Solutions for elderly relative who won't hang up phone

I have an elderly relative with mild dementia who doesn’t remember to use the end call button, making her unreachable for long periods of time. I was hoping to find a cordless phone that hangs up the old fashioned way, by setting the receiver in the cradle. That doesn’t seem to exist. The phone must be cordless, due to balance issues. She’s hard of hearing, so she doesn’t hear the dial tone. If anyone who’s been in a similar situation knows about a product that helped, especially something with large buttons and a loud ringer that worked, I’d appreciate recommendations.

What about a cell phone (ie Jitterbug)? Every cell phone I’ve ever interacted with will ‘hang up’ when the other party disconnects.

I’m curious about the cordless phones not hanging up when you set them in the cradle. I use a few at work, and all of them will end a call by putting it back in the charger.

I had exactly the same problem with my mom. I was unable to reach her for hours at a time sometimes because she was confused about the phone buttons. I eventually got her this phone, which has completely solved the problem. You said you want a cordless phone due to balance issues, but I’m not sure I understand that. My mom’s phone is on a table next to a chair, and she sits in the chair while she uses it.

The cordless Panasonic KX TG-6531 phone that I use myself does disconnect the call when you set the receiver in the cradle. Unfortunately it appears they’re not made any more but perhaps a more recent Panasonic phone might behave the same. However I know that for my mom, there were more problems than just hanging up at the right time – she would also spend a lot of time trying to call people and failing because the button-based UI in general was just too difficult for her to understand.

C’mon, phone makers! How hard can it be to make a phone with speed-dial buttons that can be labeled with family members’ photos, and that automatically hangs up. Oh, and it can announce loudly “Your daughter’s calling!”

Or repeat “You have a message from your daughter!”

(My mom doesn’t notice that she has a message for weeks… “Oh, I guess there IS a light flashing. I wonder how long that’s been there?”)

I helped set up an elderly acquaintance’s cell phone. Her voice mail greeting is “Hi. You can leave a message at the beep, but probably no one will listen to it. Please call back later.”

Currently, if you call her and she doesn’t answer the message you hear is “The customer’s voice mail box is full. Please try again later.”

Not quite the same thing, but you might find some ideas in this thread.

My Dad does remember to hang up, but that said, he’s hard-of-hearing and forgetful enough that we try to limit his phone convos to family and friends. He has zero interest in voice mail or messages, so I’ve changed his voice mail greeting to something like Alley Dweller did, with the exception that I ask the caller to call me instead, and give my phone number.

All his doctors / bills / etc have my phone # as his main contact. Nevertheless, they still occasionally try to call him, which leads to a clusterfuck of confusion. “OK, Dad, did they say it was a doctor or dentist? Was it your primary care doctor or your podiatrist? They said you had an appointment on Tuesday? What time?” etc etc.

At least twice I’ve resorted to going down his list of docs (he has at least 10 of 'em for various specialties) and asking “do you have an appointment for <Athena’s Dad> on the books?”

Fun stuff, getting old.

Like this?

This one announces the caller. Cordless. and Picture Dialing


I had plans to get that exact phone, but other people in the family are concerned that she’ll somehow get tangled in the cord - maybe forget it’s corded and try and walk with it or something. Thanks for the suggestions and commiserations everyone.

My current phone is a Panasonic KX TGEA20, and it does hang up when you put it in the cradle/charger. That, and many similar models are currently available. One of those could work for your relative. I’ve never had a cordless phone that didn’t hang up ‘the old fashioned way’. I’ll need to pay attention to that the next time I need to buy one - having to push a button seems like an unnecessary extra step.