Home Phones We Reviewed:
- Best Bundle: VTech SN5147
- Best for Dexterity Issues: Ancenis TerryPhone
- Best for Hearing Loss: Panasonic KX-TGM420W
- Best Smartphone: Lively Jitterbug Smart3
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Best Home Phones for Older Adults in 2023
A simple home phone can help you or your loved one stay connected with family and friends from the comfort of home. Unfortunately, small keypad buttons, speaker and ringer volume, and other features on standard landline phones may be more difficult to navigate with aging.
Today, some of the best landline phones offer accessibility features and simple designs to help support aging in place. When narrowing down the best phones for older adults, the AgingInPlace.org team focused on hearing loss, low vision, dexterity issues, and memory loss to help us choose our top recommendations.
Includes a corded and cordless phone
Extra loud ringer volume (90 decibels)
Hearing aid compatible
Large keypad buttons
Eight speed dial buttons with picture labels on corded phone
Phone menu may be difficult to navigate
Only four speed dial buttons on the cordless phone
The VTech SN5147 includes a corded and cordless home phone in one package, earning the title “Best Bundle” from our team. We recommend this two-phone package if you have a larger home or want the flexibility of a cordless phone combined with the accessibility features offered by both phones.
The ringer volume for the two phones goes up to 90 decibels (dB)—as loud as a leaf blower or concert. This loud ring is paired with a flashing red light to help indicate an incoming call.
When talking on the phone, you can adjust the speaker volume up to 50 decibels and switch to speakerphone for a hands-free conversation. The VTech phone automatically blocks annoying robocalls, and you can block spam calls and other unwanted phone numbers with the Smart Call Blocker feature.
One of our favorite features of the corded phone is the eight large speed dial buttons at the top of the keypad. Each speed dial button has a plastic slip for a small photo, making it clear who you’re calling when pressing the button. No more memorizing the assigned number for each speed dial contact—just press the button once, and you’re calling them.
The cordless phone has speed dial buttons labeled m1 to m4, which may be more difficult since you’ll have to memorize which contact is assigned to the keypad number instead of using visual cues.
Large keypad buttons
Ergonomic foam cover
Can be mounted to the wall
Speed dial buttons with photos
Only three speed dial buttons with photos
Call blocking not available
This landline phone’s oversized keypad buttons and foam handset cover are two of the many reasons we named the Acenis TerryPhone “Best for Dexterity Issues.” Not only are the extra large keypad buttons easy to press, but they can help users with low vision navigate the phone.
The soft foam cover helps keep a comfortable, no-slip grip while talking on the phone. If the phone’s loud ringer is stressful or alarming for you or a loved one, the foam cover also helps muffle it.
We like that you can place the phone on a flat surface, such as a kitchen counter or a desk, or mount it to the wall. A small plastic piece in the cradle keeps the handset in place if you mount the phone to the wall, keeping the phone stable and making it easy to return the phone to its place.
The TerryPhone has an amplified ringer and flashing red light to indicate incoming calls, which may be helpful if you are hard of hearing.
Like the VTech SN5147 phone, the TerryPhone has picture speed dial buttons, but instead of eight buttons, the TerryPhone only has three. Another drawback is the TerryPhone’s short cord. If you enjoy talking on the phone without having to stay in one spot, you may need to purchase an extension cord.
Designed for those with mild to moderate hearing loss
Real-time slow talk and noise reduction features
Extra loud ringer volume (100 dB)
Nine speed dial buttons
No picture speed dial buttons
Small keypad buttons
While other phones in this review help accommodate users with hearing loss by offering features such as visual cues and loud ringers, the Panasonic KX-TGM420W goes a step further with Slow Talk. This feature slows down the speech speed of the caller on the other end in real-time with the push of a button.
You’ll activate Slow Talk by pressing the Slow button at the bottom right of the keypad either during a call or when playing back voice messages. Panasonic’s noise reduction technology also minimizes background noise while enhancing your voice for clearer calls, and you can raise the caller’s voice volume up to 40 decibels.
Other features that help support hearing loss include:
While we love all the available accommodations with the Panasonic KX-TGM420W home phone, we wish the keypad buttons were larger and easier to press.
Large 6.2-inch touchscreen
List-based menu for easy navigation
Medical alert system add-on available
Required monthly data plan ($2.49–$30)
Only available on the Verizon network
If you or your loved one spend time outside your home running errands, eating at restaurants, and enjoying activities with family and friends, a smartphone may be a better option than a home phone. The Jitterbug Smart3 is one of the two Lively mobile phones designed specifically for older adults.
Some of our favorite design features include a simple list-based navigational menu, large font, powerful speaker, and voice typing options. You can also turn your Smart3 into a medical alert system with the optional Urgent Response feature starting at $24.99 per month.
With Lively Urgent Response, you have access to a 24/7 monitoring center from your phone. The red button is always available on your screen and connects you to a professional monitoring center staff member. Depending on the situation, they can dispatch emergency services to your location, notify your emergency contacts, or both.
What Is Editor’s Choice?
Our team of editors and writers choose a product from each article that stands out based on our extensive research of the products we review. While it may not always be the highest-scoring product in the lineup, we’ve chosen the product based on its overall value to our audience.
Why We Chose This Product:
A hybrid smartphone and medical alert system, the Jitterbug offers supportive technology for those who want to safely age in place. The smartphone’s intuitive interface makes it uncomplicated to connect with family to summon help in an emergency.
The Jitterbug Smart3 is the only phone in our review you can purchase directly from the manufacturer. The other phones are available from third-party retailers, such as:
When shopping for a new landline phone, decide what features are non-negotiable, such as hearing aid compatibility, large buttons, visual ringers, or other accessibility features. This will help narrow down your search.
In addition to important accessibility features, keep the following in mind when looking for the right home phone for you or your loved one.
Online customer reviews can be helpful when shopping for a landline phone. Amazon, Best Buy, and Google Reviews are excellent starting points to learn more about customers’ firsthand experiences, whether positive or negative. Some customers even include photos or videos with their reviews.
To find Google Reviews for the phone you’re interested in, search the brand and model name in the Google search bar (e.g., Panasonic KX-TGM420W).
There will be a Reviews button under the product name to the right of your search results (on desktop) or directly below the search bar (on mobile) if there are product reviews available.
Click the Reviews button to see customer reviews.
As of 2023, about 6.7 million adults age 65 years and older in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The National Institute on Aging cites memory loss and difficulty completing everyday tasks as common symptoms in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
These symptoms may make it difficult to operate a phone without visual aids and other accommodations, such as photo speed dial buttons and large keypad buttons.
If your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or both, consider a home phone with customizable photo buttons, like the VTech SN5147 or Acenis Terryphone.
If you or the person you care for has low vision, you may benefit from a phone with large keypad buttons and an extra loud ring. The Panasonic KX-TGM420W is the only home phone in this review with small keypad buttons that may be difficult to navigate if you or your loved one have reduced eyesight.
If you use a hearing aid, make sure the phone is hearing aid compatible. According to the Federal Communications Commission, a hearing aid-compatible phone must be able to reduce unwanted noise the hearing aid receives when the user is talking on the phone.
You should also check the ringer’s maximum volume level. The Panasonic KX-TGM420W ringer volume reaches 100 decibels (about as loud as a motorcycle), while the VTech SN5147 ringer volume goes up to 90 decibels (about as loud as a leaf blower).
The TerryPhone has an amplified ringer, but our team couldn’t get the exact sound measurement. The right ringer decibel level will depend on you or your loved one’s degree of hearing loss and personal needs.
Visual cues are also an excellent aid to accompany phone rings. The VTech SN5147, TerryPhone, and Panasonic KX-TGM420W phones have a red light that flashes with the ringer to indicate an incoming call.
Consider the main purpose of the phone. Is it for day-to-day conversations or primarily emergencies? This will help determine if you should get a corded or cordless phone, as well as where you should install the phone in the home.
Features like a flashing light, loud ringer, and bright backlit keypad may be crucial during the day, but they can be disruptive at night. If you want your home phone in or near your bedroom, check if some features can be temporarily turned off or set in “night” mode.
The best home phone for older adults depends on lifestyle, health conditions, and personal preferences. If you’d like the coverage and flexibility of both a corded base unit and cordless phone, consider the VTech SN5147.
We recommend the Acenis TerryPhone for users with dexterity issues, while the Panasonic KX-TGM420W offers unique features that support those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
If a cellphone makes more sense for your lifestyle, we recommend the Jitterbug Smart3 for its simple design and optional health and safety features.
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