Seniors can be people as young as 50 or people older than 65. When considering the term, this article will use both definitions and describe the needs of each group. Cell phones are part of the fabric of life; they let us communicate while on the move and access the internet from virtually anywhere. Almost forgotten in the wide array of services and uses, the cellphone is part of the basic personal security for everyone too. It connects us to emergency and medical services and can even locate us when we are unable to act. The cellphone is part of the freedom to travel as it goes seamlessly from structures to vehicles.

Sixty-Five Plus Seniors

Surveys suggest that people in this age category have widespread use of cell phones. More than 75 percent in this group have them and rely upon them. The data show that this group tends to use cell phones for voice communications and far less for data uses. Seniors who rely on a phone for voice and use it relatively sparely can benefit from simple and inexpensive plans that feature voice and small amounts of data capacity. Two prominent entries are Jitterbug and Tracfone. These can start in the range of $10 and offer pay as you go type fees rather than contracts. These providers give seniors the opportunity to buy by the year, month, or any other set of service days. The equipment can make a difference for seniors. Many have not grown accustomed to the changes in phones and services. Large screens and simple layouts are best for this age group. The plain and simple presentation will work better than counting on intuitive customer actions.

Fifty-plus Seniors

The fifty plus senior group is a demographic that expects to use a cellphone about the way that everyone else does. They will use an extensive amount of voice and data for email and photos. This age group is a mixed picture. Some members are quite tech savvy and make their livings or do business in Information Technology environments. Most fifty-plus cell phone users are active socially, still very much engaged in business and career, and have extended family ties that involve many daily communications. They will need a plan and equipment that accommodates data and extensive use of voice time. Intentional communications are also important to this group talk, text, and data must reach around the globe as do friendships, social, and business needs. This group can benefit from a slightly scaled back phone service. They can use an unlimited voice plan with limited data transfer. Another workable option is an unlimited data plan. This will hold down costs and take advantage of current technology. Skype, iChat, and similar applications permit phone calls anywhere and count as data. For as little as $30 per month, one can have an unlimited voice and data solution.