My elderly mum has moved into residential care and is missing her phone.
Iím looking for something simple with large numbers and keys - maybe something that looks like a house phone. Is there anything like that available?
Helen Cameron, via email on 30 August 2011
Mobile phones are typically associated with young people, especially in the era of the smartphone, where handsets can play movies and navigate you around the world, as well as make calls and send texts.
However, recent research from telecoms regulator Ofcom found that older people are catching up with their younger counterparts, with over three-quarters of those aged between 65 and 74 in the UK now having a mobile phone.
This has spawned a range of mobile phones that are designed to cater specifically to the needs of older people and include features aimed at the often less technically savvy user.
Mobile phones have come a long way since the days of the brick-sized handset popular with Del Boys of the 1980s, and are now available in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The mobile accessibility website launched by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum earlier this year offers a guide to various phones most suited to older people.
As mentioned previously, there is now a range of mobile phones designed with the needs of the older user in mind, which means that they include features and functions that make them easier to use.
Examples of these to bear in mind when you are considering which handset to choose are:
Orange is the only major UK mobile network that offers handsets specifically made for older people on a monthly contract. It offers the Doro PhoneEasy 410gsm, which comes with a high-volume loudspeaker and large, clear display, on a range of plans that will see you pay nothing for the handset itself.
Of the smaller networks, Tesco Mobile offers the Doro clam 409, which features amplified sound and an alert button. You can choose from four different 24-month contracts or a 12-month deal, though youíll have to pay for the actual handset with this contract.
However, handsets intended for elderly people from Doro and other mobile manufacturers, like Amplicom and Binatone, can be bought sim-free for between £70 and £150.
Then you can then buy either a standalone pay-as-you-go sim or pay monthly sim from one of the major mobile networks, depending on what sort call and text allowance you need.