A cellphone for grandma

Baby boomers with aging parents may want to consider the ClarityLife C900 cellphone. That's because the new device -- available today at clarityproducts.com -- was designed with seniors in mind.
I haven't gotten to try out the device, but Clarity President Carsten Trads points out several main features, including the ability to amplify incoming sound by 20 decibels for those suffering from hearing loss, a large backlit display and oversized text. The front of the phone has four sizable buttons for helping folks navigate through contacts -- Trads says most seniors call only a few people. But it also has a slide-out keypad with large numbers for dialing.
More importantly, perhaps, is the heart-shaped emergency button on the back which, when pressed, automatically sends text messages to up to five pre-programmed numbers in sequence until somebody is reached.
At $270, for an "unlocked" device, it isn't cheap. And the person presumably buying the device for an elderly relative or friend is more than likely the one who will have to arrange for wireless service with a GSM carrier such as AT&T or T-Mobile.
Chattanooga-based Clarity, which also sells landline phones for seniors, isn't the first company to make a wireless handset for an older population. Jitterbug has been selling a simplified senior-friendly $147 phone (plus service) for some time.
By Edward C. Baig

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