How to Set up a Smartphone for Elderly Loved Ones

There are times when people have difficulty using smartphones. This could be due to their advanced age or lack of experience with technology. However, there are ways that you can make life easier for seniors. These tips will help you set up a smartphone that is safe for grandparents or parents. Every person is unique, so pick the best tips for you.
If they are looking for a new phone, be sure to read our other Buying Guides.

Install the Lock Screen

Although it may seem tempting to not apply lock screen security, you must. If your phone has a fingerprint sensor, or face unlock, you can walk them through the process to make sure they are comfortable. If they don't have a fingerprint sensor or face unlock, you will need to create a password, PIN, or pattern lock that they can remember.

Android phone: Goto Settings, Security, Screen lock.

An iPhone user can access Settings by clicking on Face ID & Code or Touch ID and Passcode.

Make sure your home screen is clean

Keep it simple on your home screen. Less icons are better. You can get rid of and uninstall any icons they don't use often. Make sure to personalize their iPhone or Android phone according to their preferences.

Android phones: Hold down the icon and drag it to the Uninstall/Remove text area. This is usually located at the top of your screen.

iPhone: Hold down the Home Screen until you see the icons. Drag them around to arrange them or tap the X button to remove them.

Add shortcuts to useful tasks or apps

Photograph: Simon Hill

You can make it easy for your contacts to contact you by placing shortcuts on their home screens.

Android phones: Hold down the Home screen, tap Widgets and scroll down to Contacts. Choose Direct dial and choose a contact. The shortcut can be placed anywhere on your home screen and the person can simply tap it to call the other person. Direct message shortcuts can be added in the same manner.