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Many of Today's Seniors are Already Wireless-Savvy.
Seniors 70 and under are generally familiar with how cellular can improve their lives. We focus on specific products and plans that made wireless an even more useful tool for them...and how older seniors can take the next step toward total mobility or just "cutting the cord."
     Benefits of Cellular for Seniors:
Safety and Security:
Carry a cell phone wherever you go and help will be just a phone call away, in some cases, with the push of just one button. Many phones can be traced to their general location, you can be "found" if you want.
Cellular Can Save Seniors Money:
Cellular can be cheaper than a wired phone line, Long Distance charges can be Free, charges can be by the minute instead of by the month, some Seniors qualify for cheaper plans or subsidized Lifeline service, Cellular phones come with most Calling Features included and not as extra charge items as with land lines. You could even use your old phones. You can even go totally wireless.
Cellular Does Not Need to Be Expensive:
There are numerous Senior Discounts on wireless. Some cellular plans are priced as low as $10 per year. There are many full-featured plans with rates ranging from $8 to $30 per month. There are several inexpensive Prepaid alternatives which can be set to "auto-pay" whenever they run low. If you already have a cellular phone here's how to Cut Your Wireless Cost.
Find Out How to Get FREE Emergency-Only Cellular Service
Cellular: Your Low-Cost Alternative for Making All Long Distance Calls:
Most current cellular plans include Long Distance calls for no extra charge. You still pay for your cellular usage, but the charges are based on the amount of time used, not the distance. If you make a lot of long distance calls, you might consider one of many "Unlimited" options, including plans with "calling circles", Nights & Weekends, Family Plans, and other variations of Unlimited calling. There are a number of cellular plans that offer FREE international calling to a large number of foreign countries. Also see Cellular Charges by Time.
Cellular Charges by Time, Not Distance.
Many new cellular users, including seniors, don't understand that wireless calls are charged for the time you use the phone and not where you are calling. You might hear that cellular has "Free Long Distance", but it means "Long Distance Free of Extra Charges". You only pay for time you use the phone. This expands your included calling area to the entire US, and, in some cases, many foreign countries. Parents with children who live 'just over the line' for free landline calls, can make cellular calls to the kids as if they were next door. And, in most cases, plans now include an "Unlimited" number of talk minutes which means even though you are charged for using wireless time, you're charged the same whether you talk a lot or a little. If you travel, "Free Roaming" means "Free of Extra Charges for Roaming Away from Your Home Area." Also see Cellular Long Distance Calls.
Friends and Family Can Help:
A wireless customer can add a phone to their own plan for a senior friend or relative for as little as $10 a month. The senior shares the monthly minutes and, in most cases, you can call each other without any per-minute charges at all. If the family subscribes to a 'Push-to-Talk' plan, like that available from Sprint, one party in the family can call another with the push of a button. We have a long list of ideas for helping a senior go wireless on our Provide Cellular for a Senior Page.
You Can Use Your Existing Wired Phones:
If you want to continue using the old phones you're accustomed to using, several wireless carriers offer a device specifically designed to make your wired phones work like "normal" home phones but using a cellular connection. In most cases, they provide a unit that sits on a table or wall and the calls are completed by a wireless connection to the nearest cell site. In most cases you can plug in all of your existing phones, both cordless and corded. You pay a monthly fee and, like a cellular phone, all the popular calling features are included, like Unlimited Calls, both Local and Long Distance; Call Waiting; Call Forwarding and Voice Mail. This is not a new concept but these units are now being offered by the cellular carriers themselves with quite reasonable rates...some as low as $15 per month.
Get More Info on Wireless Home Phone Systems
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Using Wireless Regularly Is Smart:
Making a few calls every month helps you get comfortable using a cellular phone and makes it much easier to use in a stressful or emergency situation. Schedule a wireless call, say, once a week to a friend or relative, your voice mail, or a call to one of many information services available.
You Can Return the Phone:
Most wireless companies realize you may have some difficulty using your phone once you've had a chance to experience the service at home or in places where you visit. They all offer some kind of return privilege, including a complete refund should the service not work out. Make sure you know what their policy is in advance. They range from 14 to 30 days for a complete refund on the handset, but expect to pay for any time used making calls. This is helpful for customers who want to purchase their phone online.
You Don't Need A Contract:
There are many choices among among wireless services that don't require a contract, most of them are for Prepaid plans. Check out recommendations for Prepaid Wireless. Some carriers charge more for no-contract plans but a few, like T-Mobile, charge less.
Get Untied From Your Computer:
You can access your email, participate in online social connections and search web information without being confined to a specific location in your house. Feel free to use this wireless connection at home or while you're away. With a data-capable phone you can access all those features right in your pocket. Be sure your phone has an appropriate data plan. Consider this: many customers have replaced both their home phone and their home computer with just one "Smart" phone!
Getting Around the Site: Senior Cellular Resources: Talk Back to Us:
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