from
Fall detection not available
Options are limited to just two styles: the Flip2 and Smart3
Any data over your monthly allowance costs 10 cents per megabyte (MB)
How Are Jitterbug Phones Different From Regular Phones?
The Jitterbug Flip2 and Jitterbug Smart3 are similar to many flip phones and smartphones. The big difference is that Lively cuts out complicated, unnecessary features—then adds basic health features to keep users safe.
Traditional cell phones are not the safest personal emergency response systems, since they rely on users having the ability to dial 911. With Lively’s health and safety package, Jitterbug phones become a medical alert device. If a user experiences a fall or other medical emergency, they can hit the Urgent Response button to reach a trained professional any time, day or night. The system tracks users through GPS so Lively can send a medical team, locksmith, or roadside assistance to the user’s exact location.
Get exclusive support with your Jitterbug phone that isn’t available with a standard cell phone. Top-tier Jitterbug packages include 24/7 access to medical professionals and caregiver support. Enjoy a personal operator who can help you with customer support or technical questions, as well as an urgent care service. Connect with an registered or doctor directly from your Jitterbug phone for around-the-clock medical advice.
How Do Jitterbug Phones Work?
Jitterbug phones are designed as both a straightforward cell phone and a health device for older adults. Your experience will largely depend on which phone you choose: do you prefer to keep things simple with the Flip2, or do you want the Smart3’s large screen, email access, video chatting, and navigation features?
Lively’s Health and Safety packages are what make Jitterbug phones a medical device. In case of a fall, the phone can act as a medical alert device by connecting you to trained professionals. Depending on your subscription, your phone may include an emergency button, access to urgent care, help from a Jitterbug operator, and even the ability to arrange for rides and medication refills.
Jitterbug offers two “Talk and Text” plans. Your cell phone plan decides how much you can do with your phone. Users who want a phone for the basics—calls and a little texting—can stick with the simple Talk and Text plan for $14.99 per month. Those who intend on making lots of calls and want to text freely should go with the Unlimited Talk and Text Plan for $19.99 per month.
From there, Smart3 users should tack on a data plan to use internet-based activities like checking email, surfing the internet, or using navigation. You can buy these plans at 100MB, 500MB, 3GB, 5GB, or unlimited data options, depending on how much you expect to use the internet.
How to Purchase a Jitterbug Phone
Signing up for your Jitterbug is as easy as purchasing your desired model from the Lively website. To get started with the Jitterbug Flip2 or Smart3, you won’t need to sign any long-term contracts. In fact, you have a 30-day trial to test out the device before you commit. If you don’t like the phone, you’re only out the $10 restocking fee.
Installation And Setup
Jitterbug phones do require a $35 activation fee. Once your phone arrives, head to the Lively site and click “activate now.” The website will guide you through the activation process, including transferring your existing number to your new phone.
Ease Of Use
Both Jitterbug phone models are made to be intuitive. Browse customer reviews and you’ll see the phrase “user-friendly” over and over. Between the large text, list menu, voice control, and large buttons, Lively phones are designed to win over users who might be intimidated by conventional smartphones.
Jitterbug’s customer support is built right into the phone’s design. The Personal Operator service calls on traditional operators, but this feature includes troubleshooting issues with the device, making calls, and even arranging Lyft rides.
Outside of this extra feature, the regular Lively customer support team delivers strong service. Customers rate the Smart with 4 stars and the Flip with 4.1 stars on Consumer Affairs, where users often reference reliable support when troubleshooting issues with the device.
In an emergency, users just push the Star button to connect to the 24/7 emergency monitoring center. After confirming your location and assessing the situation, the Jitterbug operator can summon the exact help you need, whether that’s a loved one to check in, professional medical help, roadside assistance, or even a locksmith.
Choosing the Right Jitterbug Phone
Both of the Jitterbug phones, the Flip2 and Smart3, are crafted with an eye to health, safety, and ease of use. The phones include large text and simple interfaces, along with health features like 24/7 access to Urgent Care advice from board-certified doctors and nurses.
Also, each phone doubles as a medical alert device. You only need to push the help button to be connected with Lively’s around-the-clock emergency monitoring center. Trained operators assess your situation and decide whether to send emergency assistance to your location. Both devices also offer Lively Link, a way of looping in selected contacts so that they are also notified in an emergency.
While the two phones share overlapping services, they vary widely in options, extra features, and user experience. Consider your own lifestyle and preferences to decide which phone is the best fit for your needs.