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Easier Is Better

The JitterbugPlus cell phone has what we need: simplicity, personalization, access to great services and apps

By Madeline Pantalone


Jitterbug Cell Phone

In 2006 the Jitterbug, the first cell phone for older adults in the U.S., was created by Arlene Harris and her husband, Martin Cooper. Dr. Cooper had created the first handheld mobile phone in 1973 while working for Motorola. Between 1973 and 2006 mobile phones had become smaller and cellular networks larger, as the industry focused on function, data services and the demand for greater speed — not for simplicity, a personalized experience or customer service.

By 2006 cell phones were popular with those of us in the workplace and younger consumers. Older adults who simply wanted to stay connected to family and friends were left out. Everything was just too complicated — the phone, rate plans and obtaining help when needed.


Jitterbug J

The Jitterbug J opened the door. The phone features large buttons, screen and fonts, great sound quality, and simple navigation that can be mastered in a few minutes. By simply pressing 5 and then * on their phones, Jitterbug users are connected with a helpful agent who greets them by name, can add calendar appointments and contact information — or add requested services such as MyWorld (real-time information without having to access the internet) — directly to the phone.


The new JitterbugPlus

A lot has changed in the few short years since the Jitterbug was introduced. Many of us now carry smartphones. No surprise that older family members also want a more modern phone with more capabilities. But few are ready to jump to a smartphone and the complex world of data plans.

Enter the JitterbugPlus. It has a younger look and feel than its predecessor yet the simplicity for which Jitterbug is known. The phone has one of the longest lasting batteries on the market. Simple texting and the message library make texting fast and easy. And it is now equipped with a high-quality camera. The phone doesn’t just take and store photos; users can send and receive them, and select which photos they want to automatically post to Facebook, Shutterfly or Picasa to share with family and friends.

JitterbugPlus users can also transform their phone into their own personal safety device by adding 5Star Urgent Response. In vulnerable situations, users can immediately speak with a 5Star agent who quickly identifies their location, triages the situation and coordinates whatever help is needed.

The Jitterbugplus is perfect for my mom. Consider it for your mother, aunt or in-laws. It’s very simple to use and can be personalized with great services and apps.

Madeline Pantalone is the vice president of business development at GreatCall, Inc., a telecommunications company focusing on cellular products, applications and services that support families staying connected, personal safety and healthy living. Madeline has four adventuresome grandchildren living in different cities, a challenge that fosters her enthusiasm about the important role GreatCall products can play in maintaining good communication between family members.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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