Buying smart phone for elderly parents

I live in a different state than my elderly parents. Parents are not very tech savy, but could benefit from some help with map, calendar, email and texting functions… especially GPS so I can see where they are… NO way they can set up a smart phone, but I think if I bought one, set it all up, and could control the apps from my location, that would work? Any thoughts? Suggestions? Any apps that might be particularly helpful?

first question is do they want a smart phone ?

My mother refuses to have one and my father never turns his on unless he traveling and wants to make a call (he a retired IT professional and is not technophobe he just does not see the need)

remote support is hard to do on any computer (and a smartphone is a computer)

that said check out this blog (it a bit old but still good content)

The Good Son’s Approach to Parental Tech Support

depending on the parents eyesight and dexterity a big launcher may be helpful

BIG Launcher Easy Phone DEMO - Android Apps on Google Play

BIG Launcher - Android Apps on Google Play

elderly parents

What age do people consider elderly these days?

I gifted an extra RW phone about a year ago to one of the least tech savvy and easily frustrated older neighbor ladies who had no interest in ever using a smart phone. She used it for a short period of time, soon realized it was just as easy or easier to use as a basic mobile phone than a flip variety and was really impressed with the low cost of RW’s service compared to CC.

Your parents may have no interest in the phones other functions, doubt your idea of remote phone maintenance will work as you envision and likely won’t be needed. Tracking them by GPS will require some data costs.

Yes, my father really really wants a smart phone so he can have “the google” - he wants to use google maps instead of his old gps, and be able to connect to the internet - have email, check stocks, etc. That said, both of my siblings have vowed to NOT help him get a phone because he will have many questions about how to use it and is not always good at figuring things out nor following instructions. The app suggested would be helpful… guess I’ll keep looking for options. Thanks for your feedback!

I’m 76. My SO (Significant Other) and most of my friends are about the same age. I introduced all of them to Republic Wireless and smart phones. I activated their phones for them and spent about an hour showing each of them how they worked. At first I got lots of calls and questions but now they are all getting along just fine. These days most of the questions I get are from my teenage grandchildren, strange as that might sound.

Great feedback @myrisingsun30 !

My Father hasn’t much interest in technology at his age, or so he tells me…while watching netflix on his 1080 cabled flatscreen and surfing the net on the wireless laptop…(when not fiddling with his RW phone).

“the Google” almost made me aspirate through my nose…


The desire to change is good to hear. If he’s been using a GPS he certainly should be tech enough to understand a smart phone.

Message an
Expert customer